Last post on Jul 28, 2013 at 5:39 PM
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Ford Focus, Sedan
#2000 of 2014 2005 Focus ST Update
Sep 23, 2010 (5:01 pm)
Our 2005 Focus ST racked up 110,00 miles before suffering an ignoble end in a car accident. It did its job and sacrificed itself to protect my daughter who was driving at the time. Hate to see it go as it was a truly superior and fun car.
We really had almost no maintenance other than oil, tires, brake pads and regularly scheduled maintenance. At the end there where three "wear issues." The buttons on the radio had worn off some of the numbers. The center console arm rest was lose and floppy (I think it got leaned on too hard sometime late in life). And the little bin by the driver's left knee had the latch broken. (That one was my fault. In the dark I pulled up on it thinking I had a hold of the hood latch. I wasn't low enough.) Our all in fuel economy was approximately 30 mpg. We tried to find another ST to replace it, but the ST was scarce and the ST with traction control and heated leather seats, scarcer still. I guess I'll have to wait for the new World Focus and the promised new ST version.
Favorite things remain:
Great steering wheel. Perfect size and shape with the thick cross section and bulges at 2 and 10.
Precise steering and supple, controlled handling. Way more fun than the typical small car. Independent rear suspension makes a huge difference.
Great torque from the 2.3 liter motor.
Short throw, direct feel manual gear shift.
Chair height seats that provided good thigh and lower back support, wrapping the kidneys for grip. The heated seats were great.
4-wheel disk brakes with ABS and Traction Control -- not offered on many small cars, especially at the time.
Complex hinge on the trunk rather than a goose neck so closing trunk didn't intrude on cargo.
Great safety for the size of car with high ratings and great real world performance. There was no intrusion into the passenger compartment in it's final front end collision. (Hit a much heavier SUV in the side with the Focus' nose in an intersection.)
Great reliability with exceptionally low cost of ownership, with acquisition cost, maintenance, insurance, and fuel economy much better than average.
Dashboard could be more luxurious and interior more durable, but for the price point, I'll take that trade-off.
I'd like a 6-speed manual with a taller cruising gear for improved fuel economy and less noise.
I'd like more sound deadening and isolation, but again for a compact economy car, I can't complain too much.
The new World Focus reportedly has all of these improvements in a new body with new EcoBoost engines.
All in all, the Focus ST was probably my favorite car I've ever owned, not because it was the most expensive. It was one of the least expensive cars I've ever bought. It was intended to be a third car. It was so much fun to drive it saw a lot of use. And it was still a bargain. But it was a favorite in the end even more because when push came to shove (literally), the safety was there to protect our daughter. Cars can be replaced.
I would definitely buy a Ford again (and have -- we bought a 2008 Mercury Milan for our "big" sedan). I'm hoping to buy a new 2012 Focus ST when they become available. Our ownership experience was exceptionally good.
#2001 of 2014 Focus III? [basiliskst]
Sep 25, 2010 (1:15 am)
I've sat in the new Focus III sedan in Ford's focus group almost a year ago. It's an one-size-fit-all design:
1) The inside door handles are now located more Japanese/Lexus-like (read for short arms)
2) The front seat cushions are tiny -- for short thighs.
& I don't like its rear outward visibility -- the lower right corner being cut off.
The exterior is bulky, as the platform is a shortened Volvo S80/Mondeo (also driven by James Bond in "Casino Royale"). But then, its rear leg room is also not as cramped as in the new Mazda3.
& it does look like a down-sized current Mondeo.
Do you think the bulkier current Mondeo is as fun as the old one? I doubt it.
You know, the previous Mondeo ST220 is what the '05-07 Focus ST 2.3 sedan's styling trys to emulate -- more compact, sleek, less bulky (especially being 2 cylinders lighter under the hood, but w/ the most macho cylinder size of all Focus')...
I am still excited about doing project on my '07 Focus ST sedan (w/ no optional side-airbags for easier seat change!), after I traded in my '05. The traction control was no longer std for '07, so that's the only option on my stripped (but special ordered) '07 ST. & it's way less intrusive than the one in the '05!
The main noise is actually the ST exhaust, which interferes w/ human conversation. So I plan to tune the sound to a lower frequency, possibly by changing the resonator.
I've added the Quaife (Torsen-type) differential.
Being 5'11", I am replacing the front seats to fit me better. I've looked at the Volvo S40/V50's supportive manual cloth driver seat with multiple adjustements, but the bottom cushion seems to be too shallow to absorb road bumps. & forget about aftermarket seats like Recaro, Corbeau, Flo-fit, or even Monaco. They simply give you a bumpier ride. So after traveling to other countries, I've decided to adopt these stylish & supportive blue sport front seats from the Focus II S (Sport) in Taiwan (I believe the Focus II ST's front seats are hard-riding Recaro designs, although I've only had a brief ride in a Focus II ST taxi there). They're shaped even more S40/V50-ish, but the cushions are extremely thick & firm -- good enough for off roading. LOL Unlike when riding on the original seats, road vibration (which could not be felt through these blue sport seats in the Focus II w/ more sub-frame isolation) in my car is actually being transmitted on to my butt through these thicker-firmer-cushion new seats! But I believe their much deeper cushions will still provide more overall long-distance comfort.
