2013 Ford Focus ST Long Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST: Sold to CarMax

October 22, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

Our year with the long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST has come to an end, which means it was time to sell it and move on. I took it to CarMax to test the price waters. Before you hit the jump, take a guess as to how much we were offered. For reference, we paid $29,065 when we bought the car last year. Edmunds trade-in TMV is $19,972.

CarMax offered us $19,000. That's nearly a ten grand drop from our purchase price. The Focus's 35-percent depreciation really stings, given that our fleet average is about 22 percent. Turns out the CarMax offer was in the ballpark.

Some of you might be wondering why we didn't put it up for sale on AutoTrader. I scoped out the other cars for sale and quickly realized that our Focus would be facing some stiff competition if we were to offer it on the private-party market. Only 14 miles away was a nearly identical Focus ST with 17,000 fewer miles and an asking price of $22,900. And if our hypothetical Focus ST buyer was willing to drive about 250 miles out of the city, there was another Tangerine Scream Focus with only 349 miles on the odometer. It had an asking price of $24,999.

There was no way I was going to beat CarMax's $19,000 offer with that kind of competition. Sometimes the time and effort of selling a car yourself isn't worth it. The following day, I brought the car back to CarMax and accepted the offer.

And so the Focus ST leaves the fleet. I wasn't a fan of the color, but I loved the way the car drove. And judging by the miles we put on it, many other editors agreed.

Final Odometer: 20,780

Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor


  • kirkhilles_ kirkhilles_ Posts:

    Wow. That's crazy depreciation. When we went shopping for our Honda Pilot, places like CarMax had 3 year old Pilots (out of warranty) for just a few thousand less than what our new one cost. In this situation, it would seem to be smarter to just lease it or buy it used. Heck, CarMax has a yellow ST with only 6,000 miles for $24k

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    And so you see the downside of the manual only option. I get why the manual is more fun in the performance version, but when it comes to resale time, reality is this is an economy hatch, not a sports car, and the manual severely limits the number of buyers and thus the resale value.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Being in the market for a gently used (that disqualifies any Edmunds LT fleet vehicle) hot hatch, this universally severe depreciation for STs makes me very happy.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    @bankerdanny: You say that, but I'm looking at SoCal prices for a Honda Civic Si from 2006, most with between 70-110k miles starting at $11K. That counts as 45% depreciation for a 7 year old vehicle with significantly more miles, so it's probably not the

  • mathipa mathipa Posts:

    A huge part of depreciation seems that they bought it right at the beginning of the year. I bought mine with virtually identical options (+sunroof, paint) for $25,000 before tax. 20% depreciation doesn't sound nearly as bad, paying MSRP is what killed them.

  • mathipa mathipa Posts:

    Plus sunroof minus paint for above.

  • boff_ boff_ Posts:

    Yeah Ford "Employee Pricing" and other giveaways really affect resale.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    @duck87: the Si is the car that fed the rice racer movement in the US. It has had a couple decades to establish its rep. The ST is a new car without the deep aftermarket and reputation to sustain it. It is possible that the ST's depreciation curve will le

  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    Time to re-work the Edmunds TMV calculator. You guys are routinely surprised by the low resale on your long-term cars. A friend just got $10k trading in his 2012 Cruze with 67k miles; he paid $24k for it in late 2011. That's 58% depreciation in 2 years. KBB confirms these numbers.

  • aggie94 aggie94 Posts:

    This's one easy - too much paid for the car. I paid $27k last year for a completely loaded ST3 before the $3k incentives were offered. Plus, I love the yellow paint, but don't think it and the oddly colored seats are doing any favors here.

  • delta4137 delta4137 Posts:

    Dear Edmunds Staff, I just wanted to thank you for posting such regular updates on a great car that I have come to love very much. It always made my day to be able to look up your site and find a new update. It taught me things I never would have known about the ST and it has helped better understand the car that I lust for so much. I will sorely miss these posts but I understand that it's time has come to an end. Thank you again. Sincerely, Delta4137

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Loaded cars always take a hammering on resale. In the US I suspect it is doubly so for sporty cars that have been racking up the miles, at least in the eyes of a buyer.

  • kyolml kyolml Posts:

    i sold my 5 year old STI hatch (manual+hatch) for 26.5 k when I bought new 5 years ago for 29.5k (before tax and fees though), so it's definitely that the st hasn't 1. established the street cred, 2. maybe people think it as a focus "plus" sort of trim instead of a different car 3. not sure if they over sold it, but i doubt it...

  • camsen camsen Posts:

    LOL. Goodbye to trash.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    @bankerdanny: Think it's a stretch to say that the ST doesn't have a rep, considering all the positive press it's had in comparison to the stinker that is the 2012 Civic. I'm not sure what aftermarket has to do with resale (and there's not exactly a deart

  • shepski shepski Posts:

    Time for you guys to test a Fiesta ST for a year.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    I wish you guys would take some extra time to sell more cars private party or at least go to a ford dealership and see if it will qualify as a certified pre-owned. Where i live there is no carmax for at least 100 miles. not too far away in the grand scheme of things but i can't be the only one where carmax is not a legitimate option. But yeah i know you gots to keep your company out of the red so i understand just offering my opinion.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    my speculation on the ford depreciation debacle is ford itself is cannibalizing it's sales. it has too many sports cars in about the same price bracket. they have the Fiesta ST, the ford mustang(v6) and the focus ST within 3 thousand of eachother. Veriety is great for consumers and buyers but its not good for sellers.

  • explorerx4 explorerx4 Posts:

    Basically, the CARMAX offer was about the same percentage as it was for the GS350.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    bassrockerx, you present an interesting problem. Ignoring the Mustang, which generally appeals to a different type of "sports car" driver, you have the Fiesta ST and Focus ST in a similar price range. This should allow (force?) Ford to move the Focus ST a little upmarket.

  • somanymods somanymods Posts:

    lol manual only severely limits resale? My 2011 WRX is closing in on 3 years old. I paid 26800(marked down from 28xxx), if I used subaru's guaranteed trade in program I could still get 22500 with the 27500 miles I have on it. A honda dealer offered me 20800 trade in so that's probably the low end of the value. Private party I could probably get 23-24. STI's also manual only, hold their value even better. Civic Si's also hold their value quite well. RSX Type S's, integra type R's, S2000s , really any old sporty honda/acura. The Focus isn't holding is value because in the US people who buy these types of cars are biased against fords. They also bloat up the prices with a ton of stupid options.

  • dareo dareo Posts:

    There is no way the people at EDMUNDS paid MSRP on this car. Pulling it up today shows TMV $23,833 after incentives.

  • rem83 rem83 Posts:

    I'm seeing new, no-option STs listed for about $21k on dealers' websites. 19k for a 1 year old, fully optioned car with 20k miles doesn't sound too bad at all.

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