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Old 10-09-2012, 11:32 AM   #26
SCRAPPYDO
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Um one last thing.

Is the car quick...

in a word.

YES.

270 ft lbs of torque at 2500 rpm works...VERY VERY well.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:09 PM   #27
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I would consider one of these. It would be a good upgrade from my mcs.

Btw, the steering is not "entirely electronic", it's still a mechanical shaft connected from the steering wheel to the rack. It is simply motor assisted rather than fluid being pumped assisted.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:54 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Well I just happen to test drive one of these this weekend… And an hour later, I test drove an STI. Just for the back to back impressions…

Here are my thoughts below. But for reference, here are my comparison data points:

2013 Golf R – 20 minute test drive
2006 STI – 3 years of daily driving and autocross
2011 WRX – 1.5 years of daily driving and 2 track days
2013 STI – 15 minute test drive

From a walk around the Focus ST is a nice cohesive design. Everything looks well panned and one line flows into the next. The whole car has a ready to play look to it.
The wheels are beefy 235/40’s which means this car has lots of rubber working all the time. They are also quite sticky. Goodyear Eagle F1’s are not half hearted tires. The brakes look quite at home behind the 18” wheels. The hatch opens with a nice electrically sensitive switch (like the current WRX and unlike a 2008 MS3) All the panels seem to fit well and the doors feel robust. Lets talk about the doors, and the rest of the interior while we are at it. The doors feel substantial and have a nice heft to them. They also close with a good thunk. Not as good as a VW, but a little better than a Subaru. The door cards have a nice two tone palette. And the sides of the door as well as the elbow rest have a padded cloth insert, very nice touch Ford. The window and door switches are nice to the touch and have a good mechanical precision to them and feel like they could last decades. Then we get to the seats. The car I drove was an ST2 package with the cloth covered recaros. They are quite enviting. The car I drove was red and the cloth seats were very nice to the touch and felt very well made. Thankfully they did not have the large acreage of RED cloth in the seats, that the tangerine press cars seem to love to flaunt in front of the cameras. How did the seats feel. This is where it gets tricky. I am 5’10” at 190 lbs. I wear 34 waist jeans. So take my words with as much weight as you are similar to me. The seats are good, and very adjustable. In fact the height adjustability is plain comical. I could go from the floor, to my head hitting the sunroof. Easily 5 inches of adjustment. I felt the seat to be very comfortable everywhere BUT the sides of my stomach. I did feel like I was sitting on it, and not IN it despite the cavernous bolsters. Granted I have put on 15 lbs since my wife got pregnant (sympathy weight maybe?), but this seat was a tiny bit snug. Could I live with it? I will get back to that. For now let’s move on.

The steering wheel is easily placed and has a wonderful leather on it. The perforations and stitching feel very good in the hand, and the diameter is sure to please for many many miles. The buttons located on the wheel are clear and it has very understated but clearly legible controls in the 4 and 8 o'clock positions beneath the horizontal spoke. It would be cake to drive this car fast and not be distracted by buttons. The gauges are very nice to look at, and are clearly legible. I like the ford racing font chosen for the numbers. The screen in between the pods is Stunningly clear and crisp, as was the navigation screen in the center stack. I kept thinking of the quality of my ipad resolution and it is close. The blacks are black and the colors just pop off of the screen. The touch interface is about spot on. This was in the middle of the day as well.

So the exterior is great, the Steering wheel is fantastic as well. I like the design and layout of the car inside and out, as it feels like a modern car. But how is it to drive?
I drove it for about 15 minutes. Though city streets, and some freeway, and a few bends and twisties.

Clutch take out is about in the middle of the pedal (which are all aluminum pseudo racing style like the WRX), and engagement is smooth and light. Two things are apparent right from the first 10 seconds of driving the car. It responds immediately to steering inputs, and the brakes come on as strong as any STI I have ever driven with little pedal travel. The brakes are strong, MS3 strong, STI strong. I feel I could barrel toward a brick wall and hit the brakes when I could read ACME and still stop. Put a resounding check in that box. The steering is of course more subjective to everybody. My recent drive of the Golf R generated many grimaces when I had to turn the wheel. The feel in this car is much much better. If you have ever driven a MS3 or STI you know the car seems to act on every movement of the wheel and it does so with an immediacy that makes you want to get your superman cape out of the closet and start doing amazing things. The steering the Focus ST is ALMOST this good. It felt familiar and trust worthy. By almost I mean it was 95% of the instantaneous feel of the MS3 and my 2006 STI and the 2013 STI I drove as well. The steering wheel commands the wheels with absolute authority. What about shifting gears? The shifter is a great piece of kit. It is smoother than an STI shifter, but is nicely weighted and feels perfect in your hand. It is welcomes your hand each and everytime I reached for it. Upshifts and downshifts were easy to make and rev matching was cake as well. Something the MS3 was not good at since it had a bit a of lazy drive by wire system.

