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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my Focus 2015 Focus ST3 for approximately 7 months, put in almost 10,000 miles in a short period. I watched many reviews, read plenty of forums and it just seemed like the perfect daily driver and ticked all the boxes, price, fun, practical, gas efficient , reliable, easy to maintain. Had all the creature comforts of a navigation, multimedia, Bluetooth, full leather recaros, and back up camera.

So how come I can't seem to love this car as I have all my previous cars? It just seemed so perfect on paper and it is by every standard.

I don't want people to get the wrong impression, I think the Focus ST is a fantastic car but for some reason it just doesn't do it for me. Maybe my expectations were just way too high with all the reviews praising the crap out of this car. Or maybe I just need to take it to the track to truly find out what this car is all about. Anyways here's my major gripes with the car:

1. Speed, to get any sense of power I have to floor it and even at that point it seems overwhelm the grip of the front wheels. Which brings it up to my second point.
2. Grip, this becomes extremely problematic especially in the winter time when I'm running snow tires. I thought things would improve once I switched back to summers and it did to a degree but still wasn't all that impressive. Going into corners just isn't very confidence inspiring, maybe more due to the FWD nature.
3. Manual is ridiculously easy to drive, but the rev hang drives me nuts.
4. Ergonomics: Driving position isn't idea, but I get it economy car roots, thing's don't seem to be in the best position, including brake and gas for heel toe. Sitting in the car you get a sense that things are very well arranged, even the fiesta felt more open than this.

So here comes my dilemma, should I try to mod the car to try to bring it to "life." Or just suck it up and drive it for a few years and get another car.
 

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Pick up a ap3 or sct with a custom tune. Then you can make a more educated decision for your self. It's a night and day difference. I used unleashed and am extremely satisfied. Also add a gas pedal spacer for better heel to toe.
 

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First question, what were your previous cars? Seems like the experience of your previous cars are weighing in on your experience of the ST.

Grip is a big issue with this car. There's no LSD, and the K03 turbo spools up early and quickly...and of course, it's FWD. Tuning the car for more power can make the grip issue even more evident.

The heel-toe issue was my biggest gripe when I fist got the ST. There are ways to modify this to work. There are pedal spacers available to raise the gas pedal for heel-toe to work better.

From what I'm gathering, you haven't gotten this car tuned or done any modifications. I can tell you that modifying this car and getting a proper tune makes a noticeable difference. And if you have E85 in your area, it's a night and day difference. The rev hang can be tuned out if you mention it to whomever tunes your car. With the modifications I've done to my ST, I'm excited to drive it as my daily driver and have a lot of fun with it. I don't see myself ever going back to a stock tune unless I was selling the car. Yes, I agree the grip isn't the greatest (especially with more power), and the driver position may not be ideal for a sports car (my other car is an S2000 and I feel more engaged in that car just because of the driving position), but after the modifications, those gripes are really minor compared to what the car can do now.

Bottom line, I would try modifying and tuning your car, and if you don't like it, sell all of your modifications on here, flash back to stock, and get a car that will be more to your liking.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My previous cars were a 2008 BMW 335i, 2009 Subaru STI, and currently 2015 BMW M4 with my Focus ST being my daily driver. So yeah extremely hard for the Focus ST to live up to. I really wish I didn't get rid of my 2009 STI.

I was just shocked at the lack of traction even at stock level powers so like you said increasing the power would just exacerbate this issue. I've thought about going with the mountune mp275, but it is pricey and it seems like most people get similar gains with a stg 1 flash from the right tuner. I'll definitely get the pedal spacer to improve that aspect.
 

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After looking at your previous cars, the ST is not in the same league. The ST is a fiesty little compact. It is a budget racer. And the FWD platform will never have the acceleration grip of a RWD or AWD car. Plus the FWD platform requires at lot of finesse with the throttle to keep it from being upset in the corners. You can't just mash the pedal, because the front wheels are both steering and accelerating--double work. Personally, I wouldn't bother upping the power, since in stock configuration the power is already pushing the limits. Personally, I love this car, and it has made me a better driver learning to compensate for the FWD platform. The cornering grip is great, if the throttle is balanced properly. Scary if you give it too much power or pick a bad line over a slippery or uneven surface. I personally consider RWD much more forgiving. The thing about cars, when you are an enthusiast, is that "ticking all the right boxes" is no substitute for how the car makes you feel when you drive it. It is an emotional experience that goes beyond 0-60 times and alledged cornering g-forces. I was all set to buy a WRX, but I wasn't happy during the test drive. I tested the ST just to be objective and remind myself that FWD is lousy. But instead I found the first FWD car that I really feel in love with. My past cars were an 88' S-10 Blazer (98 hp), an 82 Cavalier (88 hp), a 93' Mustang 2.3L (107 hp), an 04 GTO (350 hp) and an 08 Grand Cherokee 5.7L (330 hp). Only the GTO had superior performance to the ST, but in all honesty it was no fun to drive unless I was going way too fast to be safe. For me, the imperfectness of the compact car gives it the "X" factor that I like, but can't explain with numbers. So based on my past experience, the ST is a hoot! But it always comes down to you and not listening to the hyped reviews and other people bragging their car is so awesome.

