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This is an X-Plan question. I read various X-Plan threads and FordPartner FAQs but I did not see my question answered anywhere:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of custom-ordering a Focus ST at a dealership under X-Plan, versus ordering it online?

My local Ford dealer accepts X-Plan on an ST, and I qualify for X-Plan as a SVTOA member. I test drove two ST2s this week (the second with my wife) and I fell deeply in lust. I had an ear-to-ear grin the whole time. I can't stop dreaming about this car! Amazingly, my wife doesn't seem too jealous. She had her backside comfortably planted in a Mustang convertible while I talked with the salesman.

We didn't like the ST2 moonroof, but we were pleasantly surprised with the rear legroom -- owing to the Recaro seats being dished out on back. Entering / exiting the rear is a bit tight but it's OK for a vehicle that seldom carries rear passengers. Hatchback storage is definitely compromised by a full sized spare. The 10 speaker Sony audio is impressive for factory installed, though the subwoofer isn't on par with a decent 10-12 inch aftermarket sub. Rear window visibility is about average for a modern hatchback. (I'll quit now before turning this thread into a full car review.)

Apologies if my question has already been addressed, but as a first time Ford customer I'm struggling to understand the details of X-Plan ordering.
 

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Based on my experience it is no big deal, first time Ford order too. 1. Find a dealer that will do x-plan for the ST. 2. Sit down with the dealer and pick pick out your car. 3. Get a written quote with deposit/trade whatever. 4. Leave with your quote, dealer and order number. Sit back, and wait a month, write silly posts on ST Nation, pick up car, tell us all about it.

I know you can build a car online with the x-plan pricing but you can't order it online.
 

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X-plan is really just a sort of no-haggle price. (OK, with the ST, you might have some haggling to get the dealership to agree to the sale, but there's no question what the price is going to be.) There's no difference in the car, or options available.

I also don't think you can quite order a car online. The ford.com site lets you build and price a car just the way you like it, and if you click the "get an Internet price" button, they'll have a dealer contact you. But I don't think you can actually enter an order into Ford's production system without talking to a dealer. The website is just a way to avoid having to run around and talk to dealers individually. (You might, for instance, use Ford's dealer locator, and email each one with your specs. There's usually an Internet sales guy these days; if not, ask for the fleet manager.)

Ordering a car means you'll get exactly what you want -- no moonroof if you don't want a moonroof, etc. Dealers usually prefer you take cars from their inventory, because they've borrowed money to buy them and it also counts against their allocation (for cars scarce enough for that to matter.) Dealers can sell cars out of inventory under X-plan terms, as well as order them. Ordering a car will probably take eight weeks or more. Taking one from inventory means you can drive it away immediately.

The Focus ST is so new that there just aren't a lot of them available, and almost all are the ST2 version with moonroof. I guess that was Ford's guess as to the best configuration to start with. Most dealers have one or two, if they have one at all, so if you want anything but that one car, you have to order it. You also hear a lot about orders on this site because quite a lot of posters pre-ordered the car, before there were any in dealer inventory at all.
 
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