Used 2013 Ford Focus ST
- Powerful turbocharged engine
- precise six-speed manual gearbox
- sharp handling
- poised ride
- stylish interior with many high-tech options.
- Infotainment controls are finicky to learn and use
- no automatic transmission offered
- backseat is a little short on legroom.
Used 2013 Ford Focus ST for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
The 2013 Ford Focus ST delivers performance like a hot hatchback from Michigan, yet doesn't forget to deliver the poise and polish of a fine European sedan.
It's understandable if you find yourself thinking of the 2013 Ford Focus ST as an exotic model imported from Europe.
The sleek lines of the bodywork surely suggest innovative European style. A 252-horsepower turbocharged engine with direct fuel injection surely suggests exotic European technology. A poised, comfortable ride combined with agile, fluent handling surely suggests European tuning. But as it turns out, the 2013 Ford Focus ST is built in Michigan, and it can be had at a discount price, just as you'd expect from anything made in America.
As small cars have lately taken a more premium aspect in appearance, so, too have these cars also morphed into the kind of high-performance packages that appeal to grown-ups as well as kids. The Honda Civic Si, Mazdaspeed 3, Mini Cooper S, Subaru WRX and Volkswagen GTI all have become respectable as well as fast, and the Ford Focus ST takes its place among them.
To be sure, the Focus ST makes its mark in this group with performance, thanks to its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, quick-shifting six-speed manual transmission and clever electronics that help make this powerful front-wheel-drive car tractable and easy to drive quickly. Yet more surprising is the availability of features and options that you would expect only from a car with a far grander price, notably the MyFord Touch and Sync electronics interface for the audio and navigation systems.
Just like the Ford Focus itself, the 2013 Ford Focus ST looks and feels as if it should be priced higher, which is just about the highest compliment that can be paid to any automobile. In a way, it offers the best of both worlds offered by the GTI and Mazdaspeed. For performance, it keeps up with the Mazda and outperforms the GTI. And for refinement, it matches the VW and bests the Mazda. It's also much more practical than a Cooper S.
The Focus ST does have a couple drawbacks -- namely the finicky-to-use MyFord Touch interface and the lack of an automated transmission -- but overall we think it's raised the bar for the hot-hatch class.
Trim levels & features
The 2013 Ford Focus ST is a performance-oriented version of the Focus four-door hatchback. There is no sedan version.
Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, performance summer tires, performance brakes, an electronically controlled limited-slip front differential, keyless ignition/entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding seatback, the Sync voice-activated phone and audio player interface, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
The ST2 package (Equipment Group 201A) package adds Recaro front sport seats, cloth/leather surfaces, dual-zone automatic climate control, the MyFord Touch electronics interface (with 8-inch touchscreen display) and a 10-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio and satellite radio. The ST3 package (Equipment Group 202A) includes the ST2's features and adds xenon headlamps, heated front Recaro seats, full leather upholstery, Recaro-designed rear seats, ambient interior lighting and a navigation system.
Every ST is available with a sunroof and the optional Performance Pack, which offers the standard 18-inch wheels with a dark finish plus red trim for the brake calipers.
Performance & mpg
The signature of the front-wheel-drive 2013 Ford Focus ST is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine that delivers 252 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque. It's matched with a six-speed close-ratio manual transmission.
Ford claims the Ford Focus ST will reach 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. The EPA estimates the Focus ST will achieve 23 mpg city/32 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined, placing it near the top of the hot-hatch class for fuel economy.
The 2013 Ford Focus ST comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. The Ford Sync system also includes an emergency crash notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cell phone. Also standard is Ford's MyKey system, which can be used to set certain parameters for teen drivers.
In government crash testing, the Focus received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for overall frontal impact protection and five stars for overall side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Focus its highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.
Just as you'd expect from a car in this category, the 2013 Ford Focus ST bristles with performance, and the sound that the turbocharged engine makes as it revs toward 6,000 rpm is deeply thrilling. The precision of the steering and the crisp action of the six-speed manual transmission make you feel as if you're in touch with this car's mechanical soul.
Yet it might be more surprising that the Focus ST manages to keep its composure along the way. Special tuning of the electric-assist power steering, electronic differential control and stability control help maintain traction without making the car feel clumsy. And if you're looking for more excitement, you can dial the stability control into a more permissive setting or switch it off altogether.
In the end the Ford Focus ST delivers just the sort of European refinement that it projects at first glance. This is a small car meant to drive long distances: a compact, practical car that can deliver the experience of speed and style that you want from a luxury coupe. It's a European car made in Michigan, and, best of all, it's priced like an American car, too.
The interior of the Focus ST shows the way in which compact cars now blend utility with an appreciation for fine materials and leading-edge design. The interior is attractive and the materials are best-in-class. And just as you'd expect in a performance car, the driving position is excellent, while the optional Recaro front seats offered in the ST2 and ST3 prove supportive without being punishing. The ST also incorporates a binnacle of three supplementary gauges on top of the dash.
However, the layout of other gauges and controls is a little complicated, particularly the optional MyFord Touch system. It provides some neat customization possibilities, but in real-world operation we've found that the virtual buttons are difficult to identify at a glance, and too often get pressed accidentally or fail to respond properly. At the very least, though, technologies controlled by MyFord Touch like Sync and HD radio help set the Focus ST apart from the pack.
