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    Thread: Driven: Ford Focus ST

    1. Member Dr. Woo's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 12:15 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by MCTB View Post
      Does it have a 6th gear? The ONE thing I wish my Focus had was a 6th gear. The 5 speed is a great shifting thing but I wish there was a 6th for highway duty.
      Yes, the ST uses a 6-speed.
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      10-01-2012 12:34 PM #27
      It does have a 6 speed, and 6th makes for reasonably relaxed crusing on the freeway. Shift action is heavier and more precise than the GTI, by far.

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      10-01-2012 02:30 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by matty_peppers View Post
      I got to drive this car spiritedly at an ST Academy HPDE, and thought it was softer than my MS3, and not quite as direct. The car does rotate fantastically, however, and oversteer is induced fairly easily and brings a smile to the face for sure. I thought the brakes were just 'meh' on the auto-x, but they are surely potent enough for anything street driving can throw at 'em.

      Glad to see you had fun, I liked the car a lot and would certainly take a good hard look at it for a more docile DD. However, after driving a FWD hot hatch equipped with an LSD, I can't say I'd like dealing with an e-diff. At the end of the day, when comparing to my ms3, I find myself jealous of the Recaro seats, and not too much else.
      Have 1st gen MS3 myself and love the fact that it is relatively 'raw' and has real LSD. Need to go drive one soon, but how was the engine braking? Low gearing in MS3 really helps in bumper-bumper commute. When I had the SVT Focus, that's one thing I hated about it, lack of engine braking, felt like a slushbox. I like the thought of recaros, moonroof, and extra gauges on the ST.

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      10-01-2012 02:36 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by mrdouble View Post
      how was the engine braking? Low gearing in MS3 really helps in bumper-bumper commute.
      I didn't notice any issues with it when I was driving in slow traffic; seems fine. It was more the heavier clutch that released very near the floor (compared to my GTI, that is. Got back in the GTI and mashed the clutch pedal to the floor!).

    5. Senior Member FlashRedGLS1.8T's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 03:19 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      Now, to the deal-breaker: Rear seat room. The Recaros are BIG, and kill knee/leg room in the rear. I'm 5'11" with a 30" inseam (read: mostly torso) so I didn't have the seat all the way back--far from it. And my knees were jammed into the front seatback. The sales guy was bigger than me, and had the passenger seat farther back/more reclined; there was literally about 4" of room between the front seatback and the front of the rear seat bottom cushion. The GTI totally blows it away in this regard.
      I very seriously contemplated getting a Focus hatch last year but the back seat was nearly useless for me and my 2 kids. I'm 6'2" with a 34 inseam and neither of my kids sit behind me.


    6. Member DISI 2.3T's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 03:24 PM #31
      When I did this with the Mazdaspeed3 and my MK3 GTI, I ended up buying one less than a month later.

      Beware.
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      10-01-2012 05:20 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by DISI 2.3T View Post
      When I did this with the Mazdaspeed3 and my MK3 GTI, I ended up buying one less than a month later.

      Beware.
      That's the problem with these impromptu test drives. I'm afraid I'll drive the ST and walk out with a Mustang GT.

    8. Member Slipstream's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 05:35 PM #33
      Quote Originally Posted by FlashRedGLS1.8T View Post
      I very seriously contemplated getting a Focus hatch last year but the back seat was nearly useless for me and my 2 kids. I'm 6'2" with a 34 inseam and neither of my kids sit behind me.

      I sat in the back of one at the last auto show and was really disappointed by the leg room (I'm average height). I'm more disappointed that it wasn't just my imagination.
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    9. 10-01-2012 05:40 PM #34
      I am really disappointed to hear about the back seat room in the Focus. That said, I don't really use my back seat, but the room back there is a huge plus for the GTI since it makes the car very usable.

      I also agree that the shifter in the GTI sucks. The SHO has a very mechanical feeling linkage, one I wish the GTI emulated (if not the stiff shift action and general balky demenor of the SHO's box).

      I also wish the GTI were maybe 15 - 20% more playful. As it is, its a little too buttoned down for my tastes, which I suppose is why it is so easy to live with day to day.

