Parallel Parking - Six Shots - 2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST Long Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST: Parallel Parking

March 18, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

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.

High-performance cars tend to have low-profile tires these days. Some look like rubber bands stretched over 20 inches of aluminum, and I think that's a mistake as everyday usability takes a backseat to aesthetics. Our Focus ST has 18-inch wheels, but they've got plenty of rubber to protect them. One specific perk of the extra sidewall width on our stock tires, is the protection they offer from curb damage.

While I was backing our Focus ST into this spot to parallel park, I was paying attention to the two most important things I could think of: not bumping into the cars around me and not getting side-swiped by a passing car. This laser focus coupled with good mirrors and a small turning radius proved successful in avoiding bumper-to-bumper contact, but I'd angled the car so severely that the right rear tire tapped the curb.

2013 Ford Focus ST

It's not a lot of overhang, but there's a small lip on the tire that extends further than the wheel. A skinnier tire would've left the wheel vulnerable to damage, even at my extremely low backing speed. It's a nice meeting of function and form on the Focus ST, as you get both a tire with a wide sidewall and an 18-inch wheel that properly fills the wheel well.

2013 Ford Focus ST

Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 8,200 miles


  • alex4515 alex4515 Posts:

    Curbing wheels sucks. I can't imagine how mad I would be if I curbed the wheels on my car, let alone something brand new and/or more expensive.

  • hank39 hank39 Posts:

    Are you sure the rim wasn't scraped up? Looks like there could be a chance where the rim might've still scraped the curb. Hope not though. Definitely like the rim protector design of tires today. It's all dependent on the tire manufacturer. I've purchased the same size tire before for the same rims, but one manufacturer will have it and another won't. I even purchased tires that specifically stated that it had a rim guard feature, but the rim sat flush with the width of the tire.

  • sharpend sharpend Posts:

    Argh, just stay away from the curb in the first place! You have 18 inches of leeway before you get a ticket in California.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Yeah - you don't have to be that close. The passenger-side mirror is of no use to you in avoiding contact with the car behind, so might as well put it to better use - tilt it down and keep an eye on the curb. The biggest danger you faced here was not bumper-to-bumper action, was bumper-to-trailer hitch action.

  • shepski shepski Posts:

    First time I've EVER read a review crediting the Focus ST as having a small turning radius - usually it's exactly the opposite (because the truth is it doesn't).

  • wdrauch wdrauch Posts:

    x2 Shepski. IMO, the turning radius on my ST is not in any way small. However, the steering ratio is very aggressive. Maybe, that helps balance out the large turning radius when parallel parking.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Must be a Ford thing. Our Taurus wagon has the turning radius of a damaged aircraft carrier.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Also I think cars look weird with all wheel and no tire. I'll take a nice meaty sidewall for the ride AND looks any day.

  • wyattf wyattf Posts:

    Had the same experience. Ford got the tires right on the ST in more than one way for sure.

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