2015 Ford Focus ST Review

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful turbocharged engine
  • precise six-speed manual gearbox
  • sharp handling
  • poised ride
  • stylish interior with many high-tech options.
  • No automatic transmission offered
  • some drivers may find the optional Recaro seats overly confining.
Other years
2015
Ford Focus ST for Sale
2015
List Price Range
$13,400 - $17,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2015 Ford Focus ST delivers strong hot-hatchback performance, yet doesn't forget to deliver on the poise and polish.

Vehicle overview

You can never go wrong by making a great thing even better, and this seems to have been the thinking behind the bevy of upgrades the Ford Focus ST receives for 2015. On the outside, the Focus ST gets sportier front and rear fascias, new wheels and new stripe choices. Inside you'll find a tidier center stack control layout, more interior storage, new features (including a standard rearview camera) and a new flat-bottom steering wheel that allows more leg clearance. Ford says it also retuned the ST's suspension and steering to make the car feel even more responsive and nimble to drive.

These new tweaks serve to sweeten a car that was already a dominant force in its segment on the strength of its ability to deliver what hot-hatchback shoppers prize most: pulse-quickening performance. Armed with high-performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension, strong brakes and a muscular 252 horsepower under the hood, the Ford Focus ST has the skills to impress, whether in a straight line or on serpentine roads. Its turbocharged four-cylinder serves up an engaging good time, aided by a useful steering compensation feature that minimizes distracting torque steer commonly seen in high-powered front-drive vehicles. The car's sharp reflexes heighten the fun quotient around corners, while wide, summer-rated tires keep things glued to the road.

But what makes this Ford truly compelling is its gift for melding all this performance with high levels of comfort. Ride quality is gracious and easy to live with, and its stylish, well-appointed cabin gives the Focus one of the plushest interiors in this segment.

Of course, there are other choices to consider, and the ST's three most direct rivals join the fray in top form, given that they've all been redesigned recently. The 2015 Subaru WRX is quicker from a stop and its all-wheel-drive system makes it more suitable for cold weather climes, but it's trumped by the Focus ST when it comes to interior quality and overall refinement. The 2015 Mini Cooper S boasts strong performance and unique character, but its small cabin and stiff ride makes it a less pleasant daily driver than the Ford. Then there's the 2015 Volkswagen GTI, which is sportier this year than it was previously and largely matches the ST for all-around goodness.

Choosing one won't be easy. But thanks to its performance, comfort, style and reasonable pricing, the Ford Focus ST is right in the mix.

2015 Ford Focus ST models

The 2015 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, LED running lights, performance summer tires, foglamps, performance brakes, an electronically controlled limited-slip front differential, keyless ignition and entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding seatback, a rearview camera, the Sync voice-activated phone and audio player interface, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary audio jack.

The ST2 package (Equipment Group 401A) adds xenon headlights, cornering lamps, Recaro front sport seats, two-tone cloth/leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, the MyFord Touch electronics interface with an 8-inch touchscreen display, and a 10-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio and satellite radio.

The ST3 package (Equipment Group 402A) includes the ST2's features and adds heated mirrors, heated front Recaro seats, an eight-way power driver seat, additional head restraint adjustment, full leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a rear center armrest, an overhead interior console, ambient interior lighting and a navigation system.

The Cargo Management package adds a cargo net and a cargo organizer.

Stand-alone options include a sunroof, a dark gray finish (with red-painted brake calipers) for the standard 18-inch wheels, and a set of black or red racing stripes that run from the front of the car to the rear bumper.

2015 Highlights

The 2015 Ford Focus ST benefits from several cabin and exterior styling refinements, as well as tuning enhancements that improve handling and steering feel. A rearview camera is now standard, and the options list grows to include amenities such as a heated steering wheel.

Performance & mpg

The signature feature of the front-wheel-drive 2015 Ford Focus ST is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that delivers 252 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque. It's matched with a six-speed manual transmission that includes hill-start assist.

In Edmunds testing, the Ford Focus ST accelerated from zero to 60 in 6.4 seconds. This is a tad slow for this type of performance car. However, that's partly because you have to shift into 3rd to hit 60 (adding an extra tenth or two of time), whereas most rivals with manual transmissions can get there in 2nd gear. Real-world performance is still quite strong.

The EPA estimates the Focus ST will achieve 26 mpg combined (23 city/32 highway), which is respectable mileage for a hot hatch.

Safety

The 2015 Ford Focus ST comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, a driver knee airbag, 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 are blind-spot mirrors, a rearview camera and Ford's MyKey system, which can be used to set certain parameters for teen drivers.

In Edmunds testing, the Focus ST needed 109 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is a short distance for an affordable performance car with summer tires.

Driving

Just as you'd expect from a car in this category, the 2015 Ford Focus ST's performance is strong, and hearing the sound that the turbocharged engine makes as it revs toward 6,000 rpm is a true thrill. 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. The Focus ST may not put down class-leading numbers at the drag strip, but in real-world driving, it's never less than a blast.

