Choosing a Hot Hatch - 2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST Long Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST: Choosing a Hot Hatch

January 17, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

If you're shopping for a performance hatchback and stuck with a major case of indecision, I can empathize. I'd have a hard time choosing, too.

In my mind, the top picks here are the Ford Focus ST, the Mazdaspeed 3, the Subaru WRX and the Volkswagen GTI. (Here are the four cars set up on the Edmunds comparison tool.) I like each of these cars for different reasons. The GTI is the most refined and comfortable. The Mazdaspeed is the most muscular. The WRX is also strong and adds all-wheel-drive traction. Yet the cool thing about the Focus ST is that it largely combines the refinement of the GTI with the performance of the Mazdaspeed and Subaru.

In terms of price, the Ford Focus ST, Mazdaspeed 3, Subaru WRX and Volkswagen GTI all start in the $24,000 to $26,000 range (with destination). That would seem to be another point in favor of the Focus. But since it's new, dealers likely aren't going to be willing to negotiate down from MSRP as they would with the other cars (we in fact encountered dealer markups on the Focus when we bought ours.)

So you might end up paying more for the Focus. But from a long-term ownership standpoint, I'd say any relative extra you pay would be worth it given how good it is.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 5,785 miles

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