82K Mile update - the ignition interlock has a short making it difficult to start but I haven't gotten stuck yet. Haven't brought car in for this repair yet. No other problems, the car remains fun to drive, reliable and economical although it subjectively seems slower to me. But, that might be my own doing in not wanting to stomp on it knowing the car has 82 K miles on it and is my daily driver I would definitely recommend this car to any enthusiast on a budget. At 66 K miles the car remains trouble-free and a pleasure to drive, with maintenance costs remaining low. This car still feels incredibly stable and well planted at near-autobahn speeds, and the turbo gets you there quickly. But it remains a pleasant daily driver even when driven with fuel economy in mind. The replacement Continental Extreme Contact tires are a good choice for this car in that they are quieter and smoother-riding than the OEM Pirelli P Zero Neros. There are a few negatives that should be mentioned. The cabin is relatively small and (with the standard cloth seats) the passenger seat has no height control. A big and tall front seat passenger will be miserable even with the seat pushed all the way back and reclined. There also is very little rear seat legroom making entry and exit difficult for rear passengers. The hatch area is larger than it needs to be. If you need to haul large amounts of stuff in a hatchback most people would fold the rear seatbacks down. There was no reason to make the hatch area large at the expense of passenger room. The standard mirrors are not heated, neither are the standard cloth seats. Bundling these into a relatively expensive leather seat option package is consumer-unfriendly marketing on Ford's part. I wanted an inexpensive car for a long daily commute knowing that the book value would plummet as the miles piled on. The fuel tank is much too small and the driving range is only about 350 miles on a tank. If you drive approximately 650 miles a week just commuting to / from work as I do, refueling twice in a week is annoying. Last negative -- the HVAC is weak and the controls don't work well with regard to where the air comes out (defrost, face or feet). All the vents are upright and the placement is atrocious. At least two of the vents should have been placed horizontally which is better for air movement. I must stress that these negatives are minor relative to the pure pleasure of driving this car, and its surprisingly outstanding build quality and reliability. _______________________________________________________________________ I bought my 2015 Focus ST with no options other than sunroof and dark gray metallic paint. All-season tires are an essentially no-cost option. The car has been trouble-free through 30,000 mostly highway miles with low maintenance cost (relative to my previous VW GTI) and is much more engaging and fun-to-drive than my 2007 GTI was. This is a great daily driver with a winning combination of relatively low cost, decent fuel economy in normal driving, excellent 6-speed manual transmission, accurate steering, great handling, comfort and convenience, as well as strong acceleration, and incredible performance at high speeds. This car is solid, well planted and in complete control at fast-forward MPH. Even better, the car makes you "want" to gun it because it feels so good and seems to "like" it. I can't explain it -- you would have to test-drive it yourself (without the dealer's sales person riding shotgun). Downshift at highway speeds and you will be treated to surprising acceleration that most cars can't match. It feels great to pull away strongly from some other aggressive jerk driver, and them see them remain a small speck in your rearview mirror as they realize they can't possibly catch you with their car. For example, have you ever safely passed someone who apparently feels insulted that you passed them and starts being an a--hole? Then no matter what they keep hounding you until you let them pass you and stay out of their sight? Well in a Focus ST you can zoom away (even starting at speeds above most limits) and they won't tail you because they can't match your car's high speed performance. The ride is comfortable except on poor quality roads (potholes). The all-season tires on my car are Pirelli P Nero Zeros and they are speed-rated beyond the reported top speed of the car. I think the ride would be better with Continental Extreme Contact all season rubber. But the Pirelli's tread has held up well at 30 K miles which is surprising for performance tires. One recommendation -- do not try to rev the engine and drop the clutch from a standing start. The front wheels will spin and there may be axle hop, but you won't get good acceleration that way. Start off smoothly and let the turbo kick in after the car is already moving. The acceleration will be better. 0 to "a blur" will come up faster than you expect.
