2013 Ford Focus ST Long Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,137
edited September 2014 in Ford

image2013 Ford Focus ST Long Term Road Test

Read daily updates on our long-term road test of the 2013 Ford Focus ST and follow along as our editors live with this car for a year.

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  • stovt001_stovt001_ Member Posts: 799
    I know the GTI is falling behind on performance, but I just love it. I'm a Mazda fanboy, but the MS3 just didn't do it for me like the GTI did. The GTI fits me like a glove and was still pretty fun to drive. I'd say you're right that the ST comes the closest to matching the GTI's refinement to the MS3's and WRX's performance. I'd love to have one, but my Miata is serving me just fine for now and it is correct wheel drive.
  • cuselancer17cuselancer17 Member Posts: 53
    if the subaru had a more quality interior, Id choose that all day.
  • bassracerxbassracerx Member Posts: 188
    i just never really got a good connection with the new focus. ive driven a few and i can't see why the auto journalists are going nuts about it. the GTI is a bad choice buying one now is just asking for a bad taste in your mouth when in a few months the next-gen gti will come out.

    both the mazdaspeed 3 and the WRX are on old but great platforms and if you are willing to trade some muscle for mpg are the ones i would pick. i would def chose the wrx because theres nothing like that boxer growl to put a smile on your face and as much as it rains where i live awd would def be apretiated!
  • nedmundonedmundo Member Posts: 33
    I've driven all but the GTI, which, due to my previous VW experience, I would avoid. I'm sure it's excellent though. Of the others, I'd get the Focus ST. I'm not crazy about the dash and MFT, but it is an excellent blend of performance, refinement, and utility. For me, its refinement makes it a better daily driver than the MS3, and its steering, audio, and interior are, IMO, much better than the WRX. I think it handles better too. I would be concerned about the reliability of a first year model from Ford, but if my TSX got totaled tomorrow, I'd probably buy an ST.
  • fizzump04fizzump04 Member Posts: 6
    I think the ST is the best looking of the bunch too- agressive but not fidgety. The GTI's styling is the most conservative, but it comes with an available dual-clutch gearbox.

    My ideal car: the ST's performance and exterior, with the GTI's gearbox and interior.

    -Fizz
  • ikanaikana Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2012 WRX. I wanted all-weather performance and it has not let me down there. It is amazing in the snow with a good set of winter tires.

    I can live with the compromises that it makes to get the performance that it does. I'm expecting that next year's model is going to be about the same performance-wise but with more frills. If that's the case, I'll pass.

    I drove a Mazdaspeed 3 before settling on the WRX. I think Mazda does driving dynamics well generally speaking and the Mazdaspeed 3 definitely won in steering feel, but it felt cramped by comparison. It also didn't feel anywhere near as fast, despite having a more powerful engine. I also didn't care for the styling, exterior and interior.

    The Focus ST looks interesting, but I don't think I can get over the FWD. It also seems to lack character (at least from my observer's perspective) and is easily mistaken for a regular focus. I like cars that have character.

    If I didn't need all-weather performance I think I'd go for a BRZ.
  • hybrishybris Member Posts: 365
    I'm pulled between the well-roundedness of the Focus and the AWD of the Subaru. I really wish that more car makers would have the option of have a AWD model especially in this class.
  • yaymx5_yaymx5_ Member Posts: 49
    Gotta factor in depreciation too. I think the GTI probably has the most gentile depreciaton...
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    My heart says Focus ST, my brain says that the VW GTI might actually be a better bet. I'm pretty leery of the ST because some of the initial reactions from Focus fan forums hasn't been glowing regarding the build quality and longevity (not to mention that depreciation on the baser Focii are horrendous at the moment).

    What I would really like a Toyobaru hatch.
  • snaab92snaab92 Member Posts: 8
    The WRX is quicker than the MS3 folks! Stop being lazy and do a 4 way comparison! You guys are overdue for one. Add in the Ralliart for grins.
  • zoomzoom22zoomzoom22 Member Posts: 6
    I'd take the WRX. I like the ST but it just seems a little sterile for my tastes. The GTI is for sissies and I just can't get past the front end of the MS3 (although it's steering is nearly perfect and it's turbo thrust is addictive). I guess I've always had a thing for WRX's, and a good driver can get one to sixty in a hair under five seconds. That's much quicker than any of the other three cars here.
  • steve_97steve_97 Member Posts: 3
    GTI all the way
  • huisjhuisj Member Posts: 1
    Anybody here? Does the comment thing work yet? Where is everyone?
  • hybrishybris Member Posts: 365
    @huisj
    Be happy that a few people have stuck around other wise what you see is what you get.
  • cotakcotak Member Posts: 89
    WRX is fast in a straight line but Subaru really lets people down in other departments.

    Here in Canada they cost way too much and leave out the bits you'd like. I just had a quick browse on their website and you can't get HID lights until you are in an STI and even than it's only low beam. Wait a second, low beams? What do we need HID in a low beam for? Oh wait yes, so it "looks" good. You'd think that since you get more light from the HID you might want to use that when you need it. Oh and it's manual leveling too because clearly it has to look like cheap aftermarket shove a bulb in HID. Otherwise it's just not poser enough.

    And there's also no navigation option for the WRX either (STI only). No 6 speed either.

    On the serious side of this comment you know why that is. They have to leave some stuff STI only otherwise they wouldn't sell.

    Handling wise the WRX is ok but again you don't have the LSDs (STI again), and the test numbers looks worse than some of the cars in this "comparison".
  • andymentandyment Member Posts: 7
    Perhaps Canada is different, but here in the States, my WRX limited came with HIDs and had the option for Navigation as well. I say of the 4, WRX all the way. Not only is there great aftermarket support, but there's nothing like hearing that Boxer engine when you're laying into the gas.
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    @andyment: I was with you until you mentioned "hearing that boxer engine". The WRX has a unique exhaust note because of the exhaust layout, but like most turbocharged cars I'd hardly call it soul stirring. The WRX unfortunately is a bit agricult
  • ikanaikana Member Posts: 3
    It isn't "soul stirring" like a BMW M3, but I can't think of a car that costs less and offers a better engine note from my experiences, can you think of one?

    I think that the interior is more than sufficient, it lacks the questionable taste of the Mazdaspeed 3. (inside and out) It also lacks the apparently frustration-prone my ford touch system that the ST has. It is basic, certainly. My biggest concern is the disappointing sound system.

    What the WRX offers is best in class performance and all-weather practicality. That's why I chose it. I expect that next year's model will introduce an upgraded interior and better fuel economy, because those are supposedly the areas where the WRX lags behind. I'd drive a car that's raw and exciting, rather than "nice".
  • nismo2znismo2z Member Posts: 10
    I'd get a Veloster Turbo. But that's mostly because I already have a normal Veloster... If I was going pure-sporty, I'd be Looking at a V6 Mustang or maybe even an Optima SX (My wife Loves the Optima, easy sell there).
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