2013 Ford Focus ST: Parallel Parking
March 18, 2013
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.
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.
Travis Langness, Associate Editor @ 8,200 miles