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Hello everyone

I am strongly thinking about getting a Ford Focus ST as my first car. It is very affordable, has plenty of space and power, and has a vast market of aftermarket parts. Is this a good first car as I am greatly considering it, I will love to take it to the track and upgrade existing parts on it.
 

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Have a 2013 TS 3. So far so good no problem. Has everything you stated. Hard to find something better for the same price. Take the leap.
 

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It sounds like it has everything you want, it wasn't my first car, but I have enjoyed it more than any other car I've owned besides my truck. A lot of guys seem to be getting over 100k miles no problem too. Like you said, cheap to buy, cheap to mod and cheap to fix...those three things make it great for a first car or at anytime IMO.
 
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i have ST2 wagon, love the car.
for my opinion. it is to powerful for first car. i mean for beginner, if that is the case.
 

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for my opinion. it is to powerful for first car. i mean for beginner, if that is the case.
^^This is my typical vote on these threads. Most beginners will eventually make a mistake that could get them into trouble in this car. Clearly I do not know you and maybe you are responsible enough that you will not. I would also say be careful with mods. I remember having friends in high school/college who bought "cool" cars, started dumping money into them, then either crashed the car or had to get rid of it because they could not pay for it anymore.

If you want a good first car with decent power, I would probably be more inclined to point you to the Fiesta ST than the Focus ST.
 

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Buy a cheap beater for the first six months to a year you will drive. You will thank me later. The FOST might be a bit too much car for a new driver
I agree 100% with this^^

If this is your first car ever, buy something cheap as a good percentage of people bang up their first cars.
 

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Would have been way too fast and too nice of a car for 16 year old version of me. I had a basic honda civic back in the day, but it was still fun with the manual 5 speed trans.
 

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This car is perfect for a beginner.. if the kid cant drive it wont matter what he's behind the wheel of and its not like this is a high hp car.. its got just enough hp to make it fun but not enough to make it deadly. When i was 16 i drove a 71 ranchero with a 400+ hp small block 351w, if you use common sense and have some ability as a driver you will be fine! I would have loved to have somthing like the FoST or the FiST as my first car..


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Buy a cheap beater for the first six months to a year you will drive. You will thank me later. The FOST might be a bit too much car for a new driver
I also agree with this. For a few reasons.

1- It is a powerful car, and not only that but a powerful FRONT WHEEL DRIVE car. This means it has torque steer. Trust me, I'm familiar with powerful cars but the initial torque steer the first time it happened got my heart going a little. The wheel will try and pull right out of your hands and I could see someone panic and possibly crash if it happened to them.

2- First cars are ones that take a beating a little at first..especially manuals. I wouldn't want to beat on a $20-30k car...I'd rather get a cheap little car (which is a manual) to beat and learn on. Once you do that the ST will be a cakewalk to drive (talking about the transmission here)

3- Something that hasn't been brought up yet, but I think is VERY important, this car is designed to OVERSTEER and not UNDERSTEER like most FWD cars. This is probably one of the scariest things about this car in the hands of the inexperienced. Once you learn it, it becomes very fun and addicting, but it is unpredictable and if a beginner enters a turn too fast and hits the brakes (this is the most common thing that happens) or they let off the gas WHILE they are turning, the rear end will come out. Which can cause for a- spin or b- into the other lane/guard rail/etc. I think this is arguably the biggest reason I wouldn't recommend it as a first car because lets be honest, you'll own it a while then you will want to play. If you hit a turn too fast accidentally (it happens) then guess what? Scary situation.

4- Insurance for this thing can really suck if you're young. Especially if you got a ticket for speeding while playing. So get a beater for a while and that'll help your insurance a little I believe.

5- You live in Washington, so you'll be in the snow here in a few months. Get a beater and don't worry about having to get snow tires here in a few months for the ST because you WILL need snow tires to use it in the snow.

After all of this, however, I do recommend the car. Get a beater for a while then come back to the car. We will all still be here in the meantime if you have questions or it comes time to buy one. Best of luck to you.
 

