I Wish This Didn't Bug Me - 2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST Long Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST: I Wish This Didn't Bug Me

February 14, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

Recently, I happened to notice the gap between the tweeter on the passenger side of our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST and the door trim below it.

Then, I glanced over at the driver-side tweeter. It fits tight to the door trim.

2013 Ford Focus ST

Here's another view of the passenger-side tweeter. Now that I've noticed the gap difference, my eyes lock onto it every time I get into the Focus ST.

2013 Ford Focus ST

Hours later, I was getting some stuff out of the cargo area, and I noticed the botched installation of the rubber seal around the hatch. Apparently, it has been this way since the beginning and I never noticed. It didn't occur to me to attempt a quick fix on the seal, but this looks like the makings of a warranty repair anyway. We'll put it on the list for our next service visit.

2013 Ford Focus ST

2013 Ford Focus ST

2013 Ford Focus ST

As for the tweeter, my guess is that its fit is within the tolerance that Ford specified for that component during the assembly process, and at least it doesn't rattle or anything. But that doesn't mean I like it. And because I'm one of those annoying people who fixate on small things, this is exactly the sort of flaw that might keep me from buying my own Focus ST.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 6,504 miles


  • huisj huisj Posts:

    That stupid subwoofer in the trunk is eating up way too much cargo space. I've never understood the practical hatchback with a space eating speaker trend.

  • sfhynes sfhynes Posts:

    You see these fit and finish issues with Ford's all the time, most Fords I sit in have examples of this....and they drive me crazy also. This is why I don't buy Ford!

  • ed124c ed124c Posts:

    I now have over 90,000 miles on my '05 Outback (a record for me), and I still notice the gap on my center stack. There is a seam that drops from zero on the left side to about 3/16s of an inch on the right side. Every once in a while I try to push the right side plastic up, but to no avail. Now I just consider this to be the compensation for having to own an otherwise very reliable car.

  • zcalvert zcalvert Posts:

    this kind of stuff annoys me also... but not half as much as an entertainment system that randomly freezes and shuts down would.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @sfhynes: I don't know how much time/effort/money different manufacturers put into their quality control, but I can tell that these kind of panel gaps aren't only relegated to Fords. If you carefully observe the interior of a car, you'll sometimes see tha

  • gloss gloss Posts:

    This is the sort of thing that's driving me toward a BRZ.

  • jederino jederino Posts:

    My new in '97 Maxima had a door pillar cover that was off about the same amount. Drove me crazy, until I decided I wouldn't let it. The rest of the car was superb.

  • The build quality won't be the deal-breaker on the ST for me. It's the MFT system. But at least there is very little hood gap. Some ST owners I have seen have a larger hood gap and that makes me wonder. Ford has to give me a reason why I should buy their ST over a GTI or the FR-S / BRZ. Volkswagen and Toyota/Subaru have their own issues, but craftsmanship isn't one of them.

  • lincolnman3 lincolnman3 Posts:

    I wholeheartedly concur. I had a '86 Escort GT that had so many problems I drove Japanese for the next twenty years. I was going to make the leap back and consider an ST based on your, and others, very positive reviews - but this would be a deal breaker for me - every time I'd look at a misaligned panel or poor trim fit area, I'd be wondering about all those areas of the car that I couldn't see - what's misaligned there...........

  • lukas_m lukas_m Posts:

    My ST doesn't have these issues. I'm wondering if Ford addressed them for cars produced later (mine was made near the end of 2012). However, I did notice too much hood gap on mine. Oddly enough, the problem is that the bump stops were turned way up. I turned them down and it looks much better now.

  • huyracing huyracing Posts:

    hah, you are a mess Erin. i too am OCD about this and i noticed a mighty gap in the mustang making it impossible for me to own one.

  • ryster ryster Posts:

    The whole tweeter trim is out of whack. But, things like this happen on mass produced products. My 2011 Hyundai Sonata has some issues as well (misaligned trim, stripped screws during assembly, loose trim, etc.) It doesn't necessarily affect reliability, but it doesn't give you 100% confidence in the product either.

  • wyattf wyattf Posts:

    Yeah, my ST has some small annoying fit/finish issues like that, not that anybody else has noticed or probably every will. But that's just the way it is on most new cars.. we "car people" are rarely satisfied with factory tolerances. It's probably easily fixable too, so maybe just have 'em adjust it the next time you're in for service? BTW, here's one to make it worse for you Erin... what about the weird interior window surround trim overlap thing which appears both random and/or just not actually given any consideration at all. Why terminate the trim 3/4 of the way towards the rear? Why not terminate it in the rear corner to minimize its obviousness? Why does that trim need to be two pieces? Why does it need to overlap at all? See what I mean?

  • pjm75 pjm75 Posts:

    I'm sorry to hear of your fit and finish issues. I took possession of my ST3 in October. The only issue I have is the center console lid needs to be closed with authority. My 99 VW Passat console lid needed to be treated with kid's gloves or it would break apart. Go figure. Anyway there is no such thing as a perfect car but you need a company and dealer that will work with you on issues. I did get a letter in January from Ford saying that they were going to extend the warranty to 5 years for an Accessory Protocol Interface module that is used with My Ford Touch. So far I'm happy with Ford.

  • Erin, the tweeter gap should be fixed by your dealer. Both sides of my ST's tweeter do not have that gap, so yours was not assembled correctly.

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