Equally striking is the Focus ST's composure during harder driving. Special tuning of the electric-assist power steering, electronic differential control and stability control systems helps maintain traction without making the car feel clumsy. And if you're looking for more excitement on a back road (or planning to sign up for a track day), you can dial the stability control into a more permissive setting or switch it off altogether.

For day-to-day driving, the Focus ST is still quite livable. The suspension tuning is certainly firm, but this is one of the best-riding performance hatchbacks you'll find. It's also fairly quiet, as the engine really makes itself heard only during hard acceleration.

Interior

The interior of the Focus ST shows how compact cars now blend utility with an appreciation for fine materials and leading-edge design. The cockpit is attractive and the materials are of high quality. And just as you'd expect in a performance car, the driving position is excellent and the optional Recaro front seats offered in the ST2 and ST3 packages have large side bolsters that keep you very secure during hard cornering. We recommend sitting in the Recaro seats before deciding if they're for you, however, as certain drivers can find them confining and uncomfortable for long drives.

We've been critical in the past of the optional MyFord Touch system, and it's still prone to slowdowns and ergonomic miscues. However, the large touchscreen (combined with the truly useful Sync voice command system) does look classy, and it provides some neat customization possibilities. Make sure to try out both this setup and the base "MyFord" system extensively on your test-drive to see if you can use it on a daily basis.