      GReat review. I will have to go check one out.
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    10. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      10-01-2012 07:02 PM #35
      I'm known to be a sucker for white cars, and DAMN does that pic make me want to go out and look at them. Found my MKVI too tame so this could be a fun ride...
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      10-01-2012 08:16 PM #36
      Quote Originally Posted by GolfVIDriver View Post
      I am really disappointed to hear about the back seat room in the Focus. That said, I don't really use my back seat, but the room back there is a huge plus for the GTI since it makes the car very usable.

      I also agree that the shifter in the GTI sucks. The SHO has a very mechanical feeling linkage, one I wish the GTI emulated (if not the stiff shift action and general balky demenor of the SHO's box).

      I also wish the GTI were maybe 15 - 20% more playful. As it is, its a little too buttoned down for my tastes, which I suppose is why it is so easy to live with day to day.

      GReat review. I will have to go check one out.
      Thanks Matt.

      Yeah, I wish the Focus had a bit less space allocated to the cargo hold and the rear seat was 2-3" further back. Of course given the roofline that'd mean anyone over about 5'8" would have their neck bent over to sit back there...the GTI's shape is definitely the box it came in, but it pays handsome rewards in the rear cabin and cargo area.

      The GTI is a very nice small GT car, and in that role it definitely makes both daily driving and longer distance stuff easy. Given that's what I do with the car 95% of the time, I can't complain. I do wish it had the steering and shifter feel of the Focus, though.

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      10-01-2012 08:37 PM #37
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      the GTI's shape is definitely the box it came in, but it pays handsome rewards in the rear cabin and cargo area.
      I've heard complaints about the trunk of the Mk5 being too small for a hatch (with the seats up)? Has it changed in the Mk6?

    13. Member 2 doors's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 01:17 AM #38
      My friend has a new ST. I saw it in his garage a couple of weeks ago. True story. I liked the Recaro's. I'm 6'3", 190 so they fit me well. My friend is only about 5'6", so I don't think back seat space will be an issue for him.

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      10-02-2012 03:50 PM #39
      Quote Originally Posted by C4 A6 View Post
      I've heard complaints about the trunk of the Mk5 being too small for a hatch (with the seats up)? Has it changed in the Mk6?
      Ours has a lot of room...

      And the mk6 should be pretty much the same since it's the same chassis.

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      10-02-2012 04:39 PM #40
      Quote Originally Posted by GolfVIDriver View Post
      I also agree that the shifter in the GTI sucks.
      I recently did the $50 Audi RS3 OEM shifter upgrade to my TDi and while it did shorten the fore-aft shifter motion it didn't do anything for the shifter feel. My next step is to purchase one of the dieselgeek weighted shifter and give that one a try.

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      10-02-2012 04:45 PM #41
      Great review. Sounds like it's kept some of the driving characteristics of the first gen Focus. I'm not in the position to buy a new car right now but once these come down a bit on the used market I may seriously have to look at one. Also I don't care about back seat room, I have a strange pet peeve of people in the back of my car . All the more reason to not take them.
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      10-02-2012 05:24 PM #42
      It'd make for a fine 3 door; I wouldn't expect a ton of rear seat room in that case, and would buy the car accordingly.

      But 4 door cars in this class, IMO, need to be utility players. A nice dose of sport, reasonable economy, and if they are 4 doors they should be able to seat 4 adults without too much discomfort.

      I would be uncomfortable sitting behind myself in the Recaro-equipped ST for more than a short drive. Which is unacceptable to me, unfortunately. And also a darned shame, as if the GTI were totalled today and the ST had acceptable rear seat room I'd give it serious consideration. It's about $2-3k cheaper when fully optioned than an Autobahn package GTI, which makes it very good value for a car that drives better overall.

    18. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 05:31 PM #43
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      It'd make for a fine 3 door; I wouldn't expect a ton of rear seat room in that case, and would buy the car accordingly.

      But 4 door cars in this class, IMO, need to be utility players. A nice dose of sport, reasonable economy, and if they are 4 doors they should be able to seat 4 adults without too much discomfort.
      The compact class in the past was usually more about 2 adults + 2 kids, but regardless, I can 'sit behind myself' in a Focus without issue. It's very dependent on expectations and seat position preferences, though. It's got more rear seat room than the old Corolla that served as my family car when kid #1 was a baby.

