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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm new here, and am thinking about buying either a new or preowned Focus ST. I am self-employed, and drive long-distances for work, so I expect to put a lot of miles on this car, and keep it for a long time. I know the ST has a timing chain engine, which should make maintenance cost a bit less overall, but can anyone here attest to the long-term reliability of these cars? Anyone have 80,000 miles or more that can tell me what repairs the car required (other than consumables)?

Are there any items where "they eventually all do that" that might be a cause for concern for someone who is a moderately-able DIYer, and not necessarily able to take the car to the dealership for service for every little thing?

Like many others, I am weighing my options between a WRX and an ST. I am leaning toward an ST because the feel and performance (in my limited experience with test drives) and because the non-base-model interiors are so much nicer. I'm also thinking that since I do not need AWD where I live (NJ) that a Focus may get better fuel economy and cost less to own.

Can anyone offer any experienced advice or opinion?

Thanks!

Anthony
 

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There's quite a few members with 130K plus miles w only minimal mainteance, alternator, etc.

Engines are usually good for long time ( mostly when kept near stock ) or subject to failure when abuse with crappy tunes/ fuel or combination there of.

I've had mine for 4.5 years now, other than oil/oil filter, air filter - it's been as reliable as any previous import or domestic car i owned, short of any problems I created myself ( mods!!).

Gas mileage.. if your part of NJ is anywhere like mine .. don't expect 30+mpg ! Spiried driver, 22-24 is GOOD week :)

PS. Selling my ST, which is still under warranty ( 7yr/70K).
 

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There's quite a few members with 130K plus miles w only minimal mainteance, alternator, etc.

Engines are usually good for long time ( mostly when kept near stock ) or subject to failure when abuse with crappy tunes/ fuel or combination there of.

I've had mine for 4.5 years now, other than oil/oil filter, air filter - it's been as reliable as any previous import or domestic car i owned, short of any problems I created myself ( mods!!).

Gas mileage.. if your part of NJ is anywhere like mine .. don't expect 30+mpg ! Spiried driver, 22-24 is GOOD week :)

PS. Selling my ST, which is still under warranty ( 7yr/70K).
As another NJ driver, I agree. The FoST is actually pretty damn reliable in my book. The transmissions of the early models had some synchro issues so if you were to go used, I'd say try to stick to 2015+ but other than that, it's all common sense. Perform maintenance when needed, get any recalls taken care of, etc. The, IMO, most common reason why our engines pop is because of LSPI but again, it's common sense. Don't go flat footed in 5th or 6th gear unless you're either on an airstrip or are looking to go to jail :haha:

Even with Stage 3 mods, reliability comes down to maintenance, common sense, but most importantly the tune. I'd highly suggest getting a tune from a "tried and true" tuner like Stratified.

As for gas mileage, it highly depends on your mods and how you actually drive the car. I think it's actually pretty easy to get 30MPG highway if you're driving on the highway in cruise control. That being said, with my Stage 3 mods and somewhat aggressive driving, I was averaging a consistent 21-22MPG combined which I think is pretty good.
 

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I drive over 50k/yr. Put 204k on my SE before it was totaled. Changed the brakes and rear shocks at around 130k, battery at 50k, several sets of tires . . . I think I'm forgetting something else (minor), but it was bulletproof and still ran perfect when it was rear ended by two morons. Clutch even seemed good for another 50-100k. Also, for a small car, these things are pretty tough in a crash (or two).

My 2016 ST has only 65k on it, but has needed nothing but a set of tires and oil changes and I don't expect anything soon. As for AWD, I think it's largely a waste of weight and gas, too (and I'm a former old Subaru guy)–if you need winter traction, get a set of snow tires on their own wheels (I used the 17s from my SE). I thought this thing would be terrible in the snow with the low end torque and fwd, but it's a (low rider) tank–the ground clearance stops it before it runs out of tire. I get from 25-32 mpg, probably averaging just under 29 for the lifetime of it so far. SE probably averaged close to 36, but the ST is not only more fun, it feels special whereas the SE was just a car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the responses, guys! One concern I have is that while I am looking for an ST2 or ST3 optioned car, that my 6'4" frame will not be comfortable in the car for long stints. (If you read Car and Driver and other reviews, the seats get mixed reviews for comfort and adjustability). I'd love to rent one of these cars for a day to try it out for more than the 10 minutes that a dealerships allow.
 

