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Am I crazy? Considering ditching my Model S for the Ford Focus RS

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by mnx, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    First a quick disclaimer: Please only post on the thread if you know what a Ford Focus RS is. :) No one liners please like "It burns gas, eww!"

    Here goes... I'm very strongly considering snagging an open allocation this week for a Ford Focus RS. My current car is a 2013 Model S P85.

    Am I nuts?

    It was my dream car 3 years ago, but in the mean time my wife and I had twins (total of 5 kids) so it's no longer our go everywhere do anything family car. Yes we can all squeeze in there and have been for most of this year, but driving our van is much nicer. Our 3 and 5 year olds can buckle themselves up etc.... I had a deposit for a Model X which I'm going to be dropping this week. It's pretty neat, but costs an arm and a leg and doesn't have the practicality (cargo room etc.) that a minivan has.

    Anyways I think I want something smaller and more fun for when Im driving by myself or have 3 or less kids along for the ride....

    I've never kept a car more than 3 years. My first couple cars were beaters, both had over 200,000km on them, but my previous car (a BMW 335d) and the Tesla I've bought new and kept 2.5 -> 3 years. I'm really hoping that I can keep the RS a long time. Apparently it's too easy to get seduced when you spend a lot of time reading car websites...

    I should add that I don't do a ton of driving especially since I have worked from home for the past 8 years. I'm going to be looking to start a new career this fall but won't be venturing very far from home as commuting and chewing up large portions of my day isn't an option.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Skateboardgolf

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    Hey mnx. Get a hold of yourself!! Ha ha.

    A couple things:
    - When shopping for my 1st Tesla, I test-drove the M6, Panamera GTS, S550 AMG, VW GTI and Ford Focus. Only the Focus ST made me giggle like a child - what a blast to drive!! Yes, the Tesla won out, and I have no regrets.
    - From everything I've read, the Focus RS is only a half-second quicker to 60 than the ST, so keep that in mind before you spend that extra $10,000.
    - Also, a couple pubs have wrote that the RS doesn't have as much personality, and isn't quite a fun to drive as the ST.
    - If I were you, I'd buy a used ST, for around $16,000, and keep the Tesla!
     
  3. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    Thanks for the useful feedback. If you remember where you read that the RS has less personality than the ST/isn't as fun to drive please point me to it. I hadn't seen anything like that yet.

    I think the only thing I'd really miss from the Tesla is the instant torque, and perhaps I'd loathe visiting gas stations when it's -20C outside. :)

     
  4. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    I had the latest gen Focus 5 door for a company car (2012) and it was alright. The interior was okay for a commuter. I had the My Ford Touch Sync which was a lightly "Ford-ized" version of Windows Automotive, and the support for it was terrible. Every other car was getting all these cool apps except the Focus, for some reason. Putting kids in the back seat can be painful since they're going to be kicking the front seats. Forget taking it on long trips; you will hate the car more and more with each long trip.

    I have a good friend that has a Focus ST that he autocrosses. It does the job for its classification and with proper tires, he's been getting the top two spots. Now, the RS is going to be an animal. Ford does a great job with that engine and has plenty of winning rallye DNA in the RS. The RS's interior still looks exactly like my 2012, but with the updated Sync hardware and a neat little gauge pod on the top of the dash. The seats aren't going to be comfortable for even medium sized trips. It's going to have the "race me!" wing on the back which will have plenty of people challenging you and plenty of attention from law enforcement.

    Safety for the Focus is less than the Model S. If you're taking your 2-5 kids out of a Model S and placing them into a Focus, you're taking a step or two backwards. I don't see a need to point out all the differences, here.

    My advice is to "try" to find a franchised dealership that will let you test drive one, or at least an ST. That brings me to my next point of customer experience. You're going from dealing with a Tesla Service Center to a Ford one. If you haven't dealt with a non-Tesla auto dealership recently, you're going to be in for a shock. I have a Chevy Volt, have visited my local franchised dealership once, and now try to avoid it at all cost.

    To conclude, the RS will be a fun car but you will miss your MS. Good luck!
     
  5. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Buy what YOU like to drive. Life is too short for driving what other people want you to drive.

    The RS version sounds like a riot.
     
  6. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    I think the Focus RS will be a ton more fun to drive. It's going to be super nimble, something that will really stand out compared to the porky Model S.

    If you like working on cars, you'll be able to do everything yourself on the Focus vs having to pay tesla to do everything on the S.

    There is also likely a Ford dealer around the block should you need warranty work and if you ever have an accident the Focus should be back on the road in a few days. The Tesla could be out of commission for months waiting for parts.

    That being said you'll be going from a car that you can fit your whole family in to one that you can't. That means if your mini-van is ever out of commission you'll be in trouble. I think for me that would be the deal killer.
     
  7. Skateboardgolf

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    @mnx - Motor Trend Magazine was a little iffy about the RS fun factor, compared to the ST.
    Check out their review by Jason Cammisa (who's a great writer!) from January 26, 2016.

    A couple highlights:
    "Out on the road, this is a car that’s refined, composed, and very fast. But also fairly sober. That means it’s less fun than the ST—a car that’s admittedly an outlier. In a world where most cars have no personality whatsoever, the ST has enough of one to have a personality disorder. It could probably use a dose of Prozac, but then the Focus ST wouldn’t be the same wheel-spinning, torque-steering, snap-oversteering psychopath we love so much.

