Dual Purpose Machine - 2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST: Dual Purpose Machine

June 19, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

I have a small thing to admit: There are times when I get a little down on our Ford Focus ST. If I'm driving it enthusiastically, for instance, I've occasionally thought how I prefer the more elemental and communicative nature of our Scion FR-S and Subaru BR-Z long-termers. And during my recent family road trip, it occurred to me that it would have been a lot easier of a trip if I had something like our Honda CR-V to drive.

But when I mentally step back out of the immediate moment and think about all the Focus ST can do, the car quickly moves back into my good graces.

It's the dual-purpose nature of our Focus ST that makes it so appealing. If I owned an FR-S, I'd love it but there are a lot of daily life things I could never do with it (say, make trips to my storage unit, a favorite pastime of mine pictured above). In contrast, a CR-V would be quite useful but not at all entertaining to drive. The Focus? It's pretty good in both aspects.

If you can own just one car and need it to serve two masters, the 2013 Focus ST shines.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 13,614 miles


  • Thats the exact point of a hot hatch or wagon right? I think the sedans are better looking 90% of the time, but if you cant afford or dont want 2 cars, the WRX hatch, Focus ST and GTI can really do 99% of what you ask of them. Heres hoping the next WRX comes in a hatch, with a more refined interior!

  • aggie94 aggie94 Posts:

    I agree completely as a 6 month ST3 owner with twin 4 yr olds. Yes the full convertible car seats fit with 5'10" parents, and a moderate large trunk for road trips. For those unaware, the included full size spare and foam surround can be taken out for super trunk (std in Europe - spare extra), or replaced with the regular Focus mini-spare. I find the ST as fun to drive as my former 335i because the electronic nannies allow it, and the interior is not far from being as nice.

  • shepski shepski Posts:

    I think - with its full-size spare and Sony subwoofer - that the hatch of the ST is actually a major disappointment (and I still don't think it'd be enough for me even with the spare and subwoofer removed). If we could only get the ST Estate (i.e. wagon) stateside, THAT would be the PERFECT sub-$40K car.

  • vvk vvk Posts:

    To me, the best aspect of Focus ST is its buttoned down ride. The worst is its huge turning circle. After a series of cars with extremely tight turning circle, it will be very difficult to get used to. I forgot to check spare tire status during my test drive. I am extremely impressed to hear that it has a full size spare.

  • aggie94 aggie94 Posts:

    Agree on the turning radius - odd in a compact relatively short wheelbase car, but you adapt to it. There's room for tire chains though, lol. Shepski, the subwoofer takes very little room and removing the spare and styrofoam make a noticeable 30% improvement. For instance, I can fit a double jogging stroller in flat, 20" wheels removed. I've also fit 3 new 18x8 wheel boxes vertically with backseat up (car seats installed). Most sedansand and hatchbacks would have trouble with 3 wheel boxes (similar to 3 medium large suitcases.

  • stunthunt stunthunt Posts:

    The ST is a very useful vehicle for daily activities, and can burn up the tarmac with the best of 'em! It has a great ride for such a high performance vehicle, AND you can run it on regular 87 octane if you so desire. That's really nice if premium isn't available, or costs 80 cents more per gallon than regular. When doing long highway roadtrips, why pay more for gas?

  • zippy75 zippy75 Posts:

    These pretty much echo my feelings about my own ST.

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