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I'm 6' 1" and I'm fine sitting in the car for an hour and a half, and my 6' 6" son has borrowed it for work (1/2 hour commute) and he never complained. I have a '16 ST3 with leather Recaros.
 

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Thank you for the responses, guys! One concern I have is that while I am looking for an ST2 or ST3 optioned car, that my 6'4" frame will not be comfortable in the car for long stints. (If you read Car and Driver and other reviews, the seats get mixed reviews for comfort and adjustability). I'd love to rent one of these cars for a day to try it out for more than the 10 minutes that a dealerships allow.
Just my .02 but these are not long distance car's, there pretty stiff and if the roads you travel are bumpy it will beat you to death after awhile. Also its only got a 12, 12.5 gal fuel tank. I'm 6'1 and after a 100 mile drive it's kind of hard to get out of the car sometimes lol. I have the ST1 and from what I understand there a little more comfortable than the ST2 and 3 Recaro's, I may be wrong. I love my ST and it's perfect for the driving I do, but my commute is only 8 miles each way and the farthest I've driven it in one stretch is only about 130 mile, if that. So I'm good.
Good luck on your quest.
 

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It isn't going to be super comfy, but for a car that performs this well and is fun to drive that is to be expected. It has been great to me for 14k miles. Furthest trip it has been on was 500 miles one way. Took it like a champ, averaged 30-32mpg @70 even through the ozarks. Just went stage 3 and wish I had done it sooner.
 

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I have taken a few 6+ hour drives in my ST3 and its been great (one 14 hour drive). If the recaros are adjusted right they force you into a good posture which makes long rides better. IMO the car is not too stiff, its no Cadillac but its still nice.
 

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My battery died at around 5 years from the build date and ~55k miles. Rear sway bar end links rusted and broke at around 4.5 years/50k miles. Other than that, just keep up with maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sounds really positive- thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I expect folks here to be positive about this car, but it's especially great to hear how maintenance-free they are, and also comforting to know that there is this community that supports the car as well. I was expecting to hear stories about leaking turbo oil-feed lines, and cooling problems, but it looks like Ford Europe got just about everything right. Now I have to find the right car at the right price...
 

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As a fairly new ST owner, I am beyond thrilled with this car. (ST1 model) I bought mine back in beginning of December 2017 b/c i needed a work commute vehicle for a new job i landed that got solid mpg but was still fun to drive when i wanted to toss it around.. I commute daily 35 miles each way for work, so about 40min is what it turns out to be with mild traffic in one section on way to work. interior comfort is also great, i'm 6'1" 230lbs. (non recaro's). I am averaging 27-29mpg hand calculated each tank i go through and i avg 75-80mph on the hwy, when i slow it down the mpg obviously goes up. I have had zero issues so far and these things run strong as hell I must say. I'm 35yrs old and was looking at the Mazdaspeed3 and the Focus ST and happy i went with the FoST. They both drive great but i felt the look of the MS3 was immature and clown car lookish. Dont be afraid to drive a distance to buy a used one either b/c prices fluctuate alot on these depending on the areas they are being sold.
 

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Yes the ride IS stiff. I have pretty good roads here, so not a problem.
But if the roads were full of potholes an not very good. I would not want to be in my car.

But cornering? wow. turns like a dream.

PS I get 34 mpg Winter, 32 Summer. It is 8F outside too.
The most helpful to great Winter MPG for me is indoor parking.
I only get those MPG staying OFF the boost. Driving on cruise control at 52mph average.
Add in any stops etc the mpg goes down.
 

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Thank you for the responses, guys! One concern I have is that while I am looking for an ST2 or ST3 optioned car, that my 6'4" frame will not be comfortable in the car for long stints. (If you read Car and Driver and other reviews, the seats get mixed reviews for comfort and adjustability). I'd love to rent one of these cars for a day to try it out for more than the 10 minutes that a dealerships allow.
Being 5'10" the recaro seats feel amazing. My girlfriend who is 5'1" loves them for road trips and my buddy who is 6'1" loves them as well. They are pretty stiff the first 1k miles. However they soften up after that, in a good way. The way I'd put it, brand new; they are the worst they will ever feel as it applies to stiffness.

I drive 77 miless a day for work in stop and go traffic and the seats never take a toll on me. Every day they hug me and make the stop and go more fun than my tacoma.
 

