2013 Ford Focus ST: Clutch Commuter
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