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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I research things like crazy before I buy. This research usually goes on for a long time. I've started researching my next car. Currently I own a F-350 diesel crew cab long bed and a 2009 Focus SES. My daily commute is 40 miles one way - part rural, rural interstate, and the loop around Baltimore. The Focus has been a good daily commuter. It's nothing exciting but it generally provides a nice comfortable ride and gets decent fuel mileage. I do enjoy My-Sync and combined with my Android phone, I don't really want for much technically speaking. It's not the best handling car, but good enough for my general commuting use. My biggest complaint with it is how it gets thrown around by the wind.

Anyway, because I rack up a lot of miles annually, I'm starting to investigate possibilities for a replacement. My initial intent was going to be to replace it with a new Focus. I've driven two long term rental 2012 foci for 3 or 4 months. I must say that I've loved the Focus (both were SEL's). While the SEL is not a sports/performance car, it is (based on my experience) a notch above other run of the mill cars (that I've driven) in it's category and above. My only complaint so far would be a couple of bugs with the DCT transmission. Both SEL's that I rented had the terrible hesitation from a standing start and the feeling of clutch slippage when taking off - until shifting into second.

My plan was to wait until Ford worked out the kinks of the DCT transmission and then retire the 2009 Focus for a new Titanium perhaps. I figure that those kinks might get worked out by the 2013 or 2014 model year.

However, I've just become fully cognizant of the Focus ST. I roughly knew that something like it was in the making, but hadn't been following it very closely. Now that I've looked into it, it's got my interest piqued. It may fit the bill as a comfortable daily driver and still be able to offer some excitement without a huge tradeoff in MPG's. Lots of things things to consider here...

Why I say "Almost there" is because of how the car is optioned out. Right now my Focus has cloth seats. What a big mistake. My black labs make a mess of it. Their hair get's deeply imbedded into the pours of the fabric. It's a pain to get out. Never again. The next car must have leather seats. There is were the rub begins. To get leather in the Focus ST, you have to get the ST3 package. I'm not a big fan of built in navigation systems and would prefer to skip it. I've also never been a fan of black interiors. I wish they would offer leather in lighter colors. All in all, I think the options are two narrow - pinning you into too many things you don't want just to get what you consider is a must have. Not that this is anything new. All makers seem to do this in my opinion - especially in the initial year that a new model is offered.

Last but not least - of the things preventing me from racing down and opening my wallet right now - is that fact that this is the first year for this model. Like the issues I mentioned above with the regular Focus - and the need to wait until they are ironed out - waiting until at least a year has passed for a new model is a consideration that's always in the forefront of my mind.

For the moment, the ST looks like an interesting/exciting possibility and I'll be watching to see what happens with this car....

p.s. This sight made me aware for the first time today of the possible introduction of the Fiesta ST into the U.S.. That's another curiosity to ponder...
 

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Your last sentence caught my eye. Yes there is a possibility. I own a 2011 Fiesta, and love the culture & characteristics the car cultivates. I will almost definitely buy a Focus ST, but when if its younger brother shows up in the US (which it may, no one knows...) I just might have to swap my ride.

The new 2012 Focus is a greatly refined car itself. No offense to Foci lovers, but the previous generation of the Focus was ugly. IMO. It wasn't until I got my Fiesta, that my loyalty was captivated by Ford's new designs on the Focus, Explorer, and Edge.

Well, we are glad you stopped by to take a look at the car. Good Luck on your search. Hopefully the Focus ST is your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The new 2012 Focus is a greatly refined car itself. No offense to Foci lovers, but the previous generation of the Focus was ugly. IMO.
I agree. I've always thought that my 2009 was butt ugly...
 

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Hey T2, welcome. I currently have a 2012 Titanium with the handling package and it's by FAR the best handling car I've ever owned/driven. I've had Mustangs and Camaros (not that those have been monsters on the tracks) and even those pale in comparison to the feel/handling of this car. I am trading it in for an ST3 simply because it lacks power. I agree with you about the "slipping" or hesitation with the trans when starting off in first. They had a recall not long ago that reprogrammed the PCM but it still is sub par for me. That coupled with the lack of power are the ONLY two things I don't like about my car.

As you'll read from various posts around this great site, many of us were disappointed with the customization of the ST and lack of ala carte options but I quickly got over that because it's a hell of a car. I too drive 40 miles one way to work (almost all highway) so that has prevented me from buying a manual since I drive home during rush hour every day. But I feel the ST is as close to my "dream car" (Z06 Vette) as I can realistically get so I will just have to get used to that slow moving traffic for a little while each day.

As far as the kinks being worked out I think you're pretty safe here because although it's a new model it's not the first one off the line. Meaning the style and basic platform has been the same from the 2012 models so I wouldn't worry about that as much. And you know the trans won't be a problem with slipping since it's only available in a 6 speed manual, another plus in my opinion. I'm getting 35.6 MPG in my Titanium now so getting a little less than that but adding almost 100hp and superior handling/styling isn't a bad thing in my book. I think for the money you're getting an incredible car here and from every review/video I've seen it almost stands alone.
 

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My transmission has that same problem. At low speeds it annoys the :xxx: out of me. 10-20 MPG it is so jerky. And I have 2011 model year. The first year for that tranny.

The Focus ST is a improved Focus. I already like the Focus, but the Focus ST makes it much more sweet.
 