The ST's rear seat is shorter on legroom than the accommodations of competitors like the GTI and Subaru WRX, but overall utility is excellent, 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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2015 Ford Focus ST.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2015 Focus ST- Transmission problem @160 K miles
Andolina, V.P.,03/13/2016
4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Now at 5 yrs old / 160,000 miles the 6th gear syncho has been a problem for the past few months. This is my fault from a blown shift. Merging onto a highway, I saw a huge pickup truck towing a landscaper's trailer speeding up not to let me in. As I merged in the truck continued coming at me and I got flustered and tried to shift from 4th to 5th at the redline. Instead the transmission popped out of gear and the engine momentarily over-reved. Since then the transmission is difficult to shift into 6th. A web search disclosed that this is not uncommon for STs. I have delayed getting it fixed. But now the car is much less fun to drive because once I get it onto 6th I don't want to downshift unless unavoidable. My bad. ____________________________________ At 150,000 (mostly highway) miles the only unscheduled repairs were a battery and rear shocks. It is still on the original brake pads. A new set of Continental ExtremeContact DWS06 all-season tires have smoothed out the ride and greatly reduced NVH. My prior reviews of the Focus ST might have given the impression that I drive it constantly in getaway-car mode. Not true at all -- most of my driving is at 60-75 mph in top gear (3,000 rpm or less) in the middle lane, and the car is a pleasant commuter. But if you need to (or feel like) sudden acceleration another 25+ mph is on tap in a few seconds by mashing the accelerator even if you don't downshift. Furthermore the torquey engine is pleasant at 40 mph in 6th gear at about 1,500 rpm, and the manual transmission is a pleasure to downshift approaching slowdowns or stops. That helps save the brake pads. So a used 2015 Focus ST in good condition would be a good purchase as a daily commuter with fun factor, even if you don't drive it as if you're auditioning for the next "Fast and ..." movie. _________________________________- At 133K miles and four years old, this car is still great fun to drive and excels at "point & squirt." Great car for getting "you're #1" salutes from other drivers (although they tend to use the middle finger). Excellent at slicing through groups of slower-moving cars: plan a path forward (and an alternate in case of unexpected lane changes by other drivers), hit the sport mode button, downshift and badaboom badabing you're in the clear again. If you enjoy such vehicular hooliganism, this is the car for you. On the other hand, if a state trooper clocks you weaving at speeds well above the speed limit, that is an expensive speeding ticket with the potential for reckless driving added in. The ST isn't embarrassingly geeky-looking like certain other cars in the class, and the exhaust is not overtly loud and annoying. Rather than holler "look at me," it probably gets the reaction of "who was that jerk" as you disappear into the distance. I recommend the Focus ST as a used car and a worthy lower-cost alternative to a VW GTI, Subaru WRX, or Honda Civic Sport. ______________ This car is like traveling in a group of butterflies and hummingbirds, and you're a killer bee... Positives Fun to drive, great handling and acceleration Tall gearing is economical and minimizes use of turbo boost Excellent build quality and reliability – only repair costs to date are a battery and rear shocks (total less than $500) Can transport large amounts of cargo for its size, especially with rear seats folded down Negatives Small cabin with minimal rear seat legroom Weak HVAC with poorly placed outlets No heated seat or mirrors if the leather seat option package is not purchased Suggestions For best off-the-line acceleration, start slowly and avoid wheelspin until the tires hook up Manually run AC or heat at high levels at first, then adjust when desired temperature is reached Continental ExtremeContact tires provide a smoother ride than the O.E. Pirellis and also provide more than adequate traction Keep safety in mind and avoid attention-getting high speed weaving through slower traffic, which is frowned upon by law enforcement
Amazing bang for the buck.
Ken M,02/16/2016
4dr Hatchback w/EcoBoost (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
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.
4 cylinder with v8 torque and race car handling!!
Jaime Perez,01/26/2017
4dr Hatchback w/EcoBoost (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I had a 2015 focus st for a year. There was nothing wrong with the car. I only traded it in because I've been wanting to own a mustang since I was a little kid so when I was given a great offer for a 2017 mustang gt new I couldn't reject it. I will say that I will own another focus st as soon as I have room to have it sit next to my mustang in the garage. The car is amazing. I'm not new to high performance cars. Having worked at a dealership and being able to drive cars home and owned fast cars for extended periods of time, I've driven ferraris, Lamborghinis, cámaros, mustangs, corvettes, Porsches, sti's, golf r, mclaren, Nissan GT-R, M bmws like M5, M3, AMG Mercedes, RS audis , SRT cars. To make short I've driven the best of the best. The focus st has amazing steering and steering feel. Supercar like. I haven't driven a car with better steering even a supercar as good but not better. Anyone with a budget who needs 4 doors, trunk space, MPG, hp, reliability should buy this car! The car has plenty of power! And add just a couple upgrades and this car will have 400 torque. More that some v8's. A hatch rocket that gets 32 mpg!! AWD wrx or golf r not always the best. AWD gets worse gas mpg. I drove this car through snowstorms in Buffalo and New England winters. Snow tires and you're all set. What makes this car better than all the cars I've mentioned is that it's a car you can enjoy! You can floor it and take turns fast. Straight line acceleration is very good too. Lots of torque!! Very easy to drive in town. Push a supercar to the limits on the street and you will go to jail. Even the 435 hp mustang gt that I currently own has too much power that I never use. The focus st is the most fun car I've ever driven. This car is super tossable and corners like it's on rails!! When I want to relax it drives like a regular car. I know some people don't buy it because it's a manual but it's European based build in Germany. In Europe they still sell more manuals than autos. Manuals are less costly in the long run! You can run a stock focus st at the racetrack all day without the car even flinching. The quality is very impressive. The best steering I've ever seen and felt. It's a recaro of course. Very easy to drive and very quiet stock. Very easy to park and find parking. I added a flowmaster Super 10 muffler and it really woke up the car. I recommend it only if you don't mind a louder exhaust note. No rattles after a year. Brakes barely wore. Tires plenty of thread. The eagle f1's are amazing. Nothing but oil changes, tire rotations. If you buy a focus st make sure you put a sticky tire during the summer so the car sticks like glue and you can enjoy it to its full potential. The car is very fuel efficient. I would take it out for joy rides for an hour on backroads now and then and it would barely use any gas. I do recommend an intercooler because the car heatsoaks after a couple pulls. The only other ISSUE WITH THIS CAR IS CARBON BUILD UP!! CARBON BUILD UP ON THE VALVES SINCE ITS DIRECT INJECTED. MY VALVES WERE DIRTY AFTER 20,000 MILES. If ignored car will shutter at cold start up and can cause an engine light due to misfire like it happened to me once. Once cleaned it runs like new. Plan to have the valves clean every 20,000 miles or you can use valve cleaner from an auto parts store. Common issue with the direct injected ecoboost. Ford has no approved procedure so the dealership will most likely not touch the car and will want to replace the whole cylinder head which is completely unnecessary. Has to be take to an independent shop that knows how to do the process. Just google intake valve cleaning in your area. Most commonly you will run into a shop that does it regularly on some audis and bmw's. Don't shy way from the car because of this. It happens to any direct injected engine like some audis bmw's, Hyundai, Volkswagen, ford, chevy. Car has nice stereo, Bluetooth, keyless entry, push start, HILL START!! WILL HELP IF YOURE WORRIED ABOUT A MANUAL ON HILLS. Computer will hold rear brakes while you release the clutch so the car doesn't move backwards. Awesome feature!!! Very fun car to drive. Soft clutch. Manual so much fun. Drove it cross country twice!! No problems. Just watch your speed on the highway because this car was build for high speeds on the autobahn since it's based for Europe and you find yourself cruising at 85-100 mph without noticing. The suspension might be a little rough for some people but it's what makes that car handle like a race car! I don't doubt that you can easily put 300,000 miles on this car plus it's a ford at the end of the day. You can find parts everywhere and cheap to maintain. Buy this car. You won't regret it.
Fun, Value, Economy - It's tough to beat
Daniel L.,11/09/2015
4dr Hatchback w/EcoBoost (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
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!

Features & Specs

MPG
23 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
252 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all Used 2015 Ford Focus ST features & specs
More about the 2015 Ford Focus ST

Used 2015 Ford Focus ST Overview

The Used 2015 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 2015 Ford Focus ST?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Ford Focus ST trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Ford Focus ST Base is priced between $13,400 and$17,995 with odometer readings between 28569 and111485 miles.

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Which used 2015 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) 2015 Ford Focus ST for sale near. There are currently 5 used and CPO 2015 Focus STS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $13,400 and mileage as low as 28569 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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Ford Focus ST.

Can't find a used 2015 Ford Focus STs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Focus ST for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $18,912.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 2 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $19,318.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 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.

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