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And soon your commute will be a ball...[/music]. (To the tune of "Put one foot in front of the other")

Hello all, looking for a bit of ST wisdom. I will be passing on my daily driver to my daughter in about a year, and - if all things stay the same - will need a new commuter. I have about a 78 mile round trip to the office, so a ride that gets decent mileage is important to me. After some looking, I'm leaning heavily toward a Focus ST as it is reasonably quick, handles well, is FWD for winter (we are in Detroit), and is big enough to haul hockey equipment - both go my kids play.

Is there a reason to look at a 2014 or 15 over another year? It does not seem like their were any major mechanical changes (i.e., year X got 25 hp more) and the option list is pretty consistent. The one thing that strikes me is the availability of the "new" MFT without the Microsoft involvement. I pretty much hate everything about MS and their products and have rarely been wrong when I expect disappointment from them. From reading, it sounds like if your vehicle has MFT, you are pretty much stuck with it so I want to be stuck with the best version possible (side note: great call Ford, no one buying a car these days would want to, oh, put in a new stereo... Sigh).

Given that, any advice? From a price standpoint, older models tend to be $1-4K cheaper even with the same miles. Cheap is good :)

 

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And soon your commute will be a ball...[/music]. (To the tune of "Put one foot in front of the other")

Hello all, looking for a bit of ST wisdom. I will be passing on my daily driver to my daughter in about a year, and - if all things stay the same - will need a new commuter. I have about a 78 mile round trip to the office, so a ride that gets decent mileage is important to me. After some looking, I'm leaning heavily toward a Focus ST as it is reasonably quick, handles well, is FWD for winter (we are in Detroit), and is big enough to haul hockey equipment - both go my kids play.

Is there a reason to look at a 2014 or 15 over another year? It does not seem like their were any major mechanical changes (i.e., year X got 25 hp more) and the option list is pretty consistent. The one thing that strikes me is the availability of the "new" MFT without the Microsoft involvement. I pretty much hate everything about MS and their products and have rarely been wrong when I expect disappointment from them. From reading, it sounds like if your vehicle has MFT, you are pretty much stuck with it so I want to be stuck with the best version possible (side note: great call Ford, no one buying a car these days would want to, oh, put in a new stereo... Sigh).

Given that, any advice? From a price standpoint, older models tend to be $1-4K cheaper even with the same miles. Cheap is good :)

The 13-14 were the same and the 15-16 are the same. No HP changes, from year to year but some brake changes from year to year. The rest is cosmetic and interior do-dads. Also if you are concerned about the dash/stereo look into the Metra Dash kit. You can replace the stereo with a tablet and such.
 
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Thanks for the feedback - I had figured that there really weren't any major updates, just cosmetic stuff. Nice to have outside confirmation. :) I'm not overly concerned about replacing the stereo, though as noted I pretty much can't stand anything from Microsoft as 99% of their products are half-assed efforts that don't do what they *should* do, and/or try to do things that aren't needed or wanted. From all I have read, MFT falls right into this philosophy. Plus, I tend to keep my vehicles until the wheels fall off (160K+ on each of my last two rides) and more widgets = more opportunity for things to break.

The current ride is a 2012 Mazda 5 minivan, which is about the most useful vehicle you can imagine. It is definitely not the most exciting thing in the world, but I swear it violates the laws of physics by being larger on the inside than it is on the outside! And it drives well, gets good gas mileage, and is about perfect for my daughter's first car (Gawd help us all!). Now maybe I should go take a look at the 2013 Tangerine ST that the local dealer is advertising... :)
 

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The '16s have the updated My Ford Touch that no longer uses Microsoft and is much faster (reportedly, I've never used it). The '15s and '16s have the freshened look, with the primary differences being in the headlight look and the rear bumper look. As mentioned previously, there is a small difference in the brakes - the newer ones are a tad bigger but also use less dusty pads (the OEM pads on my '13 were like using charcoal, to the point I replaced them at 15K miles with plenty of life left).

With regard to the Metra kit, this only applies to the ST1 package. The MyFordTouch system in the ST2 and ST3 is heavily integrated into the car and is pretty much irreplaceable (unless you are/have a master installer and a lot of money). All in all it's not a terrible system, and if you can tolerate the functionality but want better sound, there are solutions that aren't ridiculously expensive. I have the '13 ST3 and the leather has held up very well (I do keep it clean and condition it every few months).

Make sure that when you go test drive it that your kids' hockey equipment fits ok. My sons are baseball players, and it's a stretch to haul 3 kids, their baseball bags, and a small cooler. I've never played hockey but I would assume the issue would be the same. If you're used to the magical gear engulfment of the Mazda5, you may be disappointed with the ST, as I've found the "trunk" space to be very deficient. Sometimes even small trips to the grocery store can fill it up pretty quickly for my family of 5.

As for being a commuter car, I think it does very well in that regard. Now I don't commute any more, but driving around town and freeway should net you very good mileage - I'm usually at 27-29MPG even when my leadfoot wife drives it. Reliability seems pretty good too...there are some common issues, several of which have had TSBs or recalls (wiring harness, for example). Every model has its lemons, but aside from that there don't seem to be a ton of problems. A couple of people on this forum have very high mileage, one guy has 350K IIRC, with only typical maintenance items like alternator, clutch, etc.
 

