June 17, 2013
With the 2013 Ford Focus ST, you get the nifty, center-exit exhaust tip instead of the regular Focus's largely hidden (passenger-side) exhaust tip. But with this design you also get a fair amount of visible soot buildup with this ST exhaust, too.
To show our long-term ST a little love, I decided to clean up the tip and bring back that shiny, lustrous look.
June 13, 2013
Ford hasn't added the 2014 Ford Focus ST to its Web site yet, but we've got the info on the car. Not much about the car changes, actually, and that's just fine given how great the 2013 car is already.
The 2014 Focus ST gets a new option for gray-painted wheels, and going this route also gets you red-painted brake calipers. This is a $375 option.
You can also get black racing stripes for the '14 car. Ford's priced this at $495.
The base MSRP (not including destination) for the Focus ST rises slightly to $24,115, a $415 increase from 2013.
Continue reading for a couple more photos of the 2014 car.
June 13, 2013
Recently, I loaded up my family (wife, two small children) for a 600-mile weekend adventure to attend a wedding shower.
Actually, I didn't attend the shower. My wife did. And originally, I didn't think I had to make the trip at all, instead thinking I'd get a free weekend. Silly me. I was "volunteered" to go at the last minute, and therefore along with me and my wheel-man skills came the Ford Focus ST.
June 12, 2013
Our 2013 Ford Focus ST's backseat is roomier than you'd expect. Even with the front passengers in comfortably reclined positions, there's plenty of space in the rear and details like the unusual location of the rear cupholders factor into it.
June 11, 2013
Our 2013 Ford Focus ST has good pedal placement for heel-and-toe downshifting. The gas pedal is a little bit too far away from the brake and it could stand to be a little larger, but with some adjustment of your foot, it works out pretty well.
June 10, 2013
We're about seven and a half months into the year-long test of our 2013 Ford Focus ST. It's been a good time so far, and the car has earned plenty of praise. I was recently thinking about what I like most about our ST.
June 7, 2013
On the final day in Yosemite National Park, our Focus ST got an additional passenger. It wasn't a bear or a deer or anything.
Six of us went on this trip and divided ourselves between the Focus ST and a friend's Honda Civic. But two people wanted to leave from the western side of the park before sunrise, while four of us wanted to sleep in and check out the eastern side of Yosemite. So, instead of three people in each car, we stuffed the Focus to the brim and sent the other luggage home early in the Civic.
June 6, 2013
Earlier this year I wrote how I forced myself to use our 2013 Ford Focus ST's Sync voice-activation system for a week as a test. I wanted to find out what it was like controlling everything from activating navigation to adjusting the climate temperature. Overall, I was pretty impressed.
June 4, 2013
I didn't like it at first, but after a week in our 2013 Ford Focus ST, I began to change my mind.
On the first stretch of the road trip (300 miles of highway monotony), I'd shifted around in the seat a dozen times trying to get comfortable. The Recaro sport seats aren't unbearably uncomfortable, but on a flat stretch of road, the aggressive bolstering becomes intrusive and bothersome. On tight mountain roads in Yosemite, however, the lateral support was perfect.
In stop-and-go traffic, the ST's clutch is not easy to depress and after a few days of hiking, my left leg was beginning to feel the burn just driving around Yosemite. Luckily, the Focus ST has all sorts of power on tap, so on the open road, not much shifting is required.
June 3, 2013
We added about 2,000 miles to our 2013 Ford Focus ST during May. A big chunk of those miles came from editor Travis Langness' trip to Yosemite National Park. For the month, we averaged 24.3 mpg. That's still a couple mpg below the EPA's 26 mpg estimate for combined driving.
May 30, 2013
On day two of my trip to Yosemite National Park, our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST had two simple tasks: get us to the trailhead and get us home. The trail would take us to Upper Yosemite Falls, the fifth tallest waterfall in the world. With all our extra baggage and food unloaded, the Ford's hatch had more than enough room for our hiking gear.
May 30, 2013
Our 2013 Ford Focus ST wasn't my first choice for a road trip to Yosemite National Park. It's got high-performance summer tires, and there was a possibility of both thunderstorms and snowy mountain roads. The Recaro sport seats have gotten mixed reviews from the staff, and they made me nervous, too. I also had two passengers and the stuff we'd need for four days of hiking so I knew it'd be a tight squeeze.
May 29, 2013
I had our 2013 Ford Focus ST on Mother's Day, and it was the car of choice for driving to brunch. I'm the shortest son at 5 feet 9 inches, but my brothers are both at least six feet tall and they'd be sitting in the back. Would the Focus be big enough for us?
