Seats Need Work - 2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST: Seats Need Work

September 20, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

Because we're not suckers, when we ordered our 2013 Ford Focus ST, we checked the box for the $2,505 Group 201A option pack and got our car equipped with slick Recaro seats. They're grippy, supportive enough for even extremely vigorous driving and Mark Takahashi doesn't fit in them. Win-win-win.

Unfortunately, they have a fatal flaw that makes me hate them.

2013 Ford Focus ST

The first shot you see here is the seatback adjuster in its normal state. As is, it's not very usable. It's an awkward shape at an awkward angle in a tight car and the seatback doesn't have enough spring-power.

The second shot you see is how the seatback adjuster looks when you're driving it. Yep, the seatbelt goes directly over the control lever.

Now, this might not be a primary complaint for a lot of people, but I adjust my seatback at least once an hour, sometimes more. I'm fidgety. I'm okay with it. It's a minor complaint, really, but it's something that would bug me every single day of ownership.

Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 18,586 miles


  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    It's always a surprise to me that some basic ergonomic issues get by into production. On the other hand a car is expected to fit people of vastly different sizes. This does not seem to fit that category.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    You are fidgety because you are not comfortable. That's because you have a stepped rake adjustment so beloved in America instead of the stepless variety you get with electric seats or a wheel. Major failing in many US market vehicles IMHO.

  • shepski shepski Posts:

    So, actually, you ARE suckers. I've heard lots of complaints about the ST's Recaros, yet none about the base seats.

  • camsen camsen Posts:

    And these awful seats are the reason I did not end up with an ST. Good for me!

  • vvk vvk Posts:

    That whole option package is to be avoided. The seats are very uncomfortable (at least for me) and bulky, severely reducing interior space that is not good to begin with. Adjustment on this seat are very difficult; impossible for older people. To adjust the seat I had to get out of the car, stand on my knees and reach deep under the seat to pull the adjustment level. Ridiculous product from a company that clearly does not sweat the details.

  • gloss gloss Posts:

    I have to say, I didn't really care for the seats in the Focus ST, but now that I'm daily-driving a Fiesta ST with Recaros, I really like them. I imagine that anyone too much larger than me would have issues with fitment, but for my body type they feel like a hug. I'm not sure how much of this is my rationalization reflex, so YMMV.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    The only reason I wanted an ST3 was for the xenon headlights and heated seats. But the downsides outweighed the upsides: the recaros were more uncomfortable, the touchscreen interface is completely unnecessary, sat radio isn't needed, leather is a minus, and the $5k upcharge is exorbitant. Finally I settled on a base model (no sunroof, lucky find) and got almost $2k below MSRP. So far I have no regrets.

  • socal_eric socal_eric Posts:

    I got used to it but found myself more annoyed with the inboard rotary knob on the first-gen SVT Focus Recaro seats than I do with the adjustment on the ST (although for small adjustments the infinitely variable rotary design might make some owners happier). When you're sitting in the ST's Recaro seats and the seatbelt is over your hips it doesn't really block the adjustment lever from what I've found but it definitely isn't the best shape in the easiest to reach location. On the list of ergonomic foibles on the Focus including the ST it's rather low on my list although it would be nice to see addressed along with things like the map/interior light location and others.

  • wdrauch wdrauch Posts:

    I read this post a few days back and didn't understand what the problem was. Then, I checked the driver's seat in my ST3 and realized that with the full leather Recaros one gets a power seatback recliner and track adjustment.

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