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The '16s have the updated My Ford Touch that no longer uses Microsoft and is much faster (reportedly, I've never used it). The '15s and '16s have the freshened look, with the primary differences being in the headlight look and the rear bumper look. As mentioned previously, there is a small difference in the brakes - the newer ones are a tad bigger but also use less dusty pads (the OEM pads on my '13 were like using charcoal, to the point I replaced them at 15K miles with plenty of life left).

With regard to the Metra kit, this only applies to the ST1 package. The MyFordTouch system in the ST2 and ST3 is heavily integrated into the car and is pretty much irreplaceable (unless you are/have a master installer and a lot of money). All in all it's not a terrible system, and if you can tolerate the functionality but want better sound, there are solutions that aren't ridiculously expensive. I have the '13 ST3 and the leather has held up very well (I do keep it clean and condition it every few months).

Make sure that when you go test drive it that your kids' hockey equipment fits ok. My sons are baseball players, and it's a stretch to haul 3 kids, their baseball bags, and a small cooler. I've never played hockey but I would assume the issue would be the same. If you're used to the magical gear engulfment of the Mazda5, you may be disappointed with the ST, as I've found the "trunk" space to be very deficient. Sometimes even small trips to the grocery store can fill it up pretty quickly for my family of 5.

As for being a commuter car, I think it does very well in that regard. Now I don't commute any more, but driving around town and freeway should net you very good mileage - I'm usually at 27-29MPG even when my leadfoot wife drives it. Reliability seems pretty good too...there are some common issues, several of which have had TSBs or recalls (wiring harness, for example). Every model has its lemons, but aside from that there don't seem to be a ton of problems. A couple of people on this forum have very high mileage, one guy has 350K IIRC, with only typical maintenance items like alternator, clutch, etc.
Umm, I have a 2016 ST3. It has Sync 3, which if I recall correctly is a Microsoft product. The ST1 has another system, but Sync 3 is on the ST2s and 3s. I can't say I agree with OP as I've had great experiences with 90% of Microsoft products I've interacted with. To each their own, but I bought a 2016 ST3 specifically to get the Sync 3 system, because the 15 has Sync 2. Other than the infotainment system, there isn't much of a difference between 15 and 16 STs as previously stated. I personally prefer the look of the newest generation.
 

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Alright I stand corrected. Sync 3 is powered by BlackBerry. I'm all backwards on this one. I love my car though, that I know! Haha
 

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I have a 2016, and the backing camera is one of the most underrated things I have ever seen. I thought a backup cameras was just silly, but it helps in parallel parking and backing into a space so much. Also, since the front of the ST is a bit "low". Being able to back in to a spot prevents you from scraping your cowling against a curb. And in the 2016 (and 15 I believe) they are standard across all ST trims.
 

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And soon your commute will be a ball...[/music]. (To the tune of "Put one foot in front of the other")

Hello all, looking for a bit of ST wisdom. I will be passing on my daily driver to my daughter in about a year, and - if all things stay the same - will need a new commuter. I have about a 78 mile round trip to the office, so a ride that gets decent mileage is important to me. After some looking, I'm leaning heavily toward a Focus ST as it is reasonably quick, handles well, is FWD for winter (we are in Detroit), and is big enough to haul hockey equipment - both go my kids play.

Is there a reason to look at a 2014 or 15 over another year? It does not seem like their were any major mechanical changes (i.e., year X got 25 hp more) and the option list is pretty consistent. The one thing that strikes me is the availability of the "new" MFT without the Microsoft involvement. I pretty much hate everything about MS and their products and have rarely been wrong when I expect disappointment from them. From reading, it sounds like if your vehicle has MFT, you are pretty much stuck with it so I want to be stuck with the best version possible (side note: great call Ford, no one buying a car these days would want to, oh, put in a new stereo... Sigh).

Given that, any advice? From a price standpoint, older models tend to be $1-4K cheaper even with the same miles. Cheap is good :)

In regards to the comment someone made about bigger brakes in 2015-2016 models keep in mind the 2014 models made AFTER March 2014 do get the upgraded front brakes if that makes a difference to you (It did to me). Now, in regards to which to get it's all personal preference on looks and very small differences in interior features. As you'll see 15/16 models have a refreshed and "sharper" front end on them with different fog lights. Also the 2016 (I don't think 15) has stuff like a heated steering wheel. Other than those features however they are all almost the same car from each year to another.

I think you definitely won't regret your decision to go with the Focus ST. I commute 80 miles a day 40% city and 60% highway and I love mine. Get into tunes/mods and it really gets fun quick.

Best of luck on your choice, and since you're from Detroit...go Pens. ;) (Assuming you're hockey fans)
 

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Best of luck on your choice, and since you're from Detroit...go Pens. ;) (Assuming you're hockey fans)
Oh no you di'int...



2014 ST3, here. My ford touch may be microsoft, but it doesn't seem like it. If that helps.



Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N915A using Tapatalk
 

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I'd probably go with a 15+ because:
Sync 3 rather than Microsoft Sync with MyFordTouch (This may have come in starting at the 2016 models?)
Backup cam
Softer leather

Other changes:
Changes in front and rear bumpers
Heated steering wheel iirc?
 

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I only owned and driven a 15, but my general thoughts are I would not of enjoyed the car much if I had a 13-14. Possibly just because of the back up camera, but from I can see the overall car is better refined.
 
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