The ride quality was not up the smooth ride of stock WRX. The STI and Focus ST are actually very close in ride comfort over bumps and straight line cruising. The ST is a tad rough over rough pavement, but not in an overly annoying way like a tuner car is. There is some good damping going on the ST. I remember my MS3 being about as rough at times. So, it could be a daily driver, but realize that you will feel lots of the road imperfections. That helps out with steering feel, no doubt, but you will know you are driving a car with corning prowess built into it.

So back to the seats…While I was driving the car, I noticed all I cared about was the great engine note and the great steering and brakes and shifter. I did not even notice the seats, which is good. When I came to a stop, I realized how snug I was being held in place. On a track, this would be considered perfect. Not sure about daily use for my body frame. Two things you should be aware of. The rear seat leg room is not generous. It is on the tight side of average. The hatch area while deep is not that wide. The subwoofer uses up a bit of room. I am not sure I could put my huge baby stroller in the back. But it might fit.

The focus ST is a real car that deserves some serious consideration. The general spot on driving feel and amazing brakes and shifter and you have a car that comes across as a baby Border Collie that wants to play ALL DAY LONG and with a smile on his face. I think the Focus ST is destined to be a hit. Combine all that with the enormous Ford Racing department that I predict will sell a gaggle of ST parts in the near future you have a car that is amazing out of the box with the possibility of factory back performance add ons.

I say Bravo Ford.
The amazing amount of positive reviews of this car would seem to indicate this is not just another A to B means of transportation that in fact the gearheads at Ford have created something inherently good and very special. This is a very driver focused car and deserves to be on your short list of cars that can put a big stupid grin on your face.
Cliffnotes: I got fat again.

Stephen just go get an Evo and be done with it. There's no resisting the Dark side.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:10 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
270 ft lbs of torque at 2500 rpm works...VERY VERY well.
Yet, it's slow compared to other hot hatches on the market...




The 300ft-lb @ 2700rpm in my old '08 WRX (stage 1 reflash) made it a hoot to drive too.. but NASIOC told me it was slow and boring.

I'd love to test drive one.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:42 PM   #30
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Actually have you read the lastest car and driver... Up until now all people had to go with is the Fords predicted numbers...

http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/co...s.-mazdaspeed3

cliff notes...

the ford ST won every single performance benchmark against the GTI and MS3

0-60 mph
0–1/4 mile
Slalom
Skidpad
Braking, 60–0 mph
Braking, 80–0 mph
Fuel economy, EPA

The focus swept them all...It was the fastest, stopped the shortest, turned the hardest (.96g skidpad thanks to those awesome tires)

I do not consider the GTI or the MS3 a competitor to this car. I consider the WRX and Golf R a competitor. Even the STI must take notice, as in some ways this car is its better.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:42 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoo Shin View Post
Cliffnotes: I got fat again.

Stephen just go get an Evo and be done with it. There's no resisting the Dark side.
Must not give in....


Must not!!!
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:30 PM   #32
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all i see are words, i just want pretty pictures.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:36 PM   #33
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One thing to note (and not cause I own one). The MS3 is VERY difficult to mod safely. The GTI is the opposite. Have known 2 people that ditched their MS3's, one after a broken turbo from a slight boost increase. My GTI with a stg1 APR is like ...fast. Stg 3 would really necessitate wider tires and an LSD IMO. I can spin thru 1st, 2nd and chirp in 3rd with Michelin Pilot Sports. I hope the Ford will hold up well to mods since it looks to be a great car!

-Mike.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:52 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Must not give in....


Must not!!!
Nice post, Scrappy. I agree with most of it. Last week, in one day i test drove a GTI, Focus ST, MS3, and a WRX (that order). My wife took a turn with each as well. Bottom line: both my wife and i would have been happy with any of them. The MS3 had by far the least linear power delivery, although it was a blast when the turbo kicked in. It was the least refined, but also the cheapest.

The GTI was definitely the slowest, and also the smallest, but it has a great interior from the driver's seat. The Focus had a bigger hatch area in square footage, but was NOT deep (that's where i disagreed with your description). Overall, my wife agreed it'd be much less useful than a MS3 or WRX hatch. I LOVED the sound of the ST, and the clutch was decent (we both preferred the GTI and WRX). The ST we drove caught VERY low, whereas the the MS3 caught VERY high.

