2017 Ford Focus ST Review

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful turbocharged engine makes for an engaging driving experience
  • Sharp handling around turns
  • Civilized ride quality for a performance car
  • Interior looks stylish
  • Automatic transmission isn't available
  • Some drivers could find the optional Recaro seats overly confining
  • Backseat and cargo area aren't as roomy as those of some rivals
Other years
2017
Ford Focus ST for Sale
2017
List Price Range
$18,000 - $20,000

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

The whims of many performance compact car shoppers can change quickly, and that doesn't bode well for the 2017 Ford Focus ST. It's unchanged for this year, which means it's pretty much the same car that debuted for the 2013 model year. If it were a person, you'd likely say it has hit middle age, with some graying at the temples. But before you write off the ST in favor of something newer and more hypeworthy, consider that the Focus ST still represents "hot hatch" performance at its best.

This souped-up version of Ford's well-known compact starts with a practical four-door hatchback body style. From there, Ford adds a number of engine and suspension upgrades, starting with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts a robust 252 horsepower to the ground via a six-speed manual transmission. (An automatic isn't even offered.)

Complementing this combo is a sport-tuned suspension that makes short work of a winding stretch of road, without the harsh ride quality that often accompanies such setups. That the ST is docile enough to be a perfectly acceptable daily driver seems like more than you might reasonably hope for.

Inside, the Focus ST offers an attractive and comfortable cabin done up in high-quality materials and sporting the available Sync 3 system with its 8-inch touchscreen and easy-to-use nature. A potential weakness can be found in the interior — namely, a rear seat that's relatively short on legroom — but we're guessing that's not a primary concern for most people.

If you do need more rear seat space, you'll want to check out what Honda is promising this year in the form of all-new high-performance Si and Type R versions of the Civic. There's also the Volkswagen Golf GTI, which combines many of the same strengths as the Focus ST, or the Mini Cooper, which can't be beat for customization possibility. Ultimately, though, the 2017 Ford Focus ST's combination of practicality, comfort, fuel economy and stylish good looks makes it a great choice for a compact car that will get your adrenaline going ... even if it is the old guy of the bunch.

The 2017 Ford Focus ST comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and a driver-side knee airbag. The Sync system includes an emergency crash-notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cellphone. Also standard are a rearview camera and Ford's MyKey system, which can be used to set electronic parameters for teen drivers.

In Edmunds testing, a Focus ST needed 109 feet to stop from 60 mph, a typical result for an affordable performance car with summer tires.

2017 Ford Focus ST models

The 2017 Ford Focus ST is a performance-oriented version of the Focus four-door hatchback. There is no sedan version. The higher-performance Focus RS is reviewed separately.

Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels with summer tires, performance brakes, an electronic limited-slip differential, foglights, LED daytime running lights, a sport body kit, keyless entry and ignition, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, front sport seats (with driver height adjustment), 60/40-split rear seats, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, MyKey parental controls, a rearview camera, a 4.2-inch central display, Bluetooth, Sync voice controls and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and a USB port.

The ST2 package adds xenon headlights, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth and leather upholstery, Recaro front sport seats, the Sync 3 infotainment interface with an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone app integration, and a 10-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio, satellite radio and dual USB ports.

You can also get the ST3 package that includes heated mirrors, a keyless entry keypad, full leather upholstery, heated front Recaro seats (with eight-way power adjustments for the driver), a heated steering wheel, a rear center armrest, multicolor ambient interior lighting, carbon-fiber interior accents and a navigation system.

Stand-alone options include dark gray 18-inch alloy wheels with red-painted brake calipers, high-performance all-season tires and the navigation system (requires the ST2 package).

The front-wheel-drive 2017 Ford Focus ST gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that delivers 252 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a six-speed manual transmission that includes hill start assist.

In Edmunds testing, the Ford Focus ST accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, which is a bit slower than some other cars in this class. That's partly explained, however, by the fact that you have to shift into third gear to hit 60, which puts a little extra time on the clock; most rivals with manual transmissions can get there in second gear.

