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Old 10-04-2012, 10:23 PM   #11
zippy75
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Yeah, I hear you. But part of the reason for buying a Focus is to tow it behind my motorhome. It'd be a shame to throw rocks on an ST all day long. I might just go with a SE, which I can probably get for close for between $17 and 18k right now with the $2k rebate going on. My local dealer has a race red one with a 5-speed and a moon roof. Put some aftermarket wheels on it and it might look ok. We'll see whether the sensible side or the boy racer in me wins out.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:59 PM   #12
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I test drove one today also...

To be completely honest, I was hoping for a tad more "Oomph" when hitting the gas. Don't get me wrong, it's definitely quick! But power build seems a tad sluggish, then the midrange and upper end power is much better... 2nd gear pulls are fun!

I'd be curious the difference the intake/tuner would make. Either way, I REALLY like it, handles incredibly. I used to have an '08 STI so maybe I'm just expecting a little too much, considering it's a 2.0L and has 50hp less than my STI did.

Either way, great car. I'd buy one. Might even sell my SEL for it, if they can't get my MyTouch fixed!
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy75 View Post
I was thinking about the Titanium with a manual, but looks like an ST would be about the same price with a lot more power and a 6 speed. I'm afraid the ST might be a bit too much of a race car for a daily driver though. What do you think? Does the ride beat you up? I love performance cars, but I want something my girlfriend would be comfortable driving too.

The ST doesn't sound like a race car to me, just a great daily driver. From what I've read, it doesn't sound like it is hard-riding. I think the extra power/agility from the ST would make this an easy choice.

My only concern is with the steering....I would want a nice long test drive to make sure it would be fine with me. I really need to drive one of these....
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:27 AM   #14
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For a daily driver, the Recaro seats had WAY too much bolster for my liking... I'm 5' 11" and approximately 190lbs, and it was rather tight on my sides!

I would order a base model if I got one, just because I wouldn't want the Recaros for every day use... It's definitely excessive for what I'd be using it for.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:17 AM   #15
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That was my experience as well. I liked seats like that when I was in my 20s and was thin as a rake, but I'm not so thin anymore and those Recaros squeezed the breath out of me. I'd have to have the base model. Too bad, because I love the way the Recaros look.
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Old 10-10-2012, 12:50 PM   #16
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That was my experience as well. I liked seats like that when I was in my 20s and was thin as a rake, but I'm not so thin anymore and those Recaros squeezed the breath out of me. I'd have to have the base model. Too bad, because I love the way the Recaros look.
I don't consider myself fat, or overweight... so it surprises me that I'm so uncomfortable in the Recaro's! They're way too agressive.

My wife had a Jetta GLI with Recaro's from the factory and they were MUCH more appropriate for the average user, still snug but not damn near race-car bolstering, like the ST.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:55 PM   #17
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I do consider myself fat (6', 270lb), yet don't find the seats uncomfortable. Different, yeah. Unexpected. Certainly more snug than anything else I've tried, including the GTI.

But not uncomfortable. By the third test drive, I didn't even notice them.

And it's nice not having that urge to brace a knee against the door or console to stay in place during a turn.

I don't have enough time in them to know what it'd be like after a few continuous hours.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:59 PM   #18
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First impressions of simply sitting in the Recaros (no drive time yet) is that they are very firm. Maybe they would be very comfy over a few hours, but I couldn't tell immediately (like you can with Swedish seats). I'm not a fan of huge bolsters, though I don't recall the ST2 seats being all that aggressive.

...has anyone here driven an ST over a long distance?

If you could live without them, an ST1 would be an even better buy. That car for ~23/24k sounds very appealing.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:54 PM   #19
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Drove it!


Well, might as well write a mini-review. Drove it for about 20 minutes. I'll compare the driving experience to my SVT since it was my point of reference.

The Good:

The handling. Oh my. The handling is truly the star of this car, it's so neutral and so quick. I didn't push it super hard, but I did get the rear to rotate during a roundabout. Doing so delivers an instant smile (I literally was smiling). The steering is very quick and it's very easy to point the car where you want to. Totally intuitive.
The seats are fantastic. They really do hug you in place, and the material feels high quality. Plus they look even better in person than in pictures.
The engine rocks. You want torque? OK, here it is! Revs easy, has power all over the powerband, and there's no turbo lag.Could use a bit more "character" though, see below.
It looks great, inside and out, again better in person that in photos. It really makes an impression, but it's similar enough to the regular Focus to not shout HEY LOOK IMA RACECAR VRRR.
It's very refined, in many ways. The cabin is very quiet, the ride is good, the materials and build quaility seemed spot on (although I didn't have enough time to really poke around in there.)
The ride is perfect to me. It's certainly more supple than my 132k mile SVT, but still firm and communicative. Body roll was less than that of my car.


The-Not-Good-But-Not-Bad-Because-Really-Nothing-About-The-Car-Was-Bad

The refinement kind of works against it sometimes. For some reason, driving it almost seemed "too easy". The clutch was nice and light, the shifter was light and slipped into gears like a boss, and it was easy to point the wheel, punch the gas, and drive it hard. But it felt a bit isolated or something. The engine was hard to hear, even with the sound symposer, and forget about "feeling" it in any way. Perhaps I'm just used to my SVT with it's rougher shifter and louder, vibration-prone cabin and cable-connected throttle and Borla exhaust where the entire driving experience is much more visceral and hands-on.
The cabin was very nicely done, but felt cramped at first impression. A-and-C-Pillers were large, and it was tough to see your blind spot, even with turning around. The full size spare seemed to take up cargo space with a high load floor, but perhaps this is how all Mk3 are, not sure. The back seat had good space though, equal or better to the Mk1 IMO.Again, I'm probably used to my more-open-feeling SVT, and I'm sure I'd get used to it all of it in about a week.
The worst problem: It's not in my garage... Actually, even though I loved the car, I won't mind waiting a year or two to get it. It was everything that I hoped it would be, but it didn't play voodoo tricks on my mind and cause me to start thinking about making a bad-yet-awesome financial decision.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:01 PM   #20
zippy75
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I drive a Mazda6 now as my daily driver, and I definitely thought the Focus I drove seemed cramped by comparison. I suspect that's something we'll get used to though.

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