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Old 11-06-2012, 07:13 AM   #1
ZugZugg
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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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Old 11-06-2012, 08:11 AM   #2
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sync is a great option if you want those stock features and don't plan on changing to an aftermarket headunit. module are available to retain sync, but that's another added cost. personally i would rather get something without it and go aftermarket with those options (bt, usb, . . .) and have better audio performance.

the new focus has a good amount of power and great gas mileage, but is heavy and could use more power to really be fun. however that almost 10k difference between the se and st make a big difference and is deef worth wighing the choices.

the new nav systems are great, but again i would rather have an aftermarket system and save the money on the car payment.

My question for you is this. If you are wanting a bigger car to start a family then does a mustang really fit those needs? the mustang doesn't have much backseat room and will make that difficult with that space and only two doors. I have a 09 coupe and have enough trouble with carseats in that. putting those in doesn't always leave room to put the front seats in a comfortable position, especially for long drives. the mustang also is only 4 passenger, meaning there is not center seat in the back and will require putting the car seat on the side leaving even less room for the front seats to go back.

in regards to the fusion; you can get a 5 speed if you're ok with doing a 4 cyl instead of the v6. they are harder to find, but they are out there. can always add a turbo to get more power if you want it and some suspension upgrades.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:18 AM   #3
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I say you stretch that 30k limit and get the SHO
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
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sync is a great option if you want those stock features and don't plan on changing to an aftermarket headunit. module are available to retain sync, but that's another added cost. personally i would rather get something without it and go aftermarket with those options (bt, usb, . . .) and have better audio performance.

the new focus has a good amount of power and great gas mileage, but is heavy and could use more power to really be fun. however that almost 10k difference between the se and st make a big difference and is deef worth wighing the choices.

the new nav systems are great, but again i would rather have an aftermarket system and save the money on the car payment.

My question for you is this. If you are wanting a bigger car to start a family then does a mustang really fit those needs? the mustang doesn't have much backseat room and will make that difficult with that space and only two doors. I have a 09 coupe and have enough trouble with carseats in that. putting those in doesn't always leave room to put the front seats in a comfortable position, especially for long drives. the mustang also is only 4 passenger, meaning there is not center seat in the back and will require putting the car seat on the side leaving even less room for the front seats to go back.

in regards to the fusion; you can get a 5 speed if you're ok with doing a 4 cyl instead of the v6. they are harder to find, but they are out there. can always add a turbo to get more power if you want it and some suspension upgrades.
Thanks for the input Kipp, my thoughts:

I've never been a big fan of aftermarket head-units, I think that they almost always look terrible and are harder to use than a stock headunit. I'm fine with changing out speakers, but I think that the larger knobs and buttons, and the seamless integration of steering wheel controls makes it hard for me to swallow changing out the headunit.

The almost-10k difference between a nice SE, and an awesome ST (gotta remember you get the better stereo, the better seats, and more power/handling for that money) is a tough call. The frugal side of me says that the SE is such a good deal that it would be hard to pass up on.

I can see having a harder time getting carseats in the pony car, which would mean using the wife's car more often for trips, which would mean getting less use out of mine, at which point - why even have the pony car? Maybe better to get a focus for now, and save the mustang for a few years from now when we don't need as much car space?
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:23 AM   #5
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I'd go for the ST.

I really wish I had waited, now. I own a '12 SE hatch, too.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:25 AM   #6
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i see your point. I would say considering your thought and needs that the st might be the best choice. as you said; better interior options and it has the performance you want while still having the "family" aspect.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disciplerocks View Post
I say you stretch that 30k limit and get the SHO
The SHO is an awesome car, but I'm hoping to keep under the limit (which is why I'm giving very serious consideration to an $18k car) instead of blowing through it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:30 AM   #8
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Then the ST gets my vote. You'll regret the SE if the ST is an option.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I'd go for the ST.

I really wish I had waited, now. I own a '12 SE hatch, too.
Dude, you've got the BEST color on your focus, you can't be unhappy with it.

Seriously though, regrets?
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:40 AM   #10
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Think family - you never own a car and say 'I wish I'd gotten smaller', specially when you are packing kids' (yes, plural possessive) stuff. The element won't always be available. How about a used Taurus wagon, the re-badged Volvo?
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