EPA estimates for the 2017 Focus ST weren't available at publishing time, but last year's model posted 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway), a respectable showing for a hot hatch.

Driving

The 2017 Ford Focus ST understandably has a firmer ride quality than the standard Focus, but it's still comfortable enough to make the car a solid choice for everyday motoring.

Where the ST really shines, however, is in the driving experience itself. The 252-horsepower four-cylinder delivers abundant acceleration, while the crisp action of the short-throw manual gearbox makes it a pleasure to use. Communicative steering and strong brakes make the car just that much more enjoyable.

Interior

Inside, the 2017 Ford Focus ST boasts a handsome cabin. Both construction and materials quality are top-notch. The standard front sport seats are both comfortable and supportive. The available Recaro seats feature larger side bolsters designed to provide enhanced support in hard cornering, but some drivers could find them too restrictive in everyday driving or on long trips. Rear seats offer decent headroom but come up a little short on legroom compared with competitors.

You can get by with the standard 4.2-inch display, but the 8-inch touchscreen upgrade is worth getting. It's easy to use and includes the latest smartphone app integration systems.

From a practicality standpoint, the Focus ST is pretty easy to live with. It offers 23.8 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, and folding the 60/40-split rear seatback gets you a useful 43.9 cubic feet of space, about 3 cubic feet more than the Mini Cooper four-door but almost 9 cubic feet less than the Volkswagen Golf GTI.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Ford Focus ST.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Poor man's sports car with four doors and a hatch
MN ST Owner,07/30/2017
4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I just bought mine recently in the base ST1 trim. The only options on my ST has are the polished rims with black pockets that include red painted brake calipers and the performance all season Pirelli tires instead of the summer only Goodyear tires. Hopefully the Pirelli's are good enough for winter here in Minnesota (Twin Cities metro area). I have always been interested in this car and after driving many economical cars that got great fuel economy, I was getting tired of the lack of performance that comes with that economy. Ford was offering a discount of $3500 off along with another $1000 Fast Cash. The dealer sold me the car at invoice price with these discounts included. I ended up paying $20,500 for a car that said $26,175 MSRP on the window sticker. I was also looking at Fiesta ST's too but they were more expensive and harder to find. The test drive had me sold on this car. Performance is thrilling in every way. Acceleration, handling and braking are at a level that is way above your average Focus. The six speed manual transmission and clutch are a pleasure to use. The steering is point and shoot with excellent feedback. Hustling down some curvy country roads today, I was amazed at how fast I was taking the curves. Of course I was smiling the entire time while I snicked though the gears. This car pulls hard when you dip into the pedal deep. Turbo lag is almost non-existent. The 270 lb/ft of torque peak is at only 2500 RPM's. This car pulls hard from any speed in every gear if you keep the RPM's around that figure. The performance all season Pirelli's worked well for me. I doubt you would want them on a track but for public road use they are great. The suspension is on the firm side but not jarring. You will hear and feel some bumps and the expansion joints on freeways but it is not annoying to me. First tank of fuel after some mixed highway/city driving came in at 27 MPG! A good portion of that was spirited driving on those curvy roads I just mentioned. For everyday use it is just like any other Focus. You will get slightly less fuel economy but you will leave traffic at the stop lights with ease. Same amount of storage and room which is good on the Focus. Not best in class but good enough. Rear seats are a tad short on leg room. Front row is fine. The ST1 trim gets you the basic Ford Sync system with a 4.2" non-touch center screen (It does have a backup camera with distance and trajectory markings) and a 6 speaker single CD, AM/FM radio, MP3 stereo system without Sirius/XM. You also get manually controlled cloth seats with less aggressive bolstering than the Recaro seats that come with the ST2 and ST3 trim levels. The ST1 cloth seats are comfortable and look nice. I don't think a moonroof option is available on the base ST1 trim level. You also don't get the rear seat armrest and cup holders or the sunglasses holder near the rearview mirror. The ST2 and ST3 trim levels give you more options including leather trimmed (ST2) or full leather Recaro seats (ST3) with aggresive bolstering and power controls on the ST3. The ST2 and ST3 trim levels get heated front seats and side mirrors. The ST3 trim also includes a heated steering wheel. The ST2 and ST3 are both equipped with Ford's Sync 3 system, an 8" touch screen and a Sony sound system with subwoofer and Sirius/XM. Integrated navigation is also available on both the ST2 and ST3. The Ford Focus ST is easily the most fun to drive and one of the fastest front drive only cars you can buy today. In its basic ST1 trim it's a steal if you don't need or want all those options on the much higher priced trim levels (thousands higher for each trim level). Everyday usability, decent fuel economy and when you feel like dipping into the turbo's boost, sport car performance. The ST in basic trim is just an amazing car for only $20,500 but if need more luxuries they are available too. I will be driving my Focus ST for as long as it lasts.
