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Smeeagain 05-26-2013 03:42 PM

Seriously thinking about the ST
I currently have a 2012 Mustang GT that I love driving, but the lack of cargo space is driving me nuts. I'm seriously considering trading in the Stang for the ST. The trade should be almost a push, maybe a few grand more. The only thing holding me back is that I have to learn to drive a stick. Once I learn that I'll do the test drive and make a formal decision.

I've had an '05 Elantra hatch before and got rid of it because of the headroom, otherwise I love these little hatches. The car is mostly a grocery getter/ weekend warrior as I don't drive to work (7,800 miles in 15 months on the Mustang).

Any opinions or other comments are more than welcome.

Elizabeth 05-26-2013 07:57 PM

Well, How old are you? curious because driving a stick is not something many older people would be willing to do..

I drive a stick for 48 years now.. So for me it is I WANT to drive a stick. I hate driving an auto.
For some folks it is a P.I.T.A. having to bother rowing the shift lever ALL THE TIME. A stick is not like a part time thing. You want to drive you HAVE to shift.
Snacks problem, coffee, problem.. In city traffic you have very little time with a free right hand. No smoking..etc. Break one arm no driving. Break a leg same thing. In an auto you might get around one broken limb.. NOT in a stick!
So think about it hard.

What I would do to practice is shift the Mustang by hand every gear. Think about it when you drive now. You have to balance being able to start moving forward with rolling back at EVERY hill you are stopped at. You need to use the parking brake when parked! Most of your friends will NOT be able to drive your car for you if any emegency comes up. (the plus side is they will not ask to borrow your car!)
Crooks will not steal, nor hijack your car either, as they don't know how to drive a stick! LOL (actual stories of hijackers trying to hijack a manual and getting caught, because they could not drive it away.)

Are you willing to have to shift ten times in three blocks? Over a hundred every time you drive the car? (in heavy rush hour traffic? and do that endlessly? Thnk about on the freeway at rush hour crawling along. (this is the worst IMO.. more for killing the clutch than actual shifing endlessly) ((I deal with it by leaving several car lengths in front of me so it is a cushion. Some other drivers my leaving space makes them crazy i do it but screw that.))

Anyway I would hate to see you buy the car and after six months realize you hate manual shifting as a way of life to drive.

But if you learn to love it.. then welcome to the club. [driving]

egbertnr 05-26-2013 08:13 PM

I love my ST and actually wanted a mustang to replace my one I git rid of 2 years ago. ..but I needed something more practical. Good to haul things and can get family in as well. I actually deove form Ohio to north Carolina a fews ago to pick up a hiod for a 2006 focus. Just fit and didnt need to drive my truck all those miles. 28 mpg thru the mountains goi g 70-75 with a tune on the car.

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Smeeagain 05-26-2013 08:45 PM

I'm 47, but a late bloomer as I didn't get my license till I was 37. That's what happens when you live in NYC.

As I stated the car is not used as a commuter, I either walk to work or take public transportation. In fact driving to work would take longer than either of the other options.
I no longer smoke, and really only take a bottle of water with me on long trips. Even though I live in NYC, my city driving is very limited, it's 95% highway driving.

I have given it a lot of thought and traffic is one of the reasons why I didn't get a manual mustang, but now that I've been thinking about it and paying attention, most of my driving is off hours and just me taking the car for a spin on the local highways to get on it a little bit. If the car was for commuting purposes I would most likely go with the Titanium, which I may end up doing depending on my learning curve and how I feel about driving the stick.

FocusOnMeNow 05-26-2013 08:53 PM

A manual is the most fun you can have, while driving. I drove a boring ass auto for years. A manual forces you to pay attention. Like he said ^^. No time for SHIT, but I enjoy it. Wouldn't have it any other way. Do it. Your driving habits will change completely. You end up driving slower, and more alert to what's going on around you.

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Pennut 05-27-2013 07:18 AM

And once you learn to drive stick and get used to your particular car, you learn to shift without hardly thinking about it. That is, it becomes instinctive to the point where you know when it's time to upshift/downshift just by listening to the revs and by feel. It's not like you drive a stick and you have to stare at the tachometer to know when it's the right time you should be changing gears (hence IMO the upshift arrow light on some cars are dumb). I learned to drive stick shift while I was in the Army. I didn't know how to drive stick shift, didn't even have my license a year yet and they put me in a Deuce and a half and teach me to drive stick, lol.

egbertnr 05-27-2013 08:02 AM

I learned to drive in a manual. So I have been driving them since day one. And it wasn't until.2 years ago when I sold my mazda I had always driven a manual. Finally got back into with the ST and just like riding a bike.

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Tubeway Army 05-27-2013 09:59 AM

Just avoid the DCT and you will be fine.

BTW I use to drive manuals all the time and occasionally do, but i got the DCT, biggest mistake ever. Not only is it not fun to drive, it's full of issues and for the price of my Titanium, I could have got a ST1 for the same price. If you need all the bells and whistles in the ST3, the price jumps up considerably.

Kabigon 05-27-2013 02:39 PM

The strong point of the ST is the handling.

If you are not into driving so much, you may want to consider the other Focus models as well. You could get more features/amenities for the same $$$.

Kabigon 05-27-2013 02:50 PM


Originally Posted by FocusOnMeNow (Post 4739051)
A manual is the most fun you can have, while driving. I drove a boring ass auto for years. A manual forces you to pay attention. Like he said ^^. No time for SHIT, but I enjoy it. Wouldn't have it any other way. Do it. Your driving habits will change completely. You end up driving slower, and more alert to what's going on around you.

For the beginner, driving a manual can become a distraction because you have to think about what you are doing.

In my case, auto or manual doesn't matter as I (unconsciously) become the automatic when driving a manual.
Many times I have been on the freeway in 6th gear with absolutely no memory of changing gears.

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