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2013 Ford Focus ST

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2013 Ford Focus ST Review

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Ford performance enthusiasts have traditionally bemoaned the fact that Europe gets all the sophisticated good stuff, and that was the case until Ford presented us with the 2013 Ford Focus ST. It's as European as a lean-cut suit, but a lot easier to wear, and we think it will hit a homerun with performance drivers who have always craved the intelligently modified ST versions of European Ford models but have found them impossible to purchase in the United States. Having put the Focus ST through its paces on more than 250 miles of demanding European roads, we can attest to the Focus ST's good looks, its razor-sharp handling, and its ability to perform the dual role of weekend canyon runner and weekday commuter car.

You'll Like This Car If...

Those seeking European-style performance – precise handling and substantial power from a relatively small-displacement engine – will find the Ford Focus ST their cup of cappuccino. The bonus is the ST can function as a family car as well.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want traditional American power and torque from a V8 or even from a V6, then the Focus ST will not be your performance-car of choice. Its charms are more subtle and sophisticated than simply brute force.

What's New for 2013

The Ford Focus ST is all-new for the 2013 model year, and it includes a wide variety of Euro-tuning tricks that set it apart from its more pedestrian Focus brothers. With minor exceptions, it is exactly the same car European Focus ST buyers get.

Driving the Focus ST

Driving Impressions Ford's ST team has cleverly adapted a proven, high-volume platform to performance-car standards without sacrificing much utility or user-friendliness. That's a neat trick, but the platform seems infinitely adaptable. Drawing...

on American, Asian and European resources, ST engineers supplied the picante sauce with engine, steering and suspension upgrades that go beyond mere tuning. They changed what engineers refer to as "hard points" to give the suspension better geometry and better anti-roll bar attachment points, and they made ingenious modifications to the steering rack to give the steering a more precise feel, whatever the conditions. Of course, a performance car isn't really a performance car without quick acceleration, so ST engineers decided to let the 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine go into "over-boost" mode for 15 seconds of hard-on-the-gas bursts.

2.0-LITER ECOBOOST ENGINE
The 4-cylinder engine in the previous-edition Ford Focus offered 140 horsepower, so you can see why we like the new EcoBoost 4-cylinder that delivers 112 additional horsepower with a negligible drop in fuel economy.

SPORT STEERING SYSTEM
The extremely quick steering is a specially calibrated version of Ford's Electronic Power Assisted Steering system that detects and compensates for torque steer virtually before it occurs, enabling Ford to send 252 horsepower through the front (driving) wheels.

2013 Ford Focus ST Details
Interior

There's nothing unattractive about the stock 2013 Ford Focus interior, but, as you might expect, the ST kicks it all up a grade. The highlight is the optional Recaro front bucket seats, which offer both cushion tilt and length adjustment that provides nice support for the thighs. While they don't get the same level of comfort as those in the front seats, the rear-seat passengers do ride on a newly designed bench stuffed with special foam. To make it clear that you're motoring in a special Focus, the ST features a specially-designed steering wheel, gearshift lever and pedals. The headliner and trim on the pillars is darker than on standard Focuses, adding an edgy feeling of menace. The 2-pod dash arrangement logically groups instruments and controls, and at the same time offers an open expanse in front of the passenger.

Exterior

There is no mistaking the 2013 Ford Focus ST as anything but the most performance-oriented variant in the Focus line, yet to its credit it is not covered with scoops, spoilers and all other manner of hey-look-at-me tomfoolery. Instead, the 5-door offers a well-integrated, high-mounted spoiler and mild rocker panel skirting to exhibit its performance-cred without shouting it. We're fans of the brawny 5-spoke alloy wheels and the blacked-out grille. The rear of the car is also attractive with the spoiler balanced by center-mounted twin exhaust tips.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

If you buy a 2013 Focus ST you get a very well-equipped performance machine, complete with 252-horsepower engine, 6-speed manual transmission, performance-tuned suspension and steering, plus a variety of interior and exterior trim distinctions.

Optional Equipment

Recaro seats lead the option list, although we'd consider them a must-have in the ST. Other options include automatic temperature control and LED interior ambient lighting.