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Being 5'10" the recaro seats feel amazing. My girlfriend who is 5'1" loves them for road trips and my buddy who is 6'1" loves them as well. They are pretty stiff the first 1k miles. However they soften up after that, in a good way. The way I'd put it, brand new; they are the worst they will ever feel as it applies to stiffness.

I drive 77 miless a day for work in stop and go traffic and the seats never take a toll on me. Every day they hug me and make the stop and go more fun than my tacoma.
Agreed, usually height isn't the big issue since the seats are adjustable in that way, but typically its width. Bigger thighs feel constricted, big shoulders feel tight, etc. I will say I think 5'9 - 6'2" is the ideal height range for the seats/car. Taller and you are rubbing ceiling but shorts and you have to really bring the seat up.

My 6' girlfriend loves the seats, like LOVES the seats. She's 140lbs
I'm 6'1" and 170lbs roughly and I also LOVE the seats. Very comfortable.
My buddy who is 5'8" and 180lbs does not. Too wide and short, he reclines the seat way back and hates how tight it is on his legs and waist.
 

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My ST has 95k miles on it and runs and drives like new. The shifting is perfect and the engine has no leaks or noises. I run a big turbo and E30 fuel and it has tons of power..wouldn't be afraid to drive it anywhere. As long as the car is maintained properly and the tune is good, it should have no issues

Ford did a really great job on this drivetrain. I've had pretty much all brands of cars and this 2.0t is much more robust than many BMW or Audi engines I've owned.

Mine is for sale too, I want to get into an RS. Here is the link :http://www.focusst.org/forum/cars-sale/131698-fs-2013-focus-st3-big-turbo-14-900-a.html
 

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I am 5' 9" and weigh about 240. My arse covers three states.
Yet I like the Recaro seats in my ST3
They are a close fit, and not much moving my butt around in them. No problem.
(until someday I have to reach for my license to show the police.. Then I will have to mention I cannot reach my back
pocket unless I release the seat belt and turn sideways... or I need my debit card for some cash from a drive thru ATM... difficult.
Best I plan ahead and have it out before I sit down LOL)
 

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My car only has 19,000 miles, of course no issues yet. The dash display says I average 26.8 with mostly city driving. But as far as parts availability and cost down the road, I've got to believe that Ford Focus parts will be much easier to find and much less expensive than Subaru anything parts.

Be aware that if you buy a new ST, you will be able to attend (for free) Ford's Octane Academy at the Ford Performance Racing School in Tooele, Utah. It is an awesome experience! Does Subaru offer anything comparable? I don't think so!

As far as the Recaro seats go, I'm 5'8" and uh, more pounds than I should be (190 ish) and I spent six days in the Recaros, up to 16 hours per day. I love them, as does my shorter-than-me wife. I did 4,000 miles in five days and the sixth day was spent driving the snot out of the cars at Octane Academy, all of which are fitted with the leather/cloth Recaros. Now my right leg was tingly for a week or so afterward...but it's fine now.
 

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For me, the full leather Recaros were a key selling point. I'm 5'8" 155.

I was considering the WRX vs. the Focus ST3. The Focus was less expensive, especially with Ford incentives and the dealer's willingness to add on additional discounts. And I was used to heated seats, heated mirrors, navigation, and upgraded audio from the Fiesta ST I traded in.

Also, I'm so sick of swapping winter/summer tires and the Pirelli all-seasons are a nice compromise. They're fine in light snow, very grippy in wet conditions, and you can flight it around pretty freely when it's dry. The summer tires on my Fiesta ST were admittedly better in aggressive handling but storing and swapping wheels was a pain if done myself and unreasonably costly if I had my mechanic take care of it.

As always, the dealer short-changed me on the trade, but by the same token the Focus ST is not a car that flies off the lot in Chicago's south suburbs so they came down pretty reasonably on the sticker so it evened out. Although my Fiesta ST had only 45K miles and was clean, they convincingly explained that they'll need to auction it. They didn't even bother to inspect it so pretty sure they were telling the truth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Awesome, Guys! I love all of these comments. I've now test-driven 3 different ST's (a stock ST1, a modded ST3 and a stock ST3) and I know I am only considering a stock ST3. I live in NJ, so if anyone is selling one with low miles (less than 30,000 miles), and no mods, please let me know.

Anthony
 
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