The WRX had a smooth clutch, and a nice stable, smooth ride. I preferred the feel of it, along with it's power delivery. So i placed an order the next day for a WRX. I was very close to buying the ST, though, especially at XPlan pricing for an ST2.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:03 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Calamity Jesus View Post
Yet, it's slow compared to other hot hatches on the market....
You sure about that? Not according to R&T comparing them at the same time, same place.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:05 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Must not give in....


Must not!!!
Ha ha but it does sound like your ideal car if you could get past the small trunk and slightly harsher ride. If you think the STI has great steering....
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:37 PM   #37
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I like the interior of the STI over the Current EVO. They are both 5 years behind anything else in the segment as far as ergos go. As I get older that matters a little more.

PSUpunk, I would agree the ST has more rear luggage space than the GTI, but the GTI has more rear seat leg room. The folks at VW just scooted the seats back, which I think is actually smarter. Having more rear seat leg room is more important than trunk area, since you can always drop the rear seats when you need to haul something larger.

This car is truly more than a match for the GTI or MS3. I think the real choice is WRX or Focus ST. You can throw in the STI and Golf R in the mix as well.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:05 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
the ford ST won every single performance benchmark against the GTI and MS3
The focus swept them all...It was the fastest, stopped the shortest, turned the hardest (.96g skidpad thanks to those awesome tires)

I do not consider the GTI or the MS3 a competitor to this car. I consider the WRX and Golf R a competitor. Even the STI must take notice, as in some ways this car is its better.
They're showing some of the worst figures for the MS3 I've seen. 14.7 in the 1/4?

The Focus ran a 14.6 in their test. The MS3 frequently tests quite a bit faster than that. It was also only .5 mph faster than the MS3 on the slalom with 235/40R-18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 vs 225/40R-18 Dunlop SP Sport 2050 on the MS3.

It being a competitor to the WRX and not the MS3 or GTI is quite a stretch considering that even with their suspect testing of the MS3 it's only .1 ahead of the MS3 in the 1/4 and .5mph on the slalom
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:21 PM   #39
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You are not going to believe this, but there is more to a car than Just performance.

I owned a 2008.5 MS3, which by the way is faster than the current version. It is a powerhouse, and the power is very brutish. The ST can power strongly away at uber low RPM much like the GTI can while still not running out of breath at the top like the MS3 is famous for.

Let me explain where I am coming from.. it is a whole car point of view, not just a few numbers in an instrumented performance test.

The GTI is a complete waste of time compared to this car. It is so far ahead in terms of performance and at least equal in ergos the GTI has nothing more to offer other than a cushy ride.

The Focus ST is so far ahead of the MS3 in terms of ergos it is silly, it does not have the Draconian nannies that the MS3 has, has an infinitely better shifter, and the performance is probably about a dead heat despite the HP difference.

The MS3 is great, no doubt, but hits a wall when pushed up to 8/10's. Not sure if the electric Diff in the ST will be able to outperform the MS3, but we will see. It certainly seems to have more grip.

The Focus ST took the best part of both of these two cars the GTI and the MS3 and matched or improved them. So as a whole car, the Focus ST is a smarter choice than either of its two main FWD competitors. Until the MS3 gets an update, it will be forever regulated to 2nd place behind this car in my opinion. It just comes up far too short in the refinement category.

As for the tires, get over it. If Mazda decides not to put better tires on their cars its their fault. But my MS3 had 215's on it, and it was still a little go kart. The MS3 has more HP an more torque in a heavier car with narrower tires. Sounds like a problem Mazda needs to solve. However, the wider the tire, the less feel a tire can have, so every decision must be balanced with the consequences.

Laugh all you want about the MS3 figures, but they are believable to me since if you even nudge the rev limiter it shuts you down like somebody flips a switch. Not being able to disable the nannies is crap. It is 90% of the reason I sold my speed3
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:32 PM   #40
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Didn't the article also mention that Mazda may not continue with the Mazdaspeed version in the future?
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:36 PM   #41
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so you have one in your garage, hip...er, scrappy?
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:02 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
You are not going to believe this, but there is more to a car than Just performance.
Well I mentioned performance because you stated that the ST swept the performance tests. And I really just wanted to state that those are the worst numbers ever given for a MS3 and the best numbers we've seen so far from the ST (I know we have little data on it at this point ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
The Focus ST is so far ahead of the MS3 in terms of ergos it is silly, it does not have the Draconian nannies that the MS3 has, has an infinitely better shifter, and the performance is probably about a dead heat despite the HP difference.
The only nannies I know of on the MS3 are Traction and Stability Control which can be turned off and the boost control in low gears. That's my understanding with the old one; is the current model different?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
As for the tires, get over it. If Mazda decides not to put better tires on their cars its their fault. But my MS3 had 215's on it, and it was still a little go kart. The MS3 has more HP an more torque in a heavier car with narrower tires. Sounds like a problem Mazda needs to solve. However, the wider the tire, the less feel a tire can have, so every decision must be balanced with the consequences.
I agree that it's Mazda's fault for speccing not-so-good tires but as shown it's basically neck and neck in performance with a car running better and wider rubber. R&T said that the MS3 was only 11lbs heavier. They also mentioned that the Focus had somewhat of a numb feel off center but still saw fit to give it a perfect score in the Steering category which is a 10% higher score than what they gave the MS3. They don't even mention the steering of the MS3 other than to say "torque steer".

