It's Got Your Back on Hills - 2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test
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2013 Ford Focus ST Long Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST: It's Got Your Back on Hills

November 13, 2012

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This photo is by the Great Kurt Niebuhr.

Yesterday I took a fun drive in our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST and took photos to help me remember it years from now when I'm too old and uncoordinated to drive. Unfortunately, my camera (and its SD card) and I are now 30 miles apart, so I'll have to tell you about it tomorrow.

Instead, I'll mention the hill holder clutch in our long-term Focus ST. This feature is quite common in the remaining manual-shift cars in the United States, and I knew our Focus would have it, because, well, the VW GTI has one. So I did a full, legal stop at a four-way stop on a moderately steep incline in the neighhborhood of my parents-in-law, declutched it, put the clutch pedal back in, and the car remained secure until I was underway in 1st gear. (Obviously, the above photo is not a depiction of that particular four-way stop.)

While a hill holder isn't essential, I think it' a nice feature to include in a car that' going to attract customers who may not be that experienced with a manual gearbox. Friendly conveniences like this can help make those first few months more pleasant... and ensure that said customers keep buying manual-shift cars, so that the automakers will keep building them!

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 3,481 miles


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