2013 Ford Focus ST Long Term Road Test


2013 Ford Focus ST: Everyday Performance

January 22, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

A friend of mine is thinking about getting a new car this summer. So far his dream pick has been a used, 2011 Mustang GT (the first year with the new 5.0-liter V8). But he's always been a little hesitant given that he has a family. The Mustang's limited practicality, fuel bills and insurance would all be problematic.

So, I've been telling him that for pretty much the same money he could get a new 2013 Focus ST instead. Granted, the ST can't deliver the muscular, rear-drive thrills that a V8 pony car can. But for just about everything that's important to him, it'd be better. It's still very fun to drive, yet it's got four doors, a super useful hatchback area and an EPA highway estimate of 32 mpg.

I showed him our long-term Focus ST yesterday. He really liked it. I even told him it's just as cool as the Mustang, too, though in a different way. Of that, he wasn't so sure. But I'll let the ST sink it a little. I'll be curious to see what he ends up with.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 5,802 miles

Comments

  • bassracerx bassracerx Posts:

    just tell him to get the mustang he wants. everyone always goes out to buy a car and then ends up purchasing a completely different car because they talk themselves out of it. 1 month to 1 year later they are completely in remorse and wish they got the car they really wanted.

  • bassracerx bassracerx Posts:

    just tell him to get the mustang he wants. everyone always goes out to buy a car and then ends up purchasing a completely different car because they talk themselves out of it. 1 month to 1 year later they are completely in remorse and wish they got the car they really wanted.

  • opfreak opfreak Posts:

    comment check. you guys really f'd this up.

  • opfreak opfreak Posts:

    comment check. you guys really f'd this up.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    Given the choice between a V8 Mustang and the Focus ST, I'd choose the Mustang every time. But a new V6 Mustang is more in line with the price of an ST, with more power and (subjectively) better looks, but less versatility and (probably?) poorer handling. So, if it was your $25,000, what would you choose and why?

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I don't get this whole mindset that if you have a family, then every vehicle you own must be "practical" above all other concerns. I have a family, and I still drive a Miata that I love. We have our Taurus wagon for the practical stuff. I can see if you only have one car then sure, go for a hatch, but otherwise you don't have to act like life ends when you have a kid. It just gets more interesting.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I agree with stovt001 on that, but I also don't get why the car you get has to meet some kind of subjective coolness factor - this friend of yours is doubtful that the ST is as cool as a Mustang and that's giving him pause? Sounds like a young guy who is still overly sensitive to the opinions of the crowd.

  • ed124c ed124c Posts:

    I want something a bit more docile than the V8 Mustang. I have driven my nephew's 2010 V8 Camaro. It is too scary. And at my age (70) I am looking for a car with power but without the scariness. It seems like Ford has taken the scariness out of the Focus ST by adding a lot of gizmos that keep the car on the road. That sounds good to me. On the other hand, I really like the looks of both the Camaro and Mustang. I suppose I could get used to being scared-- like on a rollercoaster.

  • nedmundo nedmundo Posts:

    I've tested the Mustang GT and Focus ST on essentially the same roads, and I loved them both. Fun-wise, it's about raw V8 power and RWD dynamics vs. sport compact agility. Both are wonderful drives, but in my urban world (Philadelphia) the agility, practicality, better all-weather capability, and efficiency of the Focus ST would win for a purchase.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    I don't know about the Mustang's "dynamics". It's capable of pretty good grip (on the right tires), but by the same token there's no getting around the fact that it's a HUGE car. There's nothing intimate when you're talking about driving feel with these cars, particularly as the Mustang has horrible steering feel and you start losing the rear end if there's a pothole in the middle of the turn.

  • My special order ST comes in the next couple weeks or so. It will have a bay seat in back.

  • Baby seat that is. :)

  • cubbybear1 cubbybear1 Posts:

    Meh, I'd still get the Mustang.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Ford Focus ST in VA is:

$145 per month*
* Explanation
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