Traded in my 2009 Focus SES modified with Ford racing suspension, strut tower braces, stereo and lighting upgrades, etc., stock engine and 5-speed. In nearly every respect, the ST is what I was aiming...
Traded in my 2009 Focus SES modified with Ford racing suspension, strut tower braces, stereo and lighting upgrades, etc., stock engine and 5-speed. In nearly every respect, the ST is what I was aiming at with my modded SES, with the added benefit of 120 additional horsepower, better integrated suspension, improved ride and reduced NVH, much improved brakes and interior, and next generation tech features.
The noticeable downsides are over 500 pounds more weight, (manageable) torque steer in the three lower gears, a larger turning radius, slightly reduced rearward and parking visibility, a bit more thirst for fuel (unless I use the turbo frequently, when it has quite a bit more thirst!), and an compelling need to go find twisties, just because this car does them so well.
I’m very happy with the car’s performance. My grin factor has substantially increased over what it was with the SES, especially when acceleration is involved and high-g cornering is involved. I’ve commuted 2.5 hours daily and taken several medium-length day trips in the Cascades so far, and find the Recaros are usually comfortable (slightly snug in the seat bottom for an ol’ lady) and always supportive. The steering wheel rim profile is much more comfortable than in my previous Focus, and the 6-speed Ford-Getrag trans shifts more consistently than the older car’s 5-speed MTX-75 trans, which didn’t like to be hurried. The upgraded soft-touch interior surfaces are much better than the expanses of hard plastic in the SES, except for the rear passengers’ windowsills. So close to getting it right, Ford; why’d ya stop short?
Just put the car on a winter tire-wheel package and am looking forward to learning how to manage this much power in the Northwest’s winter conditions, especially in the passes.
The best thing about the ST is that I can drive it in a manner similar to how I used to ride my liter-bikes (if you know what I mean, you know what I’m talkin’ about). This car has the best combination of steering precision, grip, brakes, and thrust that I’ve ever been able to afford in a car, and it is teaching me new things about unravelling some of my favorite roads. I’m looking forward to my round of trips to Yellowstone, Crater Lake, Yosemite and other National Parks in the coming years.