Great new updates on the 2018 Focus ST
January 15, 2019
I traded in my 2014 Focus ST for a 2018 Focus ST recently. My 2014 ST was a fantastic car. I had 85k miles on it when I traded and about 40k of that were travel/pleasure miles. In all that time, it never left me stranded, had no major issues and was extremely reliable and fun to drive. Because of that, I decided to trade it in for another one.
I have spent the last 3 days and over 300 miles driving this car and have really enjoyed every minute.
So what do I like about the car?
For the money, you cannot beat this car. It is fun to drive, comfortable with the newer seats, has plenty of power for round the town and spirit mountain road driving, and looks great. You get modest tech in the ST1 package, but when it comes to in car tech, I can take it or leave it. I buy cars based on smiles per mile, so if the car can put a smile on my face on the daily, I really don't care if it doesn't come with a 7" screen, nav, or apple car play. I love to listen to music while I drive, so as long as I can pair my phone to a car to use my music library on it, I am happy. At 5'11'' and a modest 160lbs, I fit in the car well. My wife and 17 year old fit in the car well also. You can easily fit 4 average sized adults in this car with comfort. The storage room in the hatch area without the seats down more than accommodates a trip to the grocery store or a day of shopping. With the seats folded down, I can easily fit my all of my camping gear, cooler, inflatable kayak and a duffel bag full of clothes with room to spare. I have a roof rack on mine, but if I needed to, I can easily put my mountain bike in the back as long as I take the wheels off and store them around the bike. For a compact hatch, that is amazing. My 2014 was extremely reliable so I am hoping that my 2018 follows suit with that. The handling is fantastic in this car. It goes where you point it and you can enter a high speed turn with confidence. Plus, there is that fun liftoff oversteer that lets you kick the rear end out when you are feeling extra spry. The factory tuned appears to be much more refined that the pre-facelift version of this car. My 2014 was an in your face tune. The turbo kicked in and threw you back in the seat. There was nothing linear about it. This newer version seems to be much more linear and you get more of a constant pull. Overall, if you want a sporty, fun, and great daily driver, this is the car for you.
What I don't like.
I cannot stand the shift in this car. I feel like I am rowing a boat. Ford should have put a factory short shifter in this car and put a bigger shift knob on it. This is just personal taste though that can easily be changed with a couple aftermarket parts. I am not a huge fan of the big plastic bit on the rear bumper. I will never understand American car manufacturers and their obsession with exterior black plastic. It just looks tacky. I am iffy on the clutch feel. The 2014 ST clutch feel on the kick back end was terrible. This new clutch pedal is almost non-existent. While that is great for daily rush hour traffic, there isn't much feedback during spirited driving. While I don't really care to much about tech, it's 2018. Your standard econo cars are coming with apple and android play and in dash screens for less money so I am not really sure why Ford didn't step up their game. The paint is fragile and chips easily. Living in the desert, this is a big deal since you are constantly at war with pebbles and stones on the roadway. I also do not care for the new steering wheel. I do like the flat bottom but the leather wrap and steering wheel in general feels like cheap plastic. The steering wheel on my 2014 was much better. That is the most important part of the cockpit and Ford dropped the ball on it. Also, the exhaust tone, or lack there of. Come on Ford. You built a sporty car, gave it a quiet exhaust and replaced it with some fake engine noise that sounds more like a Subaru than a 2.0L Ford.
This is just simply a great car and it is sad that 2018 will be its last year in the states. This care built a cult following over the past 5 years and got a lot of people into cars that normally would not be into fun to drive sporty hot hatches. I loved the reliability of the 2014 I owned and this 2018 is much refined over that one. The pro's greatly outweigh the cons, since for a little bit of money and some aftermarket parts, I can easily adjust it to my liking.