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2013 Ford Focus ST

Overview
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2013 Ford Focus ST Review

By

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
7.4
Out of 10

Based on 312 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.6/10
    Quality
    7.4/10
  • Reliability
    7.6/10
    Performance
    7.8/10
  • Comfort
    7.6/10
    Styling
    8.2/10

THOUGHT I was getting a great car

By on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "cute, fun to drive, good mileage, resonable price"

Cons: "numerous mechanical and electrical problems"

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

"I bought this car just 8 months ago, Cute, fun to drive, good mileage, resonable price and good reviews..,MSRP is 24000 andI got it for 21000.. it currently has 15000 miles and is already in the shop for numerous electronic clitches, transmission problems, etc, etc. Now I check the value (again the car is not even a year old) and obviously it does not retain any value what so ever!! It is only worth $14,000 trade in and $17,000 for a private sell. I still owe $16,000.00. Guess I shouldn't have dropped the GAP insurance. DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!!!!! IT IS JUNK!!!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great car, great price

By on Monday, September 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fuel economy, handling, comfort, powertrain"

Cons: "Rear visibility"

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

"This sub-$20000 car handles like it should cost twice as much as it does. It hugs the road like no other small car and the DCT transmission is amazing, it's one of my favorite powertrains. Haven't seen any issues other than a couple of computer re flashes to perfect the performance of the transmission, which is to be expected of a newer technology. The only complaint I have with the car is rear visibility. I'm glad the refreshed 2015 model will come standard with a rear view camera."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Lemon?

By on Sunday, September 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
3/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Nice when it works"

Cons: "Totally unreliable."

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

"The battery on our Ford Focus EV has died repeatedly. This is an incredible inconvenience and for that reason I would steer consumers away from the car. At first, when the battery died at stop lights, we were told we needed a software update, which seemed to fix the problem for a few months. Now, the battery has died again and can't even be charge if we can get the car home. Also, the Sync system fails repeatedly. Loaner cars aren't a substitute because they do not have a car pool lane sticker. I now think the car is a lemon."

7 people out of 16 found this review helpful

I love my car!!

By on Saturday, September 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Most all things"

Cons: "Kinda tight."

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

"First let me start by saying, I have a manual transmission. All the bad things that have been said about this car, have been for an automatic transmission. I drive pretty crazy and let my RPMs get pretty high and I am still getting 34.6 MPG, and climbing. It take 38 dollars to fill my tank and I get 440 miles until empty. The Sync is amazing! It sticks to the road very well. Great with turns and rain! I would recommend this car to all of my friends and complete strangers."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Nothing but Problems

By on Wednesday, September 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Good on Gas"

Cons: "The transmission, wiring harneses, stalls"

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

"My car is about 2.5 years old and I've owned if for 14 months. The transmision is awful, jerks and is very shakey. I had problems with the air conditioning leaking into the passenger side floor. The dealership told me it was a faulty part that Ford was designing and when it became available they'd call me back in to fix it. Never happened and magically the leaking stopped so I didn't even bother following up with Ford. Now I have electrical problems and the car stalls out when driving. Give the car gas and it just revs like it