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO
Laugh all you want about the MS3 figures, but they are believable to me since if you even nudge the rev limiter it shuts you down like somebody flips a switch. Not being able to disable the nannies is crap. It is 90% of the reason I sold my speed3
Doesn't the MS3's power drop off around 1000rpm before the rev limiter? Should be plenty of time to not hit it. You shift at what? 5000RPM and it's back into the power band.

I think that your test drive findings are fine and I'd likely agree with you if I get to take one out. But between a scoring system that seems highly subjective and scores for things like exterior design being included in the total (The ST gets a 50% higher rating than the MS3 and 40% more than the GTI for looks?) I find R&Ts results to be suspect.

Last edited by Bankie; 10-09-2012 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:11 PM   #43
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Yeah, your points are well received.
I do not know if the article had an agenda or not. Who knows.
The do tend to like the newest kid on the block, but also as time moves on things do in fact improve.

Is the Focus ST better than all other FWD hot hatches. In my book it may be. Would I buy one over a WRX or STI. Not sure...about the STI, but maybe I would take one over WRX. I would have to modify the WRX to get it to feel like the ST, where as the ST is great right out of the box.

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Old 10-09-2012, 05:13 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4S-TURBO View Post
so you have one in your garage, hip...er, scrappy?
Your attempt at humor is noted....

and appreciated...

And no, I do not have one in my garage. I am still in a holding pattern on what I will buy next. But the 2013 STI is currently leading the pack.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:49 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Your attempt at humor is noted....

and appreciated...

And no, I do not have one in my garage. I am still in a holding pattern on what I will buy next. But the 2013 STI is currently leading the pack.
For 34 - 37k msrp no thanks, its way too expensive for the same old ****.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:05 PM   #46
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For 34 - 37k msrp no thanks, its way too expensive for the same old ****.
My sentiment exactly. Post-3rd Gen WRX/STI or bust!
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:38 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Godmal View Post

Btw, the steering is not "entirely electronic", it's still a mechanical shaft connected from the steering wheel to the rack. It is simply motor assisted rather than fluid being pumped assisted.
Thank you for actually knowing what the hell you're talking about.



"entirely electronic" steering
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:49 PM   #48
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Thanks Scrap

Your review gives me hope for the baby brother Fiesta ST. I really want a small car and teh fiesta ST seems like my ticket for fun.

BlitZ
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:26 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenk View Post
Thank you for actually knowing what the hell you're talking about.



"entirely electronic" steering
Well, I don't think that's fair. The electric assist technology now taking over the market is in a way "entirely" electronic, compared to the electro-hydraulic setup used by cars like the Mazda3 (at least the 1st gen, I don't know about the 2nd) and at some point the Focus as well. It's "entirely" electric in a sense that there is no hydraulics involved at all, as opposed to just having en electric motor provide the hydraulic pressure.

But I digress..
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:35 PM   #50
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I agree with SCRAPPYDO 100% In his review of the ST comparison.

As a prior owner of a 02 WRX, an 09 MS3. A frequent driver of every year STi. And owner of a 09 WRX with RCE Bil's / Yellows, and tune.

If I had not already owned a MS3, I would most likley be in line right now buying an ST.

I say this because of everything that was wrong with the MS3 could not outweight its awsome capabilities. The ****ty rebounding suspesions (I fixed with Bil's) The ****ty rebounding engine and transmision when all that tq came surging on like a freight (I attmpted to fix with CPE stuff). The ****ty tq control that would cut power when the steering wheel was turned more then 15 degrees leaving you feeling like you dropped anchor mid turn. And the ****ty direct injection system, most likley the cause for TONS of rods to be left in a wake of distruction.

This all scares the bejesius out of me to buy another FWD car that produces that much TQ, thats just a kissing cousin away from a MS3.

I think ill stick with my imperfect Subaru's untill I can buy a several year old C6 Z06
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