2013 Ford Focus ST: Quiet on the Highway
July 4, 2013
I hadn't been near our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST in a couple months, and I was reminded how good this car is when I drove it this week.
It's quick enough to be exciting during routine passing maneuvers. And it likes to change direction quickly whether you're on some cool road or just pulling into the grocery store parking lot. Plus, the Recaro seats, while not comfortable for everyone, fit me to a T. If you're 5-foot-10 and in the neighborhood of 150 pounds, you will probably dig the driver seat in our Focus ST.
One thing that stood out this time is how quiet Ford's hot hatchback is on the highway.
I don't expect a car like this to be quiet. The GTI is pretty serene, granted, but Mazdaspeed 3 sure wasn't, nor are the Toyobarus.
Twice this week, I forgot to upshift to 6th gear while driving the Focus ST home from work on wide-open freeway (read: no traffic). The turbocharged 2.0-liter engine doesn't drone on or whine or make any kind of noise really unless you're hard on the throttle. I probably would have made the whole trip in 5th gear if I hadn't glanced down at the shifter.
The reality, of course, is that the gear ratios are pretty close together, and the difference in engine speed is minimal. At 70 mph, the engine is at 3,200 rpm in 5th gear and 2,700 in the 6th. Either way, the decibel level is comfortably low.
Erin Riches, Deputy Editor