2013 Ford Focus ST: Family Road Trip
June 13, 2013
Recently, I loaded up my family (wife, two small children) for a 600-mile weekend adventure to attend a wedding shower.
Actually, I didn't attend the shower. My wife did. And originally, I didn't think I had to make the trip at all, instead thinking I'd get a free weekend. Silly me. I was "volunteered" to go at the last minute, and therefore along with me and my wheel-man skills came the Ford Focus ST.
Similar to the experiences Associate Editor Travis Langness had in the ST with his trip to Yosemite National Park, my weekend blitz was an interesting test of our long-term Focus ST.
I've often felt that the Focus ST is a best¬-of-both-worlds hot hatchback, which is to say it offers the performance equal to the Mazdaspeed 3 but with the refinement similar to that of the Volkswagen GTI. To a large extent, this trip upheld that belief.
The ST's turbocharged engine is sweet, especially when climbing grades, passing slow-moving vehicles or, my favorite, slow-moving vehicles on grades. Overall, I saw about 27 mpg overall. The ride quality is also passable for family road trip duty as it's never really jarring. At times I felt like I was making a lot of tiny steering corrections on the highway, which was distracting, but it's hard to say if it's really the car or I just happened to be noticing it.
In terms of space, the Focus worked out all right. I had a fair amount of stuff to carry, so I ended up taking out the cargo cover ahead of time so that I could load up as much as possible. I really dislike stacking gear high as it blocks the view out the rear and is somewhat of a safety issue, but sometimes that's just the way it goes. Plus, with the seats up, Ford lists a luggage capacity of 23.8 cubic feet, which is more than you'll get from the trunk of a typical small sedan.
Certainly there are way better vehicle choices (more comfortable, roomier and so forth) for a family road trip. But if a Focus ST is your only car, I think it will fill the role nicely.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 13,561 miles