2005 Ford Focus ZX3 S 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
The ST is really a hidden gem in the Focus family. With 151 hp it's not exactly a "hot hatch" like the SVT but it's no slouch either. It's very well designed; I'm six feet tall and I have enough head/leg room, more than in some mid size cars. The front buckets are very comfortable and five years on it's been a model of reliability. In heavy city driving mileage has been about 22, not too bad given the car never feels short on power above 3000 rpm. The dash is pretty cheap, the lack of rear headrests annoys and one can't call this a quiet car. Every time I drive something else though I always miss my Focus's driving position and driver connectivity. For me that's worth the ST's minor faults.
Well, the Sony audiophile system is pretty amazing for just four speakers and a sub. Even more than that is just the way the ST drives; no play in the steering; direct pedals; pretty terrific handling if a tad harsh plus a reasonable amount of power. Gets a surprising number of compliments too.
The gear ratios are just too short for this engine. To keep revs at comfortable levels one has to think about shifting out of first by 15 mph, which seems awfully soon to me. Highway speed in 5th runs 2800 rpm, really needs a 6th cog. That would also help the economy. Wheels are too plain for an ST.