Not being able to stand the short seat cushions (especially the front passenger seat), I will give the ST sedan's original cloth interior a new face!
This is the type of blue front sport seats being transplanted into my car from the Focus (II) Sport
I didn't bother with the orange/black cloth sport seats
Focus (I) SVT/ST170's std sport seats (red)
Focus (I) SVT/ST170's std sport seats
Focus (I) ST170's optional Recaro seats
Focus (I) SVT/ST170's optional Recaro (leather) seats:
Focus (II) ST's std Recaro seats
Focus (II) RS's std racing seats
#2002 of 2014 Focus III ST [basiliskst]
Sep 25, 2010 (11:26 am)
Focus III ST
The ST version has longer seat cushion for thigh support.
But will there be a sedan version for the U.S.?
Will the suspension be lowered uncomfortably?
The beauty of the '05-07 ST 2.3 sedan is having firmer sportier suspension w/o being lowered like in the SVT/ST170. Compare to the '05, the '06-07 has an even comfier/softer set up still, & (per Consumer Reports 2006) trumped all competitors from GTI, etc. in ride comfort.
But I am not sastisfied, b/c the rebound motion is still too quick for comfort. I plan to put Gabriel shocks in my '07 ST sedan.
By the way, VW can no longer afford to continue with the (already cost-effective) mutli-links engineered by the Focus engineer.
#2003 of 2014 Re: Focus III ST [creakid1]
Sep 27, 2010 (8:29 pm)
Actually, VW can no longer afford to continue with the (already cost-effective) mutli-links engineered by the Focus engineer on the Golf/Jetta unless it's the expensive GTI/GLI, which has uncomfortable lowered hard suspension.
So then the new Golf/Jetta will be Fiesta-like w/ simple rear suspension, but I am pretty sure the new Jetta w/ over 104" wheelbase will excel even the new Focus III's rear leg room.
#2005 of 2014 Focus III ST Recaro seats
Oct 01, 2010 (10:52 am)
They're Recaro seats used in the Focus III ST, even the back seat!
They look impressive, but probably won't absorb road bumps much.
£24,000? I can see why Ford can afford to keep the Control Blades while the less-expensive VW Golf/Jetta can't.
#2006 of 2014 08 Focus questions
Oct 05, 2010 (10:20 pm)
My trusty old 95 Integra GSR sedan was stolen last night and I depend on that vehicle for my job. I would like to know what 08-10 owners think of the reliability of their Focus? I'm looking at an 08 Focus SE coupe with automatic and 21k for 11998 from Carmax. Yes, it's not the cheapest price, but their cars are generally well picked and I'd be buying from a friend that helped me when I was in need. This car would be used for delivery so I would be putting about 3000 miles a month on the car. Can the Focus handle being used in this way? My main concern is the automatic. I know Ford auto trannies from the 90s were pure junk. How has the auto held up in the Focus? What's the recommended fluid change interval? Does the engine use a timing belt? If so, when does that need to be changed? Are there any specific problems I need to look for on the 08? Was ABS standard on the SE or optional?
Does anyone have any knowledge of general lifespans for the alternator and AC compressor on the Focus? My Integra managed to last 160k with the original alternator and AC and I know that rarely happens with American cars. Basically, I can't afford a car payment and big repairs so I need something reliable. Would this be a good car for me or should I look elsewhere?
Oct 14, 2010 (8:17 am)
A reporter is interested in talking with owners of the Ford Focus who are also parents. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to predmunds.com no later than Saturday, November 20, 2010 and include your city and state of residence, the model year of your vehicle and the age of your child/ren.
Thanks for your consideration,
Oct 23, 2010 (12:42 am)
"The seats offer lots of comfort and support, although they are
a little wide for most Europeans. The Focus is a global car, so it has to suit larger US customers as well as slimline Brits."
Not much subjective has been said, except:
"And Auto Express is the first magazine to experience the new Focus on the road. We’re at the firm’s notorious ride and handling centre at Lommel in Belgium. The hatch is travelling way too fast on a blind, tightening corner, with Edwin Vliem, Ford’s steering dynamics engineer, at the wheel, chatting away without a care in the world. We’re clearly going to crash, but no – he lifts off the throttle, brakes, and the Focus simply and calmly tightens its line into the bend.
So the new car handles
brilliantly – no surprises
there. Ford’s best-selling
family hatch has been the
standard bearer in the sector since its 1998 launch...The ride on the artificial lumps and bumps of Lommel seems firm, but positive, with a sense of competence and grip."