May 28, 2013
I know we've have a couple of issues with the MyFord Touch during our 2013 Focus ST's tour of duty. However, when I've had the car the system was thankfully glitch-free. I had it multi-tasking to the max here with the phone paired, the iPod providing tunes and the navi doing its thing, and there were no hiccups. More to the point, I'd like to give props to Ford for its well-designed "Home" screen.
May 24, 2013
While driving our 2013 Ford Focus ST the other day, I spotted another Focus ST on the highway, but this one was Performance Blue. I like the Tangerine Scream yellow paint on our Focus ST, but I'm a big fan of the blue paint, too. If I were buying an ST, I'd have a pretty long internal debate about which color to choose.
May 21, 2013
We recently had a service message pop up in the instrument cluster of our 2013 Ford Focus ST. The odometer had ticked a few hundred miles past 10,000 and the car was politely reminding us that it was time for some love.
May 9, 2013
Every time I walk up to the 2013 Ford Focus ST, the first thing I notice is the bolstered Recaro sport seat. And I cringe.
Not because of the bolstering. I like that. What worries me for a brief instant is the heavily rearward-angled seat cushion. That angle looks like it would crush the cash and prizes, if you know what I mean.
May 8, 2013
This alert flashed upon startup of our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST. It stayed lit for about five seconds (complete with handy progress meter beneath the image), so it was easy to see (but hard to fish out the camera in time).
May 6, 2013
A weekend in our 2013 Ford Focus ST reminded me of being a kid again. For a portion of my childhood there was a yellow Ford Pinto in our driveway.
May 2, 2013
In the month of April, our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST spun an additional near-1,000 miles onto its odometer and consumed 44 gallons of 91-octane fuel. That equates to 22.4 miles per gallon for the month, which is a bit better than its lifetime average, too.
May 1, 2013
A few days in our 2013 Ford Focus ST reminded me how few yellow cars are on the road. Aside from taxi cabs and one Gallardo, I did not see another yellow vehicle until this van parked next to me. The color doesn't work for everyone, but I love it. And it is great for marketing. Just ask this guy. You can't miss it.
April 26, 2013
This seems to be going around these days. Maybe it's my imagination. But more cars passing through our garage offer increasingly smaller center console compartments. The Focus ST's tall, skinny compartment isn't exactly useless. You can still drop a phone or a wallet in there, sunglasses in a thin case, maybe. But you can't, as I like to do, dump the contents of my pockets in one central space. At minimum, a center console should accommodate wallet, phone, house keys and some sunglasses.
April 25, 2013
This sporty little hatchback with the turbo four-cylinder has quickly become a favorite of our editorial staff. Driving the 2013 Focus ST is never boring. And the car is practical, too. It has handled all sizes and shapes of cargo in its handy hatchback.
April 16, 2013
This is why. Because first you manage to jam two pieces of a Jeep Cherokee catalytic converter system into the Dodge Dart, packages you need to return to the manufacturer. But the cranky FedEx lady says you don't have the right shipping label and refuses your package, and you jam everything back into the Dart again.
April 15, 2013
"It's the little things." We hear that all the time, but it really is the value of special conveniences and thoughtful touches that can make a car seem like so much more than just a moving appliance. When so many cars are so very good, it can be those little things that can make you go, "Both seem otherwise equal, but I'll have one of those, please."
Indeed, it's the little things the Ford Focus does that make it stand out for me beyond simply being brilliant to drive. They also help blur some of the discontent surrounding MyFord Touch. The windows are one such example. They all go up and down with a single touch from the driver's seat. That's a luxury car feature in an economy car and I appreciate it.
April 12, 2013
Back in the days of our dearly departed long-term Ford Flex, several editors were not fans of the front head restraint positioning. Essentially, they tilted too far forward in their effort to presumably prevent whiplash. It wasn't a universal problem, as some seating positions put the restraint in a just-right place. I was thankfully in that camp.
April 10, 2013
Last night while perusing the DirecTV Guide, I came upon an episode of British motoring program Fifth Gear featuring a Tangerine Scream 2013 Ford Focus ST. Whatya know? That exact car just happened to be sitting a few floors below in my garage.
Beyond being incredibly jealous that the pointily sideburned presenter got to drive the Focus ST on a spectacular strip of Norwegian road, I took note of his principal beef with the car: the body style.
April 9, 2013
Our Ford Focus ST includes keyless ignition/entry (a.k.a. Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start), meaning you can unlock the doors and turn on the car while keeping the key in your pocket. Note the little black pad on the front door handle, which indicates where you press to lock the door. Also, note the lack of said pad on the rear door handle.
April 8, 2013
I have two questions:
1. Who had the brilliant idea at Ford to put the switch for the 2013 Ford Focus ST's interior light above the B-pillar, which is both above and behind the driver's head? Admittedly I'm no genius, but it took me forever to find the light and the switch. Ultimately, I don't care that the light is situated there, but it's a silly place for the switch because it's awkward to reach back and up to press it, whether you're stationary in a parking light or especially if you're driving.
