2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,137
edited September 2014 in Ford

image2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

How practical is our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST hatchback? Practical enough to haul a toilet.

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  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 171
    Do the seats in the ST not fold flatter by flipping the bottom cushion forward before flipping down the back cushion? Plus, I thought the ST and Titanium Handling Package had full-size spare tires so that the cargo floor was actually raised higher than the folded seatbacks.
  • zimtheinvaderzimtheinvader Member Posts: 580
    one good sized bump in the road away from opening the back window :) ---- and you said duty......
  • reminderreminder Member Posts: 383
    A metaphor for a 'crappy' Ford?
    Just wondering.
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    oh, where's the caption contest when you need it?
  • quadricyclequadricycle Member Posts: 827
  • leonmfleonmf Member Posts: 1
    Actually, reach in under the back of the rear seats and lift up. The seats pivot from the front and the rear seats now fold lower than the rear cargo area. It took me forever to find this feature!
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    Complaining that the rear seats don't fold flat when you didn't RTFM to make sure that this was in fact true...review fail. Early in this car's LT stint, there were posts about how an option package this car has was too expensive for what it offered...except this car doesn't have that option package; it has a less-expensive one. There was also a post complaining that power seats were not offered, when the reality is that they are offered; Edmunds didn't get spend the money to get that package. Finally, there was a complaint about crappy cupholders, when the fact was the holder insert that cars have, that you can remove to wash them, was not installed in the car.
  • subytrojan_2subytrojan_2 Member Posts: 79
    A person shouldn't have to RTFM to figure out how to fold seats flat. Design fail. The fact that leonmf--an owner--said it took him "forever" to find the feature, is a testament to the poor design.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    @subytrojan: this is a really common arrangement, so much so that anyone who reviews cars for a living would normally check to see if a particular car has that feature the first time they fold the seats down. I would say that almost half of all cars wit
  • subytrojan_2subytrojan_2 Member Posts: 79
    My 2011 GTI folds "flat" in a cinch without this weird ledge. So does the outgoing MAZDA3, which is a "sister" to the Focus. I am not familiar with a lot of C-segment hatchbacks, but can't think of any other than the Focus that is like it. This is just silly. http://cars.about.com/od/ford/ig/2012-Ford-Focus-photos/2012-Ford-Focus-Hatchback-folding-seat.htm
  • bc1960bc1960 Pittsburgh, PAMember Posts: 171
    The Elantra GT. The Kia Forte. The Honda Fit. The Jetta SportWagen. Numerous other cars, past and present.The tabs and hinges are usually quite obvious, even without RTFM, especially to anyone who has experience owning or at least driving multiple vehicles. In my experience the older Mazda3 seats actually don't fold quite flat, which is why I bought a Mazda6 5-door, which has yet another arrangement, but is probably more expensive to implement, as the bottom rear cushions are mounted on rails so they slide forward as the back cushions come down, so the thick parts of the bottom and back bolsters do not rest on each other.
  • aggie94aggie94 Member Posts: 15
    The rear seats fold completely flat when you first tilt the seat bottoms forward. There is no tab, lever, latch - just pull the seat bottoms up from the back. As for the lip between trunk and seats, that has to do with the spare tire size. The compact spare and 3" foam surround make the trunk even with the fold flat rear seats. The full size spare is a few inches above the seats. Without a spare altogether, the trunk floor sits a few inches below the rear seats - Other countries sell the car this way and the spare is optional. I need the cargo room, so slime tire inflator only for me. Not coincidentally, the audio amp has enough extra wire to move from the trunk corner to the shallow spare well.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    I work for a major designer and OEM supplier of auto interiors, among other things. You can go basically two ways with rear seats (with a few exceptions like bc1960 has) - you can use a lower hinge point for the seat back, and flip the seat bottoms forward first - this gives more room and a lower floor, but the downside is that from the hinge to the top of the headrest is very long...so now you have to either use folding headrests, require the owner to remove the headrests, or scoot the front seat way forward to allow that long rear seatback to fold forward. So you're adding cost and complexity and making it more work to fold the seats, but you get a lower folded seat and more room. B5 Passats used this design. Or you can go the other way - I also have a 2011 GTI, subytrojan, and I'm sure you notice that your rear seatback hinge is much higher; in fact, the bottom cushion actually rises up at the rear and forms part of the backrest, and the LATCH anchors are integral to it. They feel very substantial and don't move around at all because they're fixed in place. The seatback hinge point is higher, and measured from the hinge to the top of the headrest the seatback is shorter and folds without the headrests hitting the back of the front seats. They are much easier to use, but you don't get as low a load floor, and no, they don't fold flat - go try them right now and you'll see I'm right. And yes, the decision of load floor height and folding seat design is partially driven by the type of spare. My 2011 GTI and yours use a full-size spare.
  • subytrojan_2subytrojan_2 Member Posts: 79
    Appreciate your detailed response, fordson1. I put "flat" in quotes because as you noted, there is totally still a slight tilt to it. Perhaps we're just dealing with different strokes for different folks (with design choices and limitations factored in). The Focus does it just like the Xterra (I work for the product marketing agency Nissan (U.S. and Canada), Infiniti (U.S. and Canada), Audi of America and Subaru of America use for their brochures and other content). http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=257493 I'm not too sure how comfortable Erin would be driving with the driver's seat scooted forward in this manner. Good discussion, everyone!
  • subytrojan_2subytrojan_2 Member Posts: 79
    Appreciate your perspective, too, bc1960. The Fit is a B-segment car, but Elantra GT and Forte are correct. I would argue the Focus' tabs are not "quite obvious." http://cars.about.com/od/ford/ig/2012-Ford-Focus-photos/2012-Ford-Focus-Hatchback-folding-seat.htm

    Even with the seats down, the Focus ST's cargo area is still raised due to the spare tire.

  • ericheseriches Member Posts: 80
    @ fordson1: As always, the level of detail and accuracy in your comments is impressive. I'm amazed that you bother to read my stuff as often as you do, given how many times I've disappointed you.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    @eriches: you are one of the more thoughtful and committed staffers. I criticize, but I'm sure I'm not fully aware of the constraints you folks are operating under. Thank you for the handsome compliment.
  • north52north52 CanadaMember Posts: 11
    Does the Focus ST have a different rear seat design/layout than the regular Ford Focus? My daughter has a 2012 Focus Titanium and the rear seat bottoms flip forward. Then, when the seat backs are folded forward into the cavity, the new cargo area is one flat, horizontal plane.
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