    "So though the RS doesn’t quite match the ST’s smiles-on-the-road factor, it’s a perma-grin machine on track, and that’s something special indeed."

    My advice? - Trade in your P85 for one with Autopilot and rear-facing seats!
     
  8. trils0n

    trils0n 2013 P85

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    My brother has a Focus ST. It is a fun car to drive, and the Recaro seats are great, but overall doesn't compare the the Model S. Perhaps the RS will be significantly better than the ST, but I don't think the difference will be huge. I'd say go for it if you want to do some track time, want a smaller/lighter weight car, or regularly run into problems with the range of the Model S. For me, gas cars don't feel new, and won't satisfy that new car itch, compared to a Model S. Model S is an excellent car -- probably the best overall car on the market, and even an "older" 2013 is hard to top.
     
  9. Panoz

    Panoz Member

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    Everyone is missing the OP's point. No, I don't know the Focus RS, but I don't need to. The man has FIVE CHILDREN. I wouldn't recommend a VW Golf if you need a pickup, nor would I recommend a 5-passenger sedan if you have to transport 7 people someplace.

    I would certainly try to keep a Tesla, but with finite garage space, finite resources and lots of people, the Model S (unless he has the 7-passenger option) may not be what he needs. He's off to Daddy Camp!
     
  10. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    I have the rear facing seats :) I got them installed last summer.

    I have a 9 year old Toyota Sienna for when we all need to go somewhere. I don't think I need to own 2 vehicles that seat 7, but maybe I'm mistaken...

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've had my Model S to open lapping half a dozen times and it's got to be the world's worst track car between the power limiting and having to charge the darn thing. If there were a supercharger at the track that woud solve one problem, but the power limit just kicks in waaay to early on my P85.

    I definitely plan to take it lapping, but probably only a couple times per year.
     
  11. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    Have you looked at the Volvo XC90 plug-in hybrid?
     
  12. jbcarioca

    jbcarioca Active Member

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    On a pure fun to drive measure the RS is a tough choice to beat. I have had huge fun driving a variety of aftermarket tricked Focii, mostly in the UK actually. Were I in your shoes I'd probably go for the RS, maybe ST even, for driving alone.

    Still, since my P85D with autopilot etc I really cannot imagine giving up the thrill and capability either. Model X seems to really behave like a much larger SUV with S-like performance, but I have never driven one so I cannot say factually. Having some experience with RWD Model S I would not choose to keep one of those myself, mostly because of the improved balance and performance from the P-D combination.

    For the record, until my P85D my typical car repentino period has been a year or so, sometimes less, and I have managed to go through more than 50 cars, including some wierd wonderful ones (remember the Lotus Cortina of the mid-1960's?, How about the Fiat Bravo Turbo IE?). A big sedan like the S cannot match the dynamics of a 'pocket rocket' nor the pleasure of using much of the capability without threatening loss of driving license.
     
  13. Panoz

    Panoz Member

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    I'm glad you have the 7-passenger version. I had 2 children, 3 years apart, and if memory serves I should've rented a U-Haul for all the crap we had to carry for small children. Strollers. diaper bags. food. backups to cleaning supplies. HAZMAT suits for when you run out of cleaning supplies.

    You need room.
     
  14. LeonardD

    LeonardD Member

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    Go for it if the RS is what will make you happy. I am replacing my F150 with an X mostly because my mother in law cannot get into the truck. Not that I do not want the Model X, but it is mostly for convenience that I am getting it, and while I am at it, I want something that would be large enough. It has more interior space than my Ford Flex, if I compare the area behind the 3rd row that remains available for luggage, and then it has the frunk in addition to that. I do plan to keep the Flex for at least 4 more years, but with the cost of the Model X makes me want to keep it even longer. So 10 years for the Flex and at least 15 for Model X.
     
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  15. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    I saw it at the auto show last year. Beautiful vehicle. If I didn't have 5 kiddos (and need the 3rd row up at all times) it would be a great family vehicle. 15 cu ft behind the 3rd row is less than 50% of the cargo space of any minivan... Not practical for us.
     
  16. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    The XC90 has a great interior. My concern is the engine. I think this is a car to lease, not buy.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I respect Ford for making the Flex. It hasn't sold well, but their attempt to make a giant mini cooper was a pretty good idea.
     
  17. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

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    Cool. If I had a P85D with autopilot I probably wouldn't consider giving it up either.
     
  18. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    It burns gas, eww!
     
  19. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

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    I've been considering the same thing, but it's to replace my aging VW Rabbit, not my P85D. I love a manual transmission (my Rabbit has one) and in many ways my P85D feels sterile, even with much higher performance capabilities. I drive my Rabbit more than I drive the Tesla (two exceptions: during commutes, when I can use the HOV lanes in the Tesla, and on SF to LA runs, where autopilot shines).

    For pure driving enjoyment, a small car with a lot of engine and a manual transmission can't be beat. Do it.
     
  20. Bangor Bob

    Bangor Bob Member

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    Keep the Tesla, get a bike? Maybe like a Zero DS?

    After a little time on a bike, cars just don't do it. Partially because they lean the wrong way in turns. Granted, there's the safety thing. Personally I much prefer riding offroad, but that's not available everywhere...
     

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