Pros: I bought a highly loaded ST (6-track CD, leather, heated seats, air bags) less than Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic. Mazda 3 was comparable but more expensive and dash board was chintzy and rode harder. Adding any options to Corolla was expensive. The Focus ZX4 ST handles great, rides nice, and is comfortable to sit in. Shifter is quick and maximum torque is found at a good RPM. Trunk is very adequate for this class of car. Good HVAC. Cons: No light for the back seat compartment. Lack of automatic could be annoying to some but SE offers a solution.
Leather seat option is worth it. Adds significantly to the look of the interior. Optional Sony audiophile system pumps up the volume and sub-woofer on CDs. Car wants to go on the highway! Great in the turns on New England country roads. Nicely tuned exhaust system.
Back seat compartment needs some attention. Needs light even if it is located around cup holder. Lack of head rest is a safety concern but does allow you to see out the rear window. Trade-off. Should have insert for CD holder that would allow for alternate use such as change holder.
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