2013 Ford Focus ST: Vegas Road Trip, Part 2
August 9, 2013
In Part 1 of my road trip to Nevada, I drove our 2013 Ford Focus ST to Henderson, Nevada, to tour the Zappos.com offices. Then, I headed to Las Vegas for a few days of betting. After I got my fill of bright lights, buffets, slot machines, sweltering heat and all-nighters at the poker table, I tossed my bags in the back of our Ford and pointed it south.
Leaving Las Vegas on a Saturday morning is a lonely enterprise, but experience has taught me that it will save you from the nightmare that is Sunday traffic.
A thunderstorm had hit the desert the night before, but you wouldn't know it from the ST's exterior. One of the great things about the Tangerine Scream Yellow paint on our Focus is how easy it is to keep clean. It's also highly visible on the freeway, so I made sure to set the cruise control and keep my foot off the throttle. The Focus ST is fun to drive quickly, but this definitely isn't the right place.
About an hour outside of Las Vegas and across the California State line, I stopped in Baker. A gyro at the Mad Greek Cafe and a final gas stop prepped me for the three hours ahead.
I stretched my back and actually dreaded getting back in to the ST. Even with a short time in Vegas, I had walked quite a bit and I had done it in the wrong shoes. My back wasn't thanking me and the Recaro seats in the Focus ST were not what I needed for the next 200 miles.
There wasn't much of note along the largely uninhabited desert miles, but I did spot a few nice trailer-queens. First was the Focus ST's great, great grandfather: a Ford Model A.
Next I spotted an AMC AMX, a rare muscle car, even in car-culture-friendly areas like California.
Back home, I parked the Focus ST next to my roommate's first-generation Ford Focus. Our Focus ST is sleeker, more angular and more stylish (as well as significantly faster), but Ford has stuck with much the same formula on the new car: simple, fuel-efficient and relatively good on cargo space.
This was my second road trip in the Focus ST in just three months, and I'm convinced that swapping in the seats from our long-term Subaru BRZ would make this a perfect sub-30K hot hatch. Apart from the seat issue, I can see myself recommending this car to a lot of friends on a budget.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 16,026 miles