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Very very annoying indeed with those speeds you mentioned. You practically have to floor it for smooth shifting and it's still jerky. Even in reverse it'll do it. Won't miss that at all and you're right, the ST is I think leaps and bounds above an already terrific car. That's why the price doesn't bother me and I hope it deters some to make mine more rare :)
 

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It's too bad you missed the performance event in Maryland a little while back.

Maybe you have tried this in your current Focus, but have you tried putting down a bed sheet on the seat for your dog? My friend did that and she had no issue with her dalmations hair.

And agree about the transmission in the 2012. The auto was garbage and felt like it would be a hazard. The manual was nice but it still lacked that really fun driving experience I wanted. Seats are way better in the new models vs. the previous generation as well.

I'd love to see the Fiesta ST. Not sure if I would buy it, being I'm a hair over 6 feet and I sometimes travel with a full load of passengers.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's too bad you missed the performance event in Maryland a little while back.

Maybe you have tried this in your current Focus, but have you tried putting down a bed sheet on the seat for your dog? My friend did that and she had no issue with her dalmations hair.

And agree about the transmission in the 2012. The auto was garbage and felt like it would be a hazard. The manual was nice but it still lacked that really fun driving experience I wanted. Seats are way better in the new models vs. the previous generation as well.

I'd love to see the Fiesta ST. Not sure if I would buy it, being I'm a hair over 6 feet and I sometimes travel with a full load of passengers.
No. Don't use a bed sheet. However, I have a seat cover for my back seat for the Labs. Doesn't matter, the hair still gets everywhere. I have to wear a rubber mitt on one hand, rub the seats with it, and vacuum with the other hand. It's a PIA. The seat cover is water proof though and does protect the seats from dirt and stains the kids (aka Labs) would otherwise leave.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Hey T2, welcome. I currently have a 2012 Titanium with the handling package and it's by FAR the best handling car I've ever owned/driven. I've had Mustangs and Camaros (not that those have been monsters on the tracks) and even those pale in comparison to the feel/handling of this car. I am trading it in for an ST3 simply because it lacks power. I agree with you about the "slipping" or hesitation with the trans when starting off in first. They had a recall not long ago that reprogrammed the PCM but it still is sub par for me. That coupled with the lack of power are the ONLY two things I don't like about my car.

As you'll read from various posts around this great site, many of us were disappointed with the customization of the ST and lack of ala carte options but I quickly got over that because it's a hell of a car. I too drive 40 miles one way to work (almost all highway) so that has prevented me from buying a manual since I drive home during rush hour every day. But I feel the ST is as close to my "dream car" (Z06 Vette) as I can realistically get so I will just have to get used to that slow moving traffic for a little while each day.

As far as the kinks being worked out I think you're pretty safe here because although it's a new model it's not the first one off the line. Meaning the style and basic platform has been the same from the 2012 models so I wouldn't worry about that as much. And you know the trans won't be a problem with slipping since it's only available in a 6 speed manual, another plus in my opinion. I'm getting 35.6 MPG in my Titanium now so getting a little less than that but adding almost 100hp and superior handling/styling isn't a bad thing in my book. I think for the money you're getting an incredible car here and from every review/video I've seen it almost stands alone.
Agree with your assessment on the Focus's handling. So far it's one of the best that I've driven in its segment. In terms of lacking power... Depends on where you are coming from. Compared to my 2009 Focus SES, it's much more potent. I've found it to be a decent performer and long distance cruiser during my long term rentals. No the SEL's that I had were not sports cars by any means, but I still enjoyed them. Again the only gripe that I had was the poor performance of the DCT transmission when taking off from the line in 1st gear.

I'm really intrigued by the Focus ST. However, now that I discovered the Fiesta ST, I'm also really intrigued by it. I saw the pics of the 5 door version at the LA auto show. Looked pretty good. I've seen reports that it's supposed to get 50 MPG (UK) which is about 42 MPG (US). So basically, it's comparable to a MINI Cooper S in weight and performance. However, the Fiesta ST gets significantly better economy/MPG numbers - if the information that I saw is accurate - and will most likely be several thousands dollars less. Since I commute 40 miles each way, this car has caught my attention. I bet the thing will be a hoot to drive and would be a fair compromise between economy (both in price and MPG) and performance.

It would be pretty difficult for me to ignore my old rule about waiting a year or two after a new model year comes out to buy. I have done it. However, the last time I did it I regretted it.

It appears that decision making when the time comes is going to be harder than I expected...
 

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<-- Have an Aussie with long white and black hair... *sigh*
Good question to raise; leather vs cloth....vs dog hair?

Back on topic sorry :)

Can't wait to drive one as well... I just hope they don't run out/back order too fast

Sent from my ADR6300 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Welcome to the Nation. If power is not that big of a deal for you (I didn't see any mention of power in your original post) have you looked at the Focus SE with the manual transmission? Or the Titanium with the manual transmission? You probably already have. I think you can get Leather in both those models and plus they have already been out for awhile so no first year issues with those. You can also get a sport package on the SE that, I think, bumps up the handling a little from the standard and the Titanium already comes with the handling package. And they have 160 HP with the regular engine, which is not bad. Plus at about 38mpg it all sounds like what you might be looking for. Good luck on your search and let us know what you decide. Also, if your interested in a really sporty Focus the RS may be here for 2014.
 

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Hard choices but the Fiesta ST and Focus RS are not guaranteed to be production. Hell, We haven't seen a Focus RS concept yet.

Chad
 
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