      Not that I'm discounting your experience, but it's highly variable. Like I said, ten years ago all compact cars had about this much space, and it's only recently that cars like the Golf, Elantra, and Jetta have really pushed having 35"+ of rear legroom. The '02-'07 WRX had even less legroom than this, around 31" IIRC. It's smaller than a Golf but still works for me and a lot of other people. I guess I see it more optimistically.
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    19. Member MAGICGTI's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 05:49 PM #44
      If I had to consolidate my two cars I'm going for an Oxford White Focus ST, loaded with 203A and moonroof.

      Will drive one tomorrow.
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      10-02-2012 06:02 PM #45
      That's true. It wasn't possible to do what I describe in a Mk4 Jetta comfortably (a car noted for its lack of rear seat room).

      But again, I'm not tall. I usually sit fairly upright and I had another 3" of rearward travel in the driver's seat, easily. And yet my knees were firmly pressed into the front seatback.

      That, to me, isn't acceptable. It requires a compromise of neither the driver nor the rear passenger likely being comfortable for anything more than a cross-town jaunt. If I'm spending nearly $30k, I want more than that.

    21. Banner Advertiser brad@fifteen52's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 06:07 PM #46
      Quote Originally Posted by Numbersix View Post
      I want more than that.
      You mean, like better handling, more power, and maybe an overall more rewarding driving experience on challenging roads?

      I'm also not trying to discount your personal perspective, but as have others I also want to point out that perhaps the weight you place on rear seat room vs. excellent performance attributes would be more relevant in a Golf vs. Focus comparo, rather than a GTI vs. ST one?

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      10-02-2012 06:32 PM #47
      Maybe, Brad. I think my message here is, "I could very easily see this being my next car--if not for this one thing." And I'm quite up front with the fact that if this isn't an issue for you, it's a better driving car than the GTI.

      The GTI is also at the end of its run, too, so it'll be interesting to see how the Mk7 w/Performance Pack compares to the Focus. My expectation is that it'll still be more refined and not have handling that is quite as playful--but VW has surprised us before (with the Mk5 GTI); perhaps they benchmarked the Focus ST in their final suspension calibrations.

    23. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      10-02-2012 06:48 PM #48
      Quote Originally Posted by brad@fifteen52 View Post
      You mean, like better handling, more power, and maybe an overall more rewarding driving experience on challenging roads?

      I'm also not trying to discount your personal perspective, but as have others I also want to point out that perhaps the weight you place on rear seat room vs. excellent performance attributes would be more relevant in a Golf vs. Focus comparo, rather than a GTI vs. ST one?
      Good point. Performance comes inevitably with drawbacks. To get great seats that allow you to be comfortable and secure, youre going to lose interior space. The stock 'sport' seats I have in my Focus are very comfortable and supportive. Theyre just barely below the Recaros that I had in my MKV GLI in comfort. Honestly, after shopping this segment and buying the Focus over the MKVI, the driving dynamics are better in the Ford and the interior space (with the 'sport' seats) is on par with the MKVI. The interior trunk space is better in the Focus but it suffers from a sloping rear glass which takes some space away from overall interior volume compared to the MKVI. Ive had people ranging from 5'6" to 6'0" in the back seat and they havent complained about the lack of room (and Im 6'3").
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    24. 10-03-2012 12:32 AM #49
      InsideLines track test numbers don't seem to be that fast. 15s for 1/4 is a bit slow. That is slower than a heavier BMW 328 with similar HP.
      http://www.insideline.com/ford/focus...rack-test.html
      Acceleration
      0-30 (sec): 2.8 (2.9 w/ TC on)
      0-45 (sec): 4.5 (4.8 w/ TC on)
      0-60 (sec): 6.6 (7.2 w/ TC on)
      0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.3 (6.8 w/ TC on)
      0-75 (sec): 9.9 (10.0 w/ TC on)
      1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.0 @ 93.3 (15.1 @92.5 w/ TC on)

      Braking
      30-0 (ft): 28
      60-0 (ft): 112

      Handling
      Slalom (mph): 69.1 (67.7 w/TC off)
      Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.93 (0.91 w/TC on)
      Db @ Idle: 45.6
      Db @ Full Throttle: 78.4
      Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 64.7
      RPM @ 70: 2,650

    25. Member MCTB's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 11:06 AM #50
      Quote Originally Posted by livingVoice View Post
      InsideLines track test numbers don't seem to be that fast. 15s for 1/4 is a bit slow. That is slower than a heavier BMW 328 with similar HP.
      How often do you do a 1/4 mile? The 0-30 and 0-60 times are what matters and they are definitely acceptable.
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