The only mod I made to my ST, and I did this the first week I had it, was I made a gas pedal cover so I could heel and toe for $20. The adapter plates look really nice and there are several variations now, but I couldn't justify $80 to $100 to the wife. So I got creative with a cheap pedal kit from the autoparts store. Works great!
 

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I don't understand why people think the "Rev hang" in these cars are bad. Try driving an 8th or 9th gen Civic Si. I came from a 2012 Si and the Rev hang in that car is what I would consider atrocious. It literally feels like you're riding the clutch every time you shift a gear. Revs would "hang" up there for a second or two and it would constantly remind you that it's there. It also made shifting smooth hard. I honestly didn't even know my ST had rev until I read about it on these forums. Then again I can't even notice it. Sadly all new cars are coming with some form of Rev hang. It's an emissions thing and car manufactures do it to make the EPA happy. Just get a tune if it bothers you so much. I personally love the torque happy FWD. Puts a smile on my face everytime I get out on the road. I love my ST!!
 

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Move on or not.... Your $. Try a tune and go from there but the car is never going to compare to a late model M4 or STi or AWD anything for that matter, totally different animals. Gas pedal is an easy fix. Your 1 & 4 problems are not easy fixes. 3...? Easy is a good thing right. 2 your in control, your foot and brain are connected.

If the car doesn't check the enjoyment box for you maybe time to take the depreciation hit and move on or like you said, just drive it for a few years and move on. Maybe you need more seat time but it would like 10,000 miles is a pretty good test.
 

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I understand how you feel. I had a '04 VW R32 that was very lightly modded and then I got a GTI and was extremely unhappy. I had to cane the GTI to get it to move and then it would spin the tires, whereas the R32 just took off! All wheel drive spoils you.
 

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I don't understand why people think the "Rev hang" in these cars are bad. Try driving an 8th or 9th gen Civic Si. I came from a 2012 Si and the Rev hang in that car is what I would consider atrocious. It literally feels like you're riding the clutch every time you shift a gear. Revs would "hang" up there for a second or two and it would constantly remind you that it's there. It also made shifting smooth hard. I honestly didn't even know my ST had rev until I read about it on these forums.
I'm with you on this one. The hang in those SIs is ridiculous. It's never an issue in my ST.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Rev hang feels very unnatural to me coming from the STI. The manual transmission is actually a fantastic one for daily driving as it makes it so easy, but again that kind of detracts from the engagement and satisfaction of driving a car with MT, IMO.

I'm not trying to compare the Focus ST to the STI, i know they're in a different league. I was just wondering if Modding it dumping money into it will make me enjoy it more but it just seems like ultimately it's gonna exacerbate the characteristics that are causing me frustration in the first place.

At the end of the day it's a fantastic daily driver which is what I got it for. I try to keep my cars for a long time and would hate to dump money on mods if it's something I won't end up wanting to keep. Maybe when I take it to an auto-x or track I may discover the tail happy nature and change my mind.

I have my fun car but ultimately perhaps after a few years I'll trade up the focus st for something with AWD again.
 

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Maybe you're treating the ST wrong? To me, the first two points come off as you're trying to get straight line traction when the ST isn't built for that. The STI/Evo's are great for 0-60 and 1/4 times but that's not what the ST is made for. For me, the ST does inspire confidence in corners but I'm not used to driving $60k+ BMW's :)
 

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The thing I've learned is, after owning several cars over the years, if you're not happy with the base vehicle, modding doesn't really help. There are mods I want to make on my car, and mods I make on every car, but I've had cars that I thought modifying them would make me want them more. It doesn't. Sure, I like them better for a bit, but then reality sets in and I want something else more. I've owned cars I really liked, but the ST is the first car I have truly enjoyed driving all the time. The only other vehicle I've enjoyed as much was my 92 Mustang GT. This car is light years ahead of that car as far as performance, handling and almost everything else goes, but I had that car in the late 90s and I was in my early 20s. It was just joyful to drive. I've been chasing the feeling I had driving that car for a long time. If you're not happy with the car as it sits, its really hard to justify dumping money into it with the hope that you will suddenly love it. Just my .02.
 

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im so sick of FORDS service. i had a engine Blow on me (completely stock car) and they replaced only the short block. prior to the engine ****ting the bed it hesitated between 1000 and 2000 rpm. i got the car back after 2 WEEKS and it ran good for 2500is miles and now its doing the same thing again. its blowing white smoke and there are no engine codes. I'm thinking it is the head because the short block was brand new and the problem has happened again. so it must be the head. i would like some feed back if anyone has experienced this problem
 

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The ST is quicker then most daily drivers and it bombs corners like a son of a b!tch . Like already mentioned ,its not a straight line performance car but it WILL hang with almost anything you come across daily in the twisties .
 

