Crappy Cupholders - Six Shots - 2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST Long Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST: Crappy Cupholders

March 12, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

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.

2013 Ford Focus ST

With a slippery surface and no anti-tip knobs of any kind, the bottles just roll around the center console at will. I even had one end up in my lap after a particularly spirited right turn. Not good.

So I stopped at a fast-food place and ordered a large Diet Coke (even though I didn't need one) to see if the cupholders worked better with a larger beverage. They did. Still not perfectly secure, but it appears it's this size drink that the holders were designed for.

So, apparently Ford has decided most Americans drink oversized sodas from fast-food restaurants. How sad, on so many levels.

I've taken to using the door pocket's attempt at a bottle holder. It moves around a bit in there, too. But at least the drink won't end up in my lap.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 8,019 miles


  • johnyoo johnyoo Posts:

    Mike, it looks like you're missing the cupholder inserts. My Focus ST was missing them at delivery and the dealer had to get them from another Focus on the lot. From message boards, it seems that other people found them in the spare tire well or deep in the glove holder. Makes a big difference!

  • wdrauch wdrauch Posts:

    Looking at the pic, I can see that the alignment of your cupholders is different than on my ST3. Mine are arranged side-by-side, turned 90 degrees from yours .... I didn't realize the center consoles were different between ST2 and ST3. At any rate, mine was deliveried with the rubber-like flaps that help secure cups already installed.

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    This is simply bad design. While the MyFordTouch designers may have never driven an actual car, it seems the cupholder designers have never seen an actual cup. Maybe they sent someone out to measure the diameter of the biggest cup you could get at the drive through and made the cupholder fit it. Fine. But if that cup is the "right size" for the Focus, it doesn't look like you could fit one in each cupholder at the same time.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    johnyoo is right. Galpin Ford screwed up - these are supposed to be installed as part of pre-delivery dealer prep. Edmunds is kind of culpable here, too...I mean, most cars have some sort of insert here that can be removed for easy cleaning, and they should have looked for them.

  • wdrauch wdrauch Posts:

    legacygt, I agree it's not great design for cupholders. However, it's not a unique to Ford issue. My A3 had similarly bad design, where the two cupholders overlapped, meaning you could not fit cups in both at the same time ...... considering that much of the Focus design was done in Cologne, maybe it's a German thing!

  • huisj huisj Posts:

    Something I've always appreciated about my Fit is the bottle holder cutouts molded into the door. Not that the Fit compares much to the Focus ST in terms of driving dynamics and overall awesomeness (though it's a great little car for what it is), but it seems that a lot of companies could learn a thing or two about packaging from the Fit.

  • ed124c ed124c Posts:

    OK, let's see if Mike even reads these comments. Come on, Mike, tell us you found the inserts in a plastic bag sitting on the spare tire-- or some other strange place.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Ed, nobody ever got back to us to say, "you readers are right - it doesn't have option package A like we said, it has option package B," or "you readers are right, we were wrong - Ford does offer a power driver's seat on this car," so I don't envision them getting back to us on this either.

  • flybigrc flybigrc Posts:

    The cup holders in my Focus ST3 are completely different then the ones shown here. They are side by side and have rubber holders that solve the plastic cup issue completely. They will hold a 32 oz Big Gulp cup also.

  • azrcd azrcd Posts:

    I'm pretty sure you guys are missing the insert for the cupholder. While still sub-standard, it does help a lot. Looks like this and I know people were missing them from early built cars:

  • guruguy guruguy Posts:

    It appears your ST2 is missing the rubber cup holder insert that should be in there from the factory. This is a problem among many ST2 and ST1's (and was with mine as well). So many Focus ST's have shipped without this that there is a long thread about it here: The insert is what keeps water and can soda's from doing exactly what you are complaining about here. You many want to check the very back of the glove compartment for it as that is where most people found theirs. My dealer was finally able to find the part for me and order it.

  • wyattf wyattf Posts:

    Good news is that the ST3's cup holders have stiff rubber flaps to properly secure water bottles and the like. The bad news is that the flaps are so stiff that they'd likely do some damage to the typical styrofoam, or even plastic fast food beverage cup. But, really, if you're going for a properly aggressive drive, or even just a spirited trip to the corner store, you should probably skip having food and beverages mounted midship. Oh, and don't forget to buckle down the kids' seats in the back too... ask me how I know. ;)

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