Under the Hood

We are big fans of the 252-horsepower 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine that is the only choice in the Focus ST. Not only does it provide impressive peak horsepower, but it also offers a wide, flat torque curve, making for good all-around drivability. Direct injection and a low-inertia turbocharger that is allowed to go into short bursts of "over-boost" is the reason. We were impressed with the 6-speed manual transmission, but we were disappointed that a paddle-shifting dual-clutch transmission is not on the option list. With a 0-60 mph time in the mid-6 seconds, the 2013 Focus ST offers serious quantities of fun-to-drive.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
252 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpg

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2013 Ford Focus ST Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.3
Out of 10

Based on 433 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.5/10
    Quality
    7.3/10
  • Reliability
    7.6/10
    Performance
    7.7/10
  • Comfort
    7.6/10
    Styling
    8.1/10

Water pump went out at 400 miles

By on Friday, August 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "looks nice, reasonably priced"

Cons: "reliability"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"We just bought this car for my daughter to commute back and forth to school and the water pump went out at 400 miles leaving her stranded. The Ford dealer replaced it but my confidence in Ford products has been shaken. We've asked for another car or a free extended warranty but so far no reply. I realize there may be manufacturing defects but I'm disappointed. I have another daughter in school and I have more confidence in her Honda Accord with 200k miles on it than I do in this car. Also when we test drove the cars the first car shifted abruptly so we didn't buy it. Be aware the 2014 and earlier cars had transmission problems. They've supposedly resolved the problem but do your research before you buy. The car we ended up purchasing looks nice and my daughter likes it."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Not a fun car to drive

By on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,900

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Good pep for a four cylinder."

Cons: "Transmission is a big issue"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"The dual clutch transmission has given me fits. The car has a jerking motion in stop and go traffic which can be very scary at times. I've had the car in for this problem six times. The software is re-flashed and I'm told to give it about a 1,000 miles so the car can learn my driving habits. Obviously the car is not to smart since it still has not learned my driving habits. The dealership now tells me the jerking motion is normal. This would have been nice to know before I bought the car. This is a vehicle to stay away from. No one should have to drive a car with the problem I've encountered."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great car for a great price!

By on Saturday, August 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great milage, quick acceleration, solid & smooth"

Cons: "Hub caps, auxiliary jack loc., non-split rear seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

New roof rack for my bike

"I always seem to have really good luck with new cars, and this Ford Focus follows suit. Great milage for surprisingly quick acceleration when needed, and a solid but smooth feel are my favorite highlights. The quality exceeds my expectations. When I drive it smartly, meaning when I keep the tachometer under 2,500 RPM going either uphill or downhill, and with the right tires, its easy gets 41 MPG in warm weather. In cold weather, the milage drops by about 15-20% as expected (lots of physics to explain why). Also, the seats are very comfortable, and the backseats are the most comfortable I've ever had (really phenomenal). I recently added a Thule roof rack which greatly adds to the sportiness. My 3 complains are that the hub caps on the steel wheels are really ugly and detract from the otherwise sharp looking car, also that the stereo auxiliary jack is located inside the glove box for some really odd reason [after-thought?], and finally that the fold-down back seat is not split (a split folding rear seat should really be standard for any small car)."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

New roof rack for my bike

Update on 2012 I own

By on Friday, August 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,440

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Sporty look, fun to drive, great MPG!"

Cons: "rear leg room."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"In 2012 I purchased a Ford Focus Hatch SE with sport pkg, winter pkg, sun roof, convenience pkg in white oxford. I average 34MPG. Car has been reliable and has no squeaks or rattles. Fun to drive if you know how to use the sport shifter. Overall a nice car. Dislikes are the amount of rear space/leg room. Transmission has been fine after re-program."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great car but rear seating not good with car seats

By on Thursday, August 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, very comfortable."

Cons: "Not exactly baby car-seat friendly."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I really love my ford focus ST. It has the fun power and comfort of a sports car without being overly expense and flashy. The only thing I haven't liked is that it doesn't drive as well as I would like in snow. My husband who is 6'2" fits great in the car and really enjoys driving it too. I think anyone above 6'2" may have issues with this car because it is small (heads hit the roof). Here are some cons to the car, but only because our lives have changed with a baby. The backward facing car seats leave very little room for an adult in the front seat because the car seat takes up so much space in the back. We can't wait for another few years when the baby is in an upright seat. So now the ST is really much more like a 2-seater (me and the baby). I was impressed that I could get a Graco Stroller in car, but it takes up the entire trunk. Oh and my Mastiff really enjoys the hatchback for two reasons; he doesn't have to jump into the car and he can lay down and watch everything out the windows. After driving it for awhile, the only other thing that would be great to have is space for my wallet, cell phone and better designed cup holders."

HORRIBLE TRANSMISSION

By on Monday, August 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,800

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "handles well.comfortable and well equipped."

Cons: "Transmission"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Over all the car is not bad. It drives nice and is comfortable. Handles great. Has good power though the engine can be noisy. Has been reliable EXCEPT for the Transmission. It is fairly new technology and does not work well. It stutters, jerks, jumps and makes horrible noises.It has left me stranded once and have had to take it to the dealer 4 times now. Of course ford says this is all normal for this type of transmission. ???? What a joke! I hope they have fixed this issue in the new ones. A lot of buyers have this same issue and are not happy."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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