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Prior to getting my Focus ST3 I has a Fiesta ST. I had the car for a bit over a year and put about 20k miles on it. It could just be what your perception of what you read is not living up to it. I am more than happy after driving the Fiesta ST for a year then upgrading to the Focus. It's superior in every way (well except gas mileage). It seems to flow better in the interior with things such as "oh sh!t handle" on the passenger side-the Fiesta doesn't have one. Also the unlock for the doors on the Fiesta is below the radio, but on the Focus it on the door-makes more sense to me. I felt my head smacking off the top of the Fiesta before but the Focus seems to have more head room (I think book shows only like an inch more). With the Fiesta I was getting about 29.5-31mpg daily driving, yet on the Focus I'm between 28-29. For the extra power I'd called that a wash.

I've had a Cobra before with a viper spec T-56 and cryo'd gears and that was very "ratchettey" and I appreciate the ease of the Focus shifting.

While the traction is an issue and when I do smash the throttle it tries to move around but both hands on the wheel fix that.

Again, I think it comes down to your previous perception, maybe you are a bit underwhelmed. While I want more power (and basss) I know it's only a few hundred dollars away. I wouldn't change anything else. (My perception)
 

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im so sick of FORDS service. i had a engine Blow on me (completely stock car) and they replaced only the short block. prior to the engine ****ting the bed it hesitated between 1000 and 2000 rpm. i got the car back after 2 WEEKS and it ran good for 2500is miles and now its doing the same thing again. its blowing white smoke and there are no engine codes. I'm thinking it is the head because the short block was brand new and the problem has happened again. so it must be the head. i would like some feed back if anyone has experienced this problem
I have seen some people speaking like above quote, but again I've never had an issue. I'm in and out in 30 minutes for service at the FastLane. I have yet to pay for one and I'm at almost 20K miles. Haven't had any other issues with the car that would need me to stop by other than an inspection. I just had my annual inspection and everything check green.

The dealer that I go to is a one-owner single Ford Store. Not a giant group of 50+ dealers. I don't know if that makes a difference but they really seemed to care. I've used them for years (Previous to the Focus ST I had a Fiesta ST and my wife also has an Explorer).
 

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My two cents.
I also am coming from BMWs. But no where near M4/335i. 2008 328i manual was mine.
ST is my first fwd. I giggled when I experienced my first torque steer lol.

Power: like others have stated, you are jaded from M power! :D
For me I keep my rpms high (3k+). It makes getting into power more ready. And this car like BMWs like to be revved. And can be argued that it's better for the car.

Sport mode seems to help torque steer. Mountune Clubsport suspension upgrades was helpful also. It really transformed the car. Flatter, more planted, less roll, and less nose to tail movement. It gave the steering more weight which I prefer. Better steering feel.
It gave the car a more BMW-esque handling characteristics.

Better tires? Wider? For more traction?

Removing the clutch spring assembly, greatly improved the clutch feel. Quick shift are crisper. Rev matching easier.
It feels like a "quick swift" clutch now. Maybe this is what you dislike about the delay when shifting?
It does make it a bit stiffer. But I like the extra resistance. It helps in throttle control.

There are couple of threads about this removal. Just be careful, people have broken it removing or reinstalling.
*Removal is quite easy. Insert screwdriver under assembly and find the sweet spot where a GENTLE twist of screwdriver will pop the spring out.
*Reinstallation advise from forum member: "Also note you have to put the left side in first at an angle then right side slots in."
*I used Dorman throttle return spring. Because the clutch will sag without it.

Included pic of springs. I used the longer two black ones together that comes in the set.

Included forum members pic of how he attached the spring to the clutch. I did it a little different. I used different springs and used the hole that is in the round pipe. The hole right next to bar code sticker in the pic. Easier if you hook toward you while bending the spring part.

I love this mod! I definitely feel it's worth a try. Just be careful. Plastic break :D

Weighted shift knob. Do it! Helps in quicker shift.

What's funny is that all these mods, I did similarly on my BMW.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the input fellows, I perform some simple mods to get the gas pedal to a better heel toe position but that's probably all I'll ever bother doing. Still considering an accessport stg 1 tune. Torque steer isn't actually a problem for me as some people make it out to be. I think coming from AWD and a RWD platforms really affects my driving style and doesn't quite go well with FWD.

This car is hands down the best value for performance, but you guys are right. If I'm not in love with the platform it's going to be a waste of money to mod it. I think at the end of the day I'm going to jump back into an AWD platform, Focus RS, STI, or Golf R.
 

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I don't understand why people think the "Rev hang" in these cars are bad. Try driving an 8th or 9th gen Civic Si. I came from a 2012 Si and the Rev hang in that car is what I would consider atrocious. It literally feels like you're riding the clutch every time you shift a gear. Revs would "hang" up there for a second or two and it would constantly remind you that it's there. It also made shifting smooth hard. I honestly didn't even know my ST had rev until I read about it on these forums. Then again I can't even notice it. Sadly all new cars are coming with some form of Rev hang. It's an emissions thing and car manufactures do it to make the EPA happy. Just get a tune if it bothers you so much. I personally love the torque happy FWD. Puts a smile on my face everytime I get out on the road. I love my ST!!
So true lol, i had an 8th gen si and you really dont know what rev hang is till you drive a 8th or 9th gen si.

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