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This car is perfect for a beginner.. if the kid cant drive it wont matter what he's behind the wheel of and its not like this is a high hp car.. its got just enough hp to make it fun but not enough to make it deadly. When i was 16 i drove a 71 ranchero with a 400+ hp small block 351w, if you use common sense and have some ability as a driver you will be fine! I would have loved to have somthing like the FoST or the FiST as my first car..


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couldn't disagree more. It is definitely not for most young drivers as a first car. I'm assuming he is young. Kids mess up cars from lack of experience and being irresponsible no offense OP. I think the power and fun of this car will overcome a teens control of him/herself and not realise the power at your disposal and if aren't good with a manual this can be a recipe for disaster. Trust us it's best get it out of your system on something more tame.
 

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Umm, where did he state he was 16? Did I miss that part? I read this with the impression it was just his first car he is buying, not necessarily the first time he's driven...OP can you clarify this? If OP is in H.S....yeah don't get this car. I got in a sh** ton of trouble in a old jeep cherokee, if I had an ST I might be dead and I'm not saying that as a joke.
 

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Umm, where did he state he was 16? Did I miss that part? I read this with the impression it was just his first car he is buying, not necessarily the first time he's driven...OP can you clarify this? If OP is in H.S....yeah don't get this car. I got in a sh** ton of trouble in a old jeep cherokee, if I had an ST I might be dead and I'm not saying that as a joke.
If he was referring to first car he is buying then I understand, but the way he worded it, and the way he reacted to the initial first few replies, he is young. It's his first car altogether.

I may be wrong, but context clues point strongly towards first ever here I think, which is why I made the response I did.
 

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Hello, nice to hear you are considering this car. I bought this car as my first car as soon as I got my liscense, and I've had it for over one year. I love it. I have an ST3 that is also modified. It's a super fun car, the most fun car I have ever driven. The only problem is that the car is pretty quick, and when you combine that with a car that is super fun to drive and has a nice exhaust note (modified exhaust that is) it makes you want to drive fast. Sometimes faster than you should. For me, I don't push my limits. It's not really a matter of being dangerous. I drive normal and courteously in traffic. I don't hold up the left lane. However when I have an open road, I sometimes have the urge to speed. So tickets are a problem for me. I actually haven't been pulled over or gotten a ticket. It's just that I've driven a lot faster than I would've in a less sporty car. So just keep in mind when you drive this car, you will probably want to drive it fast.
 

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My advice, start with an underpowered car like a base model Civic (the 8th gens, 2006-2011, are awesome and were available with 5 speed manuals). Then either take a few Street Survival classes or do a whole season of autocross with everything stock. Learn to control the car and develop your driving skill to the point that the only thing holding you back is equipment. Then you'll appreciate the extra power when you move to something like an ST.

Become a master, not a statistic.

Also, your insurance agent will thank you. So will your wallet.
 

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not ideal for noobs due to overpowered FWD problems. Nothing that will put you in a ditch if you are paying attention, but you would be better off spending 6mos in a base focus or civic with a manual.
 

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While I think it's too much car for a beginner you can fix that by going to a high performance driving education event from day one. Learn how to handle torque steer, lift off oversteer, and most importantly UNDERSTEER. I know a guy who crashed his GTI because he thought his car will handle a 75 degree turn at 60 mph and didn't know what understeer was. And also be smart; I know I wasn't when I started driving.

Also this car will likely ruin other cars for you; there aren't many cars that are this fun for this kind of money (except Fiesta ST)
 

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I think brian60's excellent post (#11) nails it, and I believe the oversteer tendency is why Consumer Reports specifically warns that the ST isn't for novice drivers. I recall that from their video about the ST, and it might be in print as well.

Lift throttle oversteer can really catch you by surprise, so it's best to have some experience before pushing a car with that tendency. I almost learned this the hard way with a 1995 Jetta GLX VR6, but I'd been driving long enough that I was able to catch it.

If you DO get the ST, I highly recommend a performance driving course to learn more about vehicle dynamics. I took the Skip Barber one-day course, and it was awesome. The first half should be part of regular driver's education, but sadly it's well beyond what most drivers are exposed to.
 
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