May 9, 2013
Every time I walk up to the 2013 Ford Focus ST, the first thing I notice is the bolstered Recaro sport seat. And I cringe.
Not because of the bolstering. I like that. What worries me for a brief instant is the heavily rearward-angled seat cushion. That angle looks like it would crush the cash and prizes, if you know what I mean.
April 12, 2013
Back in the days of our dearly departed long-term Ford Flex, several editors were not fans of the front head restraint positioning. Essentially, they tilted too far forward in their effort to presumably prevent whiplash. It wasn't a universal problem, as some seating positions put the restraint in a just-right place. I was thankfully in that camp.
April 3, 2013
Edmunds recently began assigning letter grades to each and every vehicle it tests. Here's a link to the most recent batch of letter grades by vehicle segment. The 2013 Ford Focus ST, our very own long-term test vehicle, in fact, underwent the laborious process and emerged with an A. See the details here.
March 5, 2013
I like the hug-me-tight Recaro seat in our Ford Focus ST. What I don't like is the fact that its adjustments are manual. Because I'm 5-feet, 3-inches tall, I have to pull the seat fairly far forward in order to get a comfortable clutch and steering position. Then comes the pumping up of the seat for the right height, the manual back angle adjustment, etc.
March 1, 2013
If you'd asked me a couple of weeks ago whether I'd get the Focus ST with the Recaro seats, my answer would have been an unequivocal "yes." Though I'm not necessarily a huge fan of their vaguely gaudy yellow-and-black color scheme, the seats are a satisfying fit for my frame. I haven't done any canyon carving in the ST, but when I'm pressed to make sudden stops and sharp turns on the commute to and from work, the seats work to make sure that I'm held firmly in place. And I like that.
February 22, 2013
These Recaro sport seats are part of the Focus ST's $4,840 202A equipment group which also includes a pile of other features (Sony audio with 10 speakers, 8.0-inch LCD touchscreen, nav, dual climate control and more). That's the only way to get them.
February 19, 2013
I adore the 2013 Ford Focus ST, I really do. I love the way it accelerates, corners and stops. I dig the sounds the EcoBoost turbo makes when it's working hard. What we have here is a hot hatch with a soul.
But I could never own one.
It's the Recaro seats. I loathe them.
February 13, 2013
On a recent Saturday, my husband and I drove the long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST to Escondido, California to see some friends. We cruised the interstate on the outbound trip and it wasn't shaping up to be much of an adventure for the Tangerine Scream hot hatch. There wouldn't be time for a run up Mount Palomar.
However, additional errands forced (yes, really, forced) me to detour onto some curvy back roads in northern San Diego County. And honestly, you can't help but have fun in the Focus ST.
January 24, 2013
Given the excellent handling capabilities of the 2013 Ford Focus ST, you might assume that there's a tradeoff in terms of ride quality. Well, compared to a regular Focus, I suppose there is. But given how well the ST goes around corners, I'm pretty impressed by the way it takes on bumps and rough pavement. There's a nice compliance in the suspension that complements the all-around usability of this car. It's rarely stiff or jarring.
In terms of ride quality, the 2013 Focus ST is a performance car that I wouldn't have any problems using for daily urban commuting or long-distance freeway trips.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 8,562 miles
January 17, 2013
If you're shopping for a performance hatchback and stuck with a major case of indecision, I can empathize. I'd have a hard time choosing, too.
November 08, 2012
Please excuse the shaky photo, but this is what my commute looked like this morning: Dreadful bummer-to-bummer traffic. While so much has rightful praise has been heaped on our new Focus ST for its accessible performance (I think it' the GTI that VW refuses to build), the fact that we often drive in in conditions like the one pictured doesn't make me like it any less. In fact, I like it a bunch even as a commuter car.
For one thing, these seats (and most highly bolstered sport seats) are supremely comfortable. They remind me of seats in just about any Porsche 911 for their ability to support my whole frame without any "hot spots" so I'm rarely squirming to find a comfy position.
The clutch feel and action is outstanding even in stop-and-go traffic. There' just enough feel to know where the engagement point is and plenty of torque from the engine if you still manage to get it wrong. There' so much torque, in fact, that as long as the car is rolling, it'll happily pull its way along in second gear.
The same can be said of both the brake and throttle pedals, too: sufficient feel, intuitive action, and predictable response. It' remarkable how often and how wrong many manufacturers get these simple (but immensely important) things.
I know, not the most enthralling post, but it' worth noting that this performance-oriented car is also a very good commuter car as well.
Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 3,102 miles
October 25, 2012
These Ford Focus ST seats are fantastic. Grippy, supportive in all the right places, good over extended distances and they adjust to a degree that makes all 6-foot-3 of me very comfortable. I even put it three slots forward from its rearmost travel -- a rarity for me. I could use a smidge more telescoping wheel travel, but that' being hyper picky.
Furthermore, they look incredibly cool. Even the back seats do (pic after the jump). And they're yellow. Go ahead and buy your grey car with the black interior, but I want color, damn it. Not necessarily an explosion of it, but accents like the ST has are perfect.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 2,525 miles