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Old 09-23-2013, 08:21 AM   #1
valmundo
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So I participated in the Ford Ecoboost Challenge this past weekend...

So the Ford Ecoboost Challenge happened this past weekend in Miami and I decided to stop by and take several test spins in Ford's lineup of cars and compare them to the competition (Honda / Toyota). However, the REAL star at the event was the Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST. I'll get to those cars in a few...

Before anyone was allowed to drive the Focus ST and Fiesta ST, all participants were required to at least participate in the other two events that were going on. There was one tent that had participants testing the Ford Fusion and Escape compared to the Honda CRV and Toyota Camry. Another tent had several hybrid cars (C-Max Ford Fusion Hybrid) ready for a test drive. I chose the Fusion/Escape vs. Camry/CRV tent. I was impressed with the Fusion compared to the Camry although the Camry had better acceleration. The Escape to me was much better than the CRV although I equate both cars to be more utilitarian (soccer mom cars) so I think most folks who choose those CUV have a priority on space rather than a sporty drive. Like I said before, however, the star of the event were the Focus and Fiesta ST.

Fiesta ST.

The Fiesta ST is an absolute blast to drive. Its very nimble and its size and power ratio makes its a beast (relative to the price). There was a race track set up for the participants to drive the car and I had so much fun. The Recaro seats really do "grab" you while you are driving. I will say that if you are more towards the plump side, these seats will wear thin real quick. (I am pretty thin so they were not a problem for me). The fit and finish was really good. However, the touch screen seems to be a bit too small. Didn't mess with it much but I think one would opt for voice commands more often rather than touching the screen. The engine and transmission also got rave reviews from me. (Sure wish the 6-speed was available on regular Focus as well...They have an excellent feel to them...quite different than the 5-speed available on manual Focus). In all, I would give this car high marks.

Focus ST

Although this car has been out for more than a year, this is the first time I had the chance to test one out. Keep in mind I have a Focus TI with a 5-speed tranny so many of the features available on the Focus ST are currently included in my TI. That being said, the Ecoboost engine and 6-speed tranny really does make the ST distinguishable from a Focus TI. The engine on the ST makes the one in my TI feel like 3 cylinder (lol). Likewise, the 5-speed in my TI does not feel as smooth and responsive when compared to the 6-speed. It was really fun pushing the engine and hearing the "pumped" engine noise in the car's cabin (does sound artificial though, but still very cool). Again, the recaro seats does its job of holding you in place, but I don't think it was designed for fat people. (There were quite a few fat folks there, and many thought the car was awesome but many also complained about the seats almost immediately.) Again, a very cool car and a great driving experience.

With all that said, however, I was surprised just how similar my car was (TI Hatch 5 -speed) when compared to the ST. Mind you, I am not talking about the engine and transmission (those two alone really does make it a different car). But since my car has the 18" rims, summer performance tires, stiffer suspension plus all the other amenities the ST has, I am not regretting my decision to opt for the TI. My main priority was MPG (I do mainly City driving since I get on the highway one a week at best). If I ever become more secure financially, I'd get an ST as maybe my weekend car though.

In conclusion, the Ecoboost Challenge was fun. I really enjoyed driving the ST cars. You guys that have one really do have a sweet ride.

Take care.


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Old 09-23-2013, 10:19 AM   #2
Elizabeth
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Nice! I have a five speed SE with sport package.. and like my car a lot. Also the gas mileage for me is part of not buying the ST.
I used to drive fast and all, but now I spend my time watching the mpg indicator. LOL
So I do not 'need' an ST either. Also I am getting too old to be racing around at 20 over the speed limit all the time like I used to.
I will still take a fast corner though.

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Old 09-23-2013, 01:30 PM   #3
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I did the challenge in Chicago too had such fun with both ST cars did they make you guys stay in 2nd on the track the whole time?
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valmundo View Post

With all that said, however, I was surprised just how similar my car was (TI Hatch 5 -speed) when compared to the ST.
I'm not surprised at all. I would expect your car to handle similarly to a ST.
The Goodyears (ST) probably have more grip.

It's been my experience that a Mazda 3 hatch handles better in some ways than a Mazdaspeed 3. Why? Because it's lighter. I believe your Ti is lighter than the (porcine) ST.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiveofocus View Post
I did the challenge in Chicago too had such fun with both ST cars did they make you guys stay in 2nd on the track the whole time?
Yeah, they did but I understand it was mostly for safety reasons. They had some real douchebags there.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabigon View Post
I'm not surprised at all. I would expect your car to handle similarly to a ST.
The Goodyears (ST) probably have more grip.

It's been my experience that a Mazda 3 hatch handles better in some ways than a Mazdaspeed 3. Why? Because it's lighter. I believe your Ti is lighter than the (porcine) ST.
In hindsight I probably should not have been surprised either. The ST Focus is an awesome ride but my TI can hold its own (other than speed. ).
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