Its been a couple of months since the 2014 Focus ST arrived in the RFD garage. So we figured it was time for an update. What have we been up to? Well as you can see above, we let it off the leash and went autocrossing. We also drove logged over 6500 miles of daily driving fun. So how is it fairing?
Pretty good. The only issue so far is a drivers side rear seat belt that played turtle and would not come back out. This was an easy fix but Ford needed to order the part. At least they gave us a loaner Focus for the day.
Driving a base model Focus really makes you appreciate how amazing the ST is. While the bones are the same, other Focii are really different than their crazy roid’d up brother. The base SE also has a 2.0L engine but damn near one hundred less horsepower! That’s a big deal. Thanks turbo.
Compared to the base car, the materials in the FoST are noticeably different. The base car is all plastic and cloth, and after driving thousands of miles in an ST, you start to find yourself yearning for the leather and nicer surfaces. As with most Fords, you get the Sync Infotainment system. Now it’s had its ups and downs over the years in various iterations, but overall this generation is easy to live with and does a lot for you.
My iPhone connects well to the Bluetooth and the mic placement means folks on the other end can hear me pretty clearly. I also have a USB connected iPod that I leave in the car and I find it pretty simple to switch between various sources including the Sirius XM, which is still running on its three months free subscription. My only criticism is that, at times, you find yourself staring at the touchscreen vs. the road. Similarly, I decided it was in my best interest to find a place to mount my phone so I could Tweet about driving the ST without looking straight down at the phone in my hand.
Driving the ST is a shitload of fun, the clutch is light so even stop and go traffic isn’t too bad. Actually, it’s DC, it sucks. But I rarely find myself wanting paddle shifters. Which means sometimes I do. Don’t you judge me. The car zips through traffic easily, with a quick steering rack. Although my biggest criticism of the ST’s steering is its truck-like turning radius. I make the same u-turn to park every day and have made it for years in various vehicles. I swear the Suburban I had turned in about the same spot this Focus does. My other car is a cousin to the ST, its a Fusion SE. And even though its bigger, it turns in a shorter space than the Focus. Not a huge deal, but you buy a small car hoping it can do small car things.
Economy? It’s got some of that. But as you can up above, it seems to think it only gets 23.3 MPG. I suppose, its possible, that because of some right foot down driving, that could be accurate. I’m sure I could take a bit more care and get closer to its 27.5 average city/highway rating (23/32). The low’ish MPG, combined with a fuel tank the size of, well something about 12.4 gallons, means frequent trips to the gas station. It’s OK, I have Safeway points I can use.
Oh right, we said we took it autocrossing. You want to know how it handles, if it has lift-off oversteer, stuff like that? You’ll have to wait for part 2 of our Focus ST vs. E46 M3 video. Sorry. It’ll be worth the wait though, I promise. Tune in next time to find out if it will baby!
Take a look at our Focus ST on Wheel Well.