The rear seat is slightly short on legroom, although the Recaro seats in the ST3 make the accommodations perfect for two. The hatchback configuration offers excellent utility, with 23.8 cubic feet of space with the 60/40-split rear seats up and a generous 44.8 cubic feet with them folded down.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
More About This Model
Ford may have put the Focus on the podium for the 2012 North American Car of the Year award but it's showing no signs of resting on its laurels. The 2013 Ford Focus ST, which will be available this summer, will come equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine pumping out 247 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed manual transmission and 18-inch wheels. It will have three-mode stability control and available Recaro seats.
And it looks awesome. But looks alone means little to those seeking a real driver's car. Now it's time to find out what it's like to drive. Prepare yourself for a surprise.
A Wolf in Wolf's Clothing
Often an alleged performance car will have looks that write a check the car beneath can't cash. After all, it's far easier and cheaper to make a car look fast than it is to make it go fast. But Ford, no doubt stung a little by suggestions its new Focus is effective but a little dull to drive, has ensured the ST delivers in full on the promise made by its steroidal appearance.
Indeed the surprise is just how far Ford has gone with the ST. The specifications sound promising all the way from its turbocharged engine to a chassis altered in every detail. There's a new variable-ratio steering system, new springs, dampers, stabilizer bars, lighter yet stronger forged knuckles and a lower ride height. But it is only when you climb aboard and feel the way all these elements come together that you get a true sense of the car's character. In short, it's an animal.
Over the Limit
At speed the 2013 Ford Focus reveals a character far closer to the Focus RS than any Ford to wear the ST badges. Sure it's nowhere near as quick as the crazy RS (and has nowhere near the torque steer), but its no-prisoners approach to the racetrack is the same.
The engine is no landmark, but rather is a highly effective conduit to where the real fun lies. It sounds better than a turbo-4 has a right to thanks to Ford's "sound symposer" in its exhaust, which separates the sounds you want to hear from those you don't, and it delivers the goods in one solid shove from as little as 2,000 rpm. Ford is yet to release performance figures, but if the ST doesn't post a 0-60-mph time very near 6 seconds flat, it will only be because it lacks the traction, not the power.
But that's not what's going to make you love this car. It's in the corners that you're going to fall for this Focus. So comprehensive are the modifications Ford has made that it feels like a purpose-built sports car rather than something based on a relatively humble hatchback. It flicks into curves, cornering flat and fast. Once you're in the turn, adjusting your line can be done with your right foot or your hands. The chassis is exquisitely sensitive to driver commands: A little lift of the throttle and the nose tucks in a few degrees; a small prod and it returns to the original line.
Find a track and turn off the switchable stability control and you'll discover the 2013 Ford Focus ST will do ridiculous stuff. It's happy to pitch you into full opposite lock before the apex with a rear wheel waving in the air, yet sufficiently stable to require you to do no more than stomp back on the gas to set you straight again. It feels as if Ford has used a length of railroad track for its rear stabilizer bar.
It's not perfect, though. The new steering is clever enough to provide stability on center but its electric operation means it cannot provide the level of feedback offered by the best hydraulic systems. And because Ford chooses to contain wheelspin through a brake differential rather than the more expensive limited-slip differential it really needs, your progress away from a corner can be either slowed by the electronics if they're switched on, or messy if they're not.
Has Ford gone too far and sacrificed the Focus' well-documented everyday ease of use for a level of dynamic involvement owners will rarely be able to exploit? It will take a comprehensive road assessment to be sure, but it seems unlikely.
Perhaps the most clever aspect of the ST's design is not how fast or sideways it will go, but how little compromise has been inflicted on the rest of the car to get it there. At full throttle the engine is startlingly loud, but if you knock the shifter into top gear and just cruise, it is silenced almost completely. There's not much tire noise from the asymmetrical 235/40 section Goodyears, and the ride quality is adequate for a car with this much performance ability.
If there is sting in this story, it is that the wagon version of the ST will be denied to stateside customers, who will only get the five-door hatchback. The wagon's acceleration has to be adversely affected because of its additional weight, but as that weight gain is likely to be less than 100 pounds, it'll take an unusually attuned driver to detect or be bothered by it. We drove the wagon after the hatch, then returned to the hatch and felt only minor differences.
Handling balance in the wagon is less aggressive — a result of its more even weight distribution and the position of its rear springs to maintain cargo space. As a result, the car feels a little less wild while still dishing out its share of fun on the right road or track.
A Class Killer
But even in hatchback form, the 2013 Ford Focus ST is going to give the current Mazdaspeed 3 the battle of its lifetime. Not many cars in this class have had both the handling and the horsepower to match Mazda's potent five-door until now.
We're not in the business of making predictions about which would ultimately be preferable when we've not driven them back to back on the same roads. Still, it's been a while since we last had this much fun in a hatchback, and when we did we were in a Focus RS.
It seems the long, long line of high-performance Fords has just been extended a little further.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2013 Ford Focus ST Overview
The Used 2013 Ford Focus ST is offered in the following submodels: Focus ST Hatchback. Available styles include 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M).
What's a good price on a Used 2013 Ford Focus ST?
Save up to $300 on one of 5 Used 2013 Ford Focus ST for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, VA with prices as low as $11,724 as of10/20/2018, based on data from dealers and consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from3 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for Used 2013 Ford Focus ST trim styles:
- The Used 2013 Ford Focus ST Base is priced between $11,724 and$16,998 with odometer readings between 40 and117428 miles.
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Which used 2013 Ford Focus STS are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Ford Focus ST for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2013 Focus STS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,724 and mileage as low as 40 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Ford Focus ST. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $300 on a used or CPO 2013 Focus ST available from a dealership near you.
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Should I lease or buy a 2013 Ford Focus ST?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.