2013 Ford Focus ST Hatchback (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 6-speed Manual w/EcoBoost)
Driven On 10/2/2012
The Focus ST is the best sport compact sold today. It might not be the most powerful, but its combination of refinement and high-level handling is a potent combination. This is not a beginner's car, but it will reward experienced drivers like few other front drivers. Also, it's a genuine five-door hatch, which gives it real utility.
PerformanceFocus ST rivals or exceeds the best-handling front drivers ever on pure numbers alone, but it's more engaging when driving hard than most of them. Plenty of power, too.
Quick boost response, respectable power. Good shifter.
Softer pedal than we'd prefer, but power and fade resistance are ample.
Quick, responsive and direct.
Rotates off throttle, but balances back to neutral quickly and controllably. Superb ESC calibration. More fun than anything else in the class.
Very easy to drive. Rapid, responsive and accompanied by terrific sounds.
ComfortOverall, because the ST is concentrated on performance, it's not as comfortable as its non-performance-oriented brothers in the segment.
The Recaros are comfortable and supportive, but will make ingress and egress more challenging than it would be otherwise.
Focus ST's ride is busy relative to a base Focus, but it's a worthwhile compromise. Most buyers won't consider this a negative.
Superb intake note at wide-open throttle. Otherwise, road and tire noise are livable for the segment. Nothing stands out.
InteriorBody-color accents, available Recaro seats, additional instrumentation and a thick-rimmed wheel set the ST apart from a standard Focus.
Overall average. Occassional interface problems with My Ford Touch.
Heavily bolstered seats will affect ingress/egress for smaller drivers who sit close to the wheel. Otherwise, no problems.
Good overall space -- even in the rear seats. Good small-item storage.
Average for the segment. No obvious blind spots.
Hatchback usability a plus. Good rear cargo space. Split-folding rear seats don't fold completely flat.
ValueFully optioned the Focus ST can exceed $30K, which is pricy for this segment. Still, it can be had for a very average-for-the-segment $24.5K if need be. And at that price, it's a good value.
Build Quality (vs. $)
With the exception of My Ford Touch, the Focus appears reliable and well made.
When optioned with navigation the Focus is at the cutting edge of technology features in this segment. Standard Bluetooth and iPod interface.
Avoid the option boxes and pricing is competitive. Get the Recaros (which you want) and it's still about the same cost as a comparably equipped GTI.
We witnessed 24.7 mpg (1.3 mpg shy of the EPA's combined rating) in combined driving over a two-week test of the ST.