I bought a Base Focus ST without any additional options. My main concern was to have bluetooth connectivity as an option which the car comes standard with. As far as the interior is concerned, it's slightly cramped compared to rivals and does not have as much "cubby" space as other cars. This can be averted though through getting the ST2 package trim. The materials are all soft touch and feel like they are from higher quality car. The ride and road noise are fantastic for this car. Any outside noise (including tire noise) is very muted and the ride while firm and somewhat busy, abosrbs manholes and bridge joints beautifully. The engine is powerful and handling spot on as well!
I'd say the Focus ST is a split between the GTI and what I've heard of the MPS 3. I've owned a GTI but I have not owned a MPS 3. I use the GTI as a baseline against the Focus. The GTI is definitely more refined. The best thing about the car is the powertrain for sure. Everything else is secondary. The reason I got it was because hatches are way more utilitarian than trunks, for the size of the car. Americans don't seem to understand that. Also the gas mileage is better than what I'm coming from (Genesis Coupe v6), and I already owned a GTI.
Did a lot of research on hatchbacks, read all these rave reviews about this little hot hatch. They are totally spot on. BMW quality interior, smooth shifter, no turbo lag at all, I don't have any issues with torque steer, I laugh out loud when I'm taking a curve. It's a fast car, but I find it also a perfectly well behaved commuter car. You can take it easy or drive it hard. After owning M3s, S4s, and a 911 I can say this is a very respectable performer and dollar for dollar an amazing value. Can't believe what Ford has done with this car, bravo to the engineers.
Fun, Practical, Comfortable - Even after 2 fifteen hour days, I still want to get into the car just to drive it! Driving this car is addicting. The car pull the passes in 6th gear, no need to shift. It still has torque to spare so even when someone cuts you off, you can still accelerate. Just unbelievable. When taking a turn too fast in the snow, the stability system allows the back end swing out a bit. Then apply power and the car pulls strait. Too much fun. I will have to take it to a tack when I put back on the summer tires. That sums it up with this car - it's performance exceeds what you can use on the street, but it hasn't sacrificed comfort or refinement.
Have owned since 4/13 and have 72K fun miles already. Lots of highway and in traffic miles. Love the way you pick a gear with smooth shifting gear box, punch and go. This from someone who owned a Z06 Vette for 8 years. With hwy miles I avg 29 mpg overall. Overall quality is solid. Have full option set, Recaros, sunroof, Navi, etc. still under $30k. Update 5/17. Ok have turned the car into a track car with 5-point harnesses, etc. Upgraded all performance options, brakes, shocks, engine tune, intake, exhaust, etc. Car is still fantastic with no problems of not my own choosing. Reliable and fast, (130+ mph) on the track straightaways. Great car.