When I went looking for a new car I really wanted some sporty but practical. I really loved the Subaru WRX but with a bare bones WRX it was over $26k. Found out about the Focus ST, did some research, and I had to test drive it. I ended up with the basic 2015 Ford Focus ST (no Recaro seats, dual climate, etc). I paid far less than the WRX and got much more; standard it has fog lights, LED running day lights (give it an aggressive look) Bluetooth, back up camera, great looking exhaust, all four power windows have one touch up/down, stainless steel pedals, very nice low profile wheels, and on top of this better gas mileage. I can't account for how the Recaro seats feel, I've heard mixed reviews, but the cloth seats that come with it look great (gray and black with ST logo stitched into seat) and are super comfortable, even for longer rides. As a daily driver it's a great ride. You have the speed when you want it and fuel economy to match. Merging onto the highway is a thoroughly enjoyable experience now and picking up speed on the highway takes no time at all. Where it's most fun is a good backroad, the steering is really tight, precise, and has a great feel. Add onto this the practicality of a hatch and you've got one great car. I can't account for the longevity of the vehicle but I'm hoping for the best, so far I've had 0 issues with. Pros: Great bang for the buck given everything that comes with it standard. Great gas mileage for a sport car with a turbocharger (have gotten up to 33mpg on the highway). Hatchback fits a lot, after removing the privacy cover I've fit two 80lb dogs comfortably in the back without lowering the seats. The acceleration. Cons: Only a 60,000 mile warranty through Ford, which is kind of pitiful compared to their competitors. Ford says you can use 87 octane fuel but from what I've researched you'll lose a little bit of fuel economy and 9 horsepower, no change in peak torque though. The backup camera occasionally won't turn on when you put it in reverse, have to pop it into neutral and then shift it back into reverse. Comes with summer tires standard which is great until the winter. Does not do well in the snow at all, but I am cheap and could not justify buying brand new all seasons or winter tires when I've got a new set of tires already on it. It may perform well in the snow with better tires.
I purchased a Certified Pre-Owned ST3 roughly two months ago. With about 1200 miles into driving it, my overall impression of this car is that it is fantastic! Here are a few pros and cons in my own experience: Pros: -Great acceleration -Decent fuel economy for this type of car (I'm averaging 23-24 mpg with mostly city driving) -Great sound on Sony Premium Radio -Bright headlights that turn as you turn -Good amount of cargo capacity, especially with the rear seats folded down -Slightly stiff, but still very comfortable, sporty ride -Many reviews don't think the Recaros are comfortable, but I found myself used to them after one day of driving. They've definitely broken in. Cons: -Very limited on interior storage. There are only a small side pocket, a small center console, and a place for keys below the radio. -It can be difficult to get in and out of the Recaro seats. I often have to slide my chair back when getting out. -The navigation menus can be difficult and frustrating to navigate, even using the voice commands. -Rear headrests need to be removed to fold the seats down flat (or you have to slide your front seats way up) Overall, this vehicle has provided exactly what I was looking for: a daily commuter that is tons of fun and affordable. My initial want was a WRX, but I just couldn't pass up the value that this vehicle provides. I hope this review helps you in your car search!
This is the third Focus we've had in my household and let me tell you this car is fast, fun and a joy to own. It is so unlike my previous Foci that I have taken the Focus badge off of the rear hatch, leaving only the distinctive ST badges front and rear. The car is in its element sticking in winding corners and wide open throttle accelleration. It is so much fun you may forget the practicality of the 4 door hatchback with room for 4 adults and fold down rear seating for more cargo. A final selling point for me is the offer of free track day at Miller Motorsport park in Tooele, UT where you are allowed to take one of their ST Octane Academy Focus ST and Fiesta STs out on two track. Since writing the above, I attended the ST Octane Academy. What a great time Ford has really nailed it!?
This car is so fun to drive! The ST hugs the road and stays flat through fast tight turns. The torque is amazing. You can feel the pull pretty much in any gear. There's definitely torque steer, but it feels kinda fun. Just make sure to hold on tight whenever you floor it! I used to ride an R6 and in some ways the ST reminds me of how that feels!