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Old 11-06-2012, 07:13 AM   #1
Focus Rookie
Join Date: Nov 2012
Fan#: 105722
Location: Charlotte, NC
What I Drive: 2011 Mazda MX-5 miata

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Best Blue Oval product? (under $30k)

So, I'm planning to purchase a Ford this spring.

Right now, I'm driving a Mazda Miata (recent generation), and my wife drives a Honda Element (our utility vehicle), but we're planning to start a family, and the miata is also just a little small for me (I'm 6'2" and 300#). I'm able to get A-plan pricing on a new ford, which would be a compelling reason to go with the brand.

Right now, I'm waffling mainly between three options:
  • 2013 Mustang (V6) convertible, with the Tech Package (sync, power driver seat, auto-dimming rear-view mirror) and a 6-speed manual. Don't want the coupe, if I don't get a convertible, I'd rather have the smaller size and more functionality of the Focus ST. (probably $26.5k after rebates/incentives)
  • 2013 Focus ST, ST2, (tangerine, perf-blue, or race-red), no moonroof, no nav. (probably $24.5k after rebates/incentives)
  • 2012 Focus SE Hatch, sport package, 203A (Cruise control, sync, 6-speaker stereo), with the 5-speed manual. The cheap option, but still an awesome car, would leave more $$ for other hobbies and savings. (probably $18k after rebates/incentives)

I've also considered looking for a leftover 2012 Fusion (great prices, but not crazy about driving an automatic) or a 2013 Taurus (you can get a ton of car for $22k), or even a Fiesta (so cheap, but might be a touch small, and I've heard that the stick isn't great). Don't really want an SUV.

So, my questions:
  1. How valuable is Sync (to those of you who have it)? Is it a gotta-have option, or would you be just as happy without it?
  2. For those driving a naturally aspirated Focus, do you often wish you had more power, or are you generally satisfied?
  3. Is NAV really worth $800 if I'm getting an ST? I've never had a car with built-in nav before, and I feel like just sticking with smartphones is easy.
  4. Anyone switch from a Mustang to a Focus ST (or vice-versa? experience with any of the cars on the list?)
  5. Can some folks who daily drive a recent Focus SE (with the 5-speed and sport packages) chime in on your views after driving the car for a few months?

I'm really just looking for some experiences from folks who DD some of my options. I asked the Mustang folks, and they all said "Get a Mustang GT coupe, it's awesome", and as much as I agree, it's way more power than I can use on a regular basis, and I'd rather stay convertible if I'm getting a mustang.

Appreciate the input!

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