Best Bang For Your Horsepower Buck!
Rockinroller,09/29/2017
4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I've researched and checked out just about every vehicle under $30,000 that has reasonable power and function and a "fun to drive" factor. I kept coming back to the Focus ST. When Ford recently offered $4500 rebates on the 2017's and learning that the 2018s were not going to change much I pulled the trigger and picked up a base ST1 in Race Red with only the AS tires as an option. I am impressed with the continued quality Ford puts into their vehicles, even at this level. The doors close with a "thud", the interior trim is supple and neat and the dash layout is practical. The center console could be a little longer however. Also I like the large digital speedometer better in the FCA vehicles, compared to the small window Ford provides, between the two analog tach and speed gauges. The front seats are sufficiently bolstered and are much better for my (6'2") frame than the Recaros whose side bolsters uncomfortably cut into both sides of my back. The 6spd trans is nice and tight, with the shifting not notchy. My only regret I guess is that I'll be the only one who can use the ST as my wife can't drive a stick and refuses to learn. I suppose shifting is a pain for many folks who are caught in stop-and-go traffic, or those who want to share time with their various digital devices while driving (or even wanting to drink something while in traffic), but it sure allows you to marry better with the vehicle and its performance. For around $21,000 out the door I couldn't have done better.
Focus ST is fun and fast with a few negatives.
Kamaka,05/04/2018
4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
I have a Focus ST ST3 with almost 14k miles on it and it's been great. It's fun and fast. Power is very torque-y and the shifter is smooth. I find the Recaro seats comfortable but you can't slide into them you have to climb in and out. The rear visibility is pinched so the backup camera is essential. I got the all season Pirelli tires and they worked well in the New England Winter. There's no active safety but the Focus ST was cheaper than an identically equipped VW GTi. When I got a flat I was really happy there's a full size spare and I've had no mechanical problems with the car. Sync3 is much better than MyFordTouch and using the AppleCarPlay is great.
My new pocket rocket
Tom Steinmetz,08/03/2017
4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
Just brought home my new 2017 ST and I love it. This car is what it purports to be; an economical pocket rocket! Bought the base model with all season tires and the nice 18 inch rims with red brake calipers; no other options needed IMHO. Got $3500 rebate and invoice pricing plus great value for my trade. Ride quality and road noise are much better than you would expect for a "focus". Looking forward to many years of lively driving this baby and blowing away all those folks paying $$$$$ more for their "better" brand. Eat my dust and I'll keep the extra $$ in my bank account smiling all the way! Thank you Ford!

Features & Specs

MPG
22 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
252 hp @ 5500 rpm
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More about the 2017 Ford Focus ST

Used 2017 Ford Focus ST Overview

The Used 2017 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 2017 Ford Focus ST?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Ford Focus ST trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Ford Focus ST Base is priced between $18,000 and$20,000 with odometer readings between 25335 and49723 miles.

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Which used 2017 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) 2017 Ford Focus ST for sale near. There are currently 8 used and CPO 2017 Focus STS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $18,000 and mileage as low as 25335 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 2017 Ford Focus ST.

Can't find a used 2017 Ford Focus STs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Focus ST for sale - 4 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $20,410.

Find a used Ford for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $20,929.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Focus ST for sale - 7 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $24,604.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 7 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $23,161.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 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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