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I've loved my ST1 for these past few years. Unfortunately, I bought it a few months before getting a raise, after which buying an ST3 instead wouldn't have been a huge deal.

My only 2 gripes about the ST1 are the teeny dash displays, and the seats. (Seats aren't really a huge "gripe" per say but I really want those full leather recaros.) The backup camera isn't all that usable on that stupid little screen.
I've considered looking into doing a seat swap or buying the ST3 seats outright from a third party, but ideally I'd just like a full ST3 trim level package because again, that little screen is nonsense.

I've never thought about wanting to buy a car from a dealership where the trade in is the same car of a lower trim level... Is that a crazy thing to try and do? Would dealers not be too keen on that idea? I wouldn't be against an RS either! (ha, the price and history would have to be just right)

Note: My car isn't tuned and only has easily removable/revertible cosmetic additions like hella horns and the maxton spoiler extension.

Thanks in advance for any wisdom.
 

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I don't think a dealer would give two hoots about what you are wanting to trade for what - as long as they make enough money on the deal they couldn't care less.
 

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Trading in your ST for a higher trim ST will cost you more all around. The dealer will give you as little as possible on it. In a perfect world, you would find your ST3 and buy it, then sell the ST1 privately (or sell the ST1 first.) The dealer would be super pleased to help you trade in your ST for a different ST, all profit for them
 

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I did just that for same reasons, hated the radio and the seats...It was a new 2017 ST1 off the lot for 21k and some change. Sold her a year later for what I owed, 18k-ish. Just finished buying a used 2015 ST3 for 19-ish...and WAY happier with the ST3 than I ever was with the ST1.

Funny part is...the mileage was almost the same, I put high 20,000 on the ST1 and the 3 had low 30,000 on her when I drug her home from Portland.
 

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A new radio with a big screen is a lot cheaper than another car. You can keep sync and everything.
 

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Lost my ST1 2017 in a rear end collision after buying it in June 2019. It had 3600 miles on it originally, and 14,000 on it in the end. When I started searching for a replacement, I came across a 2018 ST3 out of state, and got it with 11,000 miles on it for about the same I purchased my 2017. Loads of ST1's out there, and would have bought another of the same if this one didn't show up. Sometimes you have to be like a semi truck mud flap, flexible and willing to travel. Check out Truecar.
 

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I just wish I had the HID headlights. Heated mirrors in a sunroof would probably be nice to. I don't know that I could deal with those recaro seats.
 

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I mean it just comes down to what's the most important for you. If it's the display, I've seen people on FB saying they can swap the head unit from the ST3 at a cost. For me, in the PNW, I love the heated seats/steering wheel as well as the head lights. I'm sure you already have, but do as much searching around what the cost would be to upgrade to the parts you want vs the price differential between the cars. Sometime it's worth the price, all depends on how important everything is.

Bottom line, people have done this and it's not a crazy idea if you can justify the cost/value to execute everything.
Lost my ST1 2017 in a rear end collision after buying it in June 2019. It had 3600 miles on it originally, and 14,000 on it in the end. When I started searching for a replacement, I came across a 2018 ST3 out of state, and got it with 11,000 miles on it for about the same I purchased my 2017. Loads of ST1's out there, and would have bought another of the same if this one didn't show up. Sometimes you have to be like a semi truck mud flap, flexible and willing to travel. Check out Truecar.
 

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Ya know...the internet carlot on eBay puts these units in their ST/RS cars

376313


I have no idea what it is, or if it’s a photoshop?
 

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When I was looking for a Focus ST 18 months ago, I was looking for a low-mileage used (or CPO) ST3, because that was my price range (max of $25k Out The Door). After driving close to 10 new and used ST1's, 2's and 3's- I just knew I'd feel like I short-changed myself by not buying the ST3 (which I much preferred for many reasons: the Heated Recaro sport seats, the heated steering wheel, the steerable headlamps, the sunroof, on and on). I wish I didn't prefer those expensive options, but I did and still do, and I didn't want to be reminded that I bought a car without getting exactly what I wanted every time I got in my car. Used low-mileage ST3's were rather hard to come by in my area when I was looking, and the few that I did find were priced only a few grand less than a new one. Ultimately I found a new ST3 four states away, for just $500 over my max with all taxes and fees, so I went for it, and am really glad that I did.

Nobody can tell you what you should like, or why you should like it, but if you're interested enough in cars to buy a Focus ST- you are already being sensible and making the compromise between a sports car and an economy car. The options packages for most BMW or Audi products alone cost more than I paid for my car with taxes and documentation. If you love cars, life is too short to drive something that you don't or almost love (within reason).
 

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I learned a long time ago to buy the car that you want the first time around. In other words, don’t settle for an ST1 because it’s cheaper vs. an ST3 because you’ll never be happy.

As far as the dealers go.... I find them to be very annoying. Do not trade your ST1 in for an ST3, so they can hose you on the deal. Either sell it yourself or get a quote from Carvana.

You mentioned the RS? That’s a whole different animal & you have to be willing to spend an extra 12-15k.




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I wish my ST3 had a heated steering wheel :( perks of having a '13.
Heated Recaros and a sunroof were the big points for me.
 
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