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Hey everyone!

I am pretty aware of this awesome forum, but I finally decided to join it!

Its been a while with the 07' focus ses (Stick) I have right now, and its time to upgrade. But I ran into a problem.
There are so many options of choosing an ST, I don't know which route to take. Defiantly not new, that can be set right away.

Looking online, there are 13's available, all the way up to 16's for really decent prices in my area.

Which year is the best year to buy? I know the 14's and 13's have the regular lights, the normal steering wheel and the rear bumper
that is different, which all changes in the newer years.

I would like the lights, those DRL's look awesome. But its something I can live without.

I am planning on adding some installs over time, don't want it stock forever.

Are there years that run into problems over the other years? Anything major to keep in mind?

What are buying techniques, tips or recommendations you guys have to offer? I really want to find a perfect one.

Thanks :)
 

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There are 3 trim levels to the ST. All are mechanically the same, with creature comforts being the only differences.
ST1, ST2, and ST3.
ST1 is the base. Base has reg. cloth seats, standard 6 speaker stereo W/ the 4" screen.
ST2 has Leather/Cloth Recaro seats, Duel zone climate control, Upgraded 10 speaker stereo(W/ subwoofer) and 6" screen, Navigation is optional.
ST3 has full leather Recaro Heated seats, Duel Zone Climate, HID headlights(and 'mood-lighting' in-cabin) Upgraded stereo W nav. included.
Sunroof is optional on all trims.
Back-up camera was not available on '13 & 14 models. The flat bottom/heated steering wheel was added on the '15. The newer '16+ will have the newer version of the sync system (Sync 3).
That's the basics, Now go find a good deal, and start driving like you stole it... LOL

PS: if you're on the Facebook thingy, come say hi over at Chicago ST & RS Page
 

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Owning a 2015, I am really glad I dont have one of the earlier models.
-back up camera
-interior & exterior refinements
-Motor mount
-Electrical (wire harness) recalls

On the other hand I am kicking myself not waiting until 2016, as Sync 3 (the next generation entertainment system) looks much nicer. Perhaps this is just a never ending battle.
 
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I had been looking at a new FST as a graduation gift to myself, and finally got a '16 ST3 in December.

Maybe this is just me, but since I got a good deal, and could afford it, I wanted it all so didn't "settle" for the ST1 or ST2.

Really it just boils down to how much are you willing to spend for the factory extras, cause if you're like most ST owners, it's not going to stay stock very long...

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I think the only major thing to keep in mind is the wiring harness recall from the earlier models. It hasn't impacted everyone (myself included) but if the car is affected then the problem will need to be addressed. The early motor mounts suck too, and can cause some scary noises under extreme launches.

Mechanically, there have been no real changes. The newer models add nice features - rear view cameras, heated steering wheel, adaptive headlights, Sync 3, etc. I like the newer body style except for the increased use of the black plastic in the rear - looks fine on darker colored cars but I don't like it on the lighter colors at all. The only way you're going to be able to make a decision is to set yourself a hard budget, then find the best car that fits into it. Otherwise it'll be difficult because the cost spread between a '13 ST1 and a '16 ST3 isn't going to be THAT extreme and it's always easy to talk yourself into spending just a few more dollars to get a lower mileage car with a few newer features.
 

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I wouldn't let head lights sway you from an ST2 trim. The ST3 HIDs are mediocre. Also, there are a ton of aftermarket light options IF you get the ST2. In contrast, there aren't nearly as many options for upgrading the ST3 lights.

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I definitely highly recommend 15+ I personally don't like the roundness of the 13-14 front end and 13-14 don't all have a sunroof. You can build and price on Ford's website to look at options, the major model year differences have been touched on in here already, but major options are still the same from the start in 2013. 15+ is also important as others have stated, the wire harness recall and others have been addressed from factory. May I ask why not new? Interest rates are much lower on a new car vs a used car and a 17 is going to have all recalls and thus recall related issues addressed before purchase and it's a good time to buy a 17 trying to move stock before MY18
 
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