Would You Want a 3-Door? - 2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST Long-Term Road Test

2013 Ford Focus ST: Would You Want a 3-Door?

April 10, 2013

2013 Ford Focus ST

Last night while perusing the DirecTV Guide, I came upon an episode of British motoring program Fifth Gear featuring a Tangerine Scream 2013 Ford Focus ST. Whatya know? That exact car just happened to be sitting a few floors below in my garage.

Beyond being incredibly jealous that the pointily sideburned presenter got to drive the Focus ST on a spectacular strip of Norwegian road, I took note of his principal beef with the car: the body style.

While its primary hot hatch competitors and immediate predecessor can/could be had in three-door body styles, the new Focus is five-door only. Frankly, I've always thought the three-door VW GTI looked a little dowdy, but the Vauxhall Astra VXR and Renaultsport Megane are borderline sexy. All things being equal, I'd have a hard time saying no to a cooler looking three-door. However, as they are not equal, I'm totally fine with the five-door and its added practicality. Still looks plenty cool to me.

Besides, for the majority of those here in the United States, I suspect the more significant omission is the lack of a sedan body style and an automatic transmission.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 9,327 miles


  • throwback throwback Posts:

    I much prefer the 5 door. If you ever use the back seat, a 3 door is a pain.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    As someone without kids, I don't really care about who I toss in the back seat, so I too prefer 3-door hatches.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    I am on my fourth hot hatch ('79 Fiesta S 3-door, '87 GTI 3-door, '03 SVT Focus 5-door, '11 GTI 5-door, and in my experience the people who are kidding themselves that they are driving a real sports car instead of a quite quick and quite practical 5-seat hatchback always want the 3-door. Those of us who accept and embrace the practical four-cylinder hatchness of it all prefer the 5-door. Retention of most of our cars' suspension travel is another identifying characteristic.

  • bc1960 bc1960 Posts:

    I wish there were a 3-door Focus, period.

  • motorstreet motorstreet Posts:

    It the 3 door would just be a Focus without back doors, then there is absolutely no reason to make it. It would be nothing more than a less practical Focus hatch. This is why I think the 3 door Golf/GTI is dumb. The 3 door versions of the Astra and Megane have much nicer styling than the 5 door versions of those cars, so those are good. With the Focus ST, I think the 5 door is already sporty enough looking so I can't see myself getting a 3 door even if it was more coupe-like. I probably would choose a Scirocco over a Golf/GTI or a 3 door Astra or Megane over the 5 door version.

  • huybui huybui Posts:

    The option wouldn't be bad, but I would choose the 5 door.

  • usa1fan_ usa1fan_ Posts:

    I like my 5 door cars. I used to prefer sedans over hatches, but hatches, even 5-door models, are looking more attractive to me than their sedan brethren lately, not to mention more cargo-friendly.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Sporty cars should only have two passenger doors. When you want to drive in a sporty manner you don't need rear seat passengers weighing you down. :)

  • sharpend sharpend Posts:

    It's a freakin' hatchback. It's supposed to be practical. Four seats for four adults equals four doors. Period. End-of-story.

  • huisj huisj Posts:

    What is the weight savings of a 3-door over a 5-door hatch? I would think it's fairly significant. I enjoyed the years of driving my old Focus ZX3. The fun thing about a 3-door that still has some amount of practicality is when you do have to go somewhere with passengers and you get the look of panic from them when they realize they have to cram into the back seat...and then they get in a realize it's fairly roomy.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    I inevitably bump my upper arm on the B pillar of 4/5-door cars when hanging it out the window. It's just a smaller opening. So for a car that is almost exclusively going to be a commuter car, 2/3-door cars are the way to go. For a car where the backseat is going to be used more often than infrequently, 4/5-door cars are the way to go. Styling wise, I couldn't care less.

  • lostcomma lostcomma Posts:

    I have never liked 4 door/5 door cars. If you use the back seats I can see it's practicality but I don't. I like the huge door and window no b pillar interfering with my shoulder checks as it's too far back to see. Eliminating the doors saves weight, maybe just a hundred pounds but it all counts. On a golf they charge u an extra $1000 for the doors here. That's the price of a sunroof, rather have the sunroof. I see two door I think fast and sporty. 4 doors mean family, grocery getting, kid carrying mom-mobile. I guess u could add a racing stripe cars always look and go faster/quicker with stripes.

  • petejosh petejosh Posts:

    I am happier with my 5-door. The proportions look correct. The Lancia Delta Integrale had four doors and a hatch. It was hot and became a classic. So will this.

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