April 4, 2013
You probably want to blame us, the Edmunds editors, for our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST's less-than-stellar fuel economy. Or maybe you think fault lies with the EPA's testing procedure. We've been averaging around 22 miles per gallon, which is below the EPA 23 mpg city rating, not to mention the 26 mpg combined rating.
Truth is, the blame lies solely with Ford. They're the ones who dropped such a fantastic turbo four-cylinder into the engine bay of the Focus ST. If a smile doesn't creep across your face every time you plow into the throttle, there's something wrong with you. Seriously, make an appointment to go see someone right now.
April 3, 2013
Edmunds recently began assigning letter grades to each and every vehicle it tests. Here's a link to the most recent batch of letter grades by vehicle segment. The 2013 Ford Focus ST, our very own long-term test vehicle, in fact, underwent the laborious process and emerged with an A. See the details here.
April 2, 2013
During the month of March we put 1,482 miles on our 2013 Ford Focus ST. We must've been having even more fun in this little turbo hatchback than usual, because we averaged just 20.4 mpg for the month on 91 octane premium.
April 1, 2013
Before I drove away, this message popped up on our 2013 Ford Focus ST's display, "911 Assist is OFF. Set to ON? Yes/No."
Many new cars feature some sort of built-in telematics or concierge service that varies by manufacturer in what is provided, but most use an embedded cell phone and there's usually a subscription fee.
March 29, 2013
Okay, this really is thrashing an expired equine, because there's a nearly identical photo and post right here from a month ago. However, I fear that with each passing glitch and shrug of our collective shoulders, that Ford is getting a pass on the persistent problems inherent with SYNC and MyFordTouch. I get the feeling we're all just saying, "Yeah, that's part of the package. They all do that," and to me, that ain't right.
March 22, 2013
We encountered another problem with the media interface on our 2013 Ford Focus ST. In the past, we've posted about issues with phone pairing and the fact that our Focus seems to think it has a rearview camera. Well, add these mystery radio buttons to our list of audio and technology woes.
March 19, 2013
The technology on our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST has more than its fair share of issues. From the annoyances with MyFord Touch and pairing our phones, to the car thinking it should have a rear-view camera the audio and navigation controls and software seem to be the weak point on this car.
I'm not a big fan of the system, and this week I found myself putting another item on the well-this-isn't-intuitive-at-all list: the placement of the steering wheel volume controls. What the heck are they doing on the right-hand side of the wheel?
March 18, 2013
I typically try to avoid parallel parking our long-term cars (or any cars that aren't mine really), but in West Los Angeles it's unavoidable. The streets are crowded and if you plan on having guests, taking an available street-spot is always a good idea.
Editor Brent Romans already noted that our Ford Focus ST doesn't have a back-up camera, but the tires offered me a bit of parking assistance this weekend.
March 15, 2013
Running errands in our long-term Ford Focus ST this weekend, I parked across from a bright-yellow Chevrolet Cobalt SS. I immediately felt a sense of camaraderie.
It's nice to see another cheerful color amongst beige sedans and non-offensive silver SUVs. Yellow is a paint color that you don't really see on mini-vans or SUVs (unless they've been converted to taxi-cabs). Car companies seem to give small, fast automobiles a yellow paint job to designate them as high-performance and to help them stand out in a crowd. The paint however, wasn't the only thing these cars had in common.
March 13, 2013
After spending a weekend with the Focus ST, let's just say I've developed a certain fondness for its quick reflexes and eager powertrain. There's never a dull moment with this thing. I drove to the drug store to buy a birthday card for my niece and the journey was like time spent on an amusement park ride.
March 12, 2013
All cupholders were not created equal. Some do their job of, you know, actually holding water bottles and other drinks in place. Others don't.
When you think of cupholders, you might be of the mind that they're most important for people-haulers like minivans, SUVs and vanilla sedans.
I disagree. I think the best cupholders should be in performance cars, such as our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST. It's cars like the Focus ST, which positively beg you to charge hard into corners, that truly need anti-tip cupholders.
As you can see from the photo, it doesn't have them.
March 11, 2013
I've flip-flopped on our 2013 Ford Focus ST over the last few days. When I first took the Focus ST home, I hated it. My introduction to it was in rush hour traffic and I knew that was a bad place to evaluate it, but I couldn't help it. The gear changes felt abrupt, the clutch felt too firm and the bolsters on the Recaro seats hurt my shoulders. In stop-and-go traffic, I was asking myself why I ever thought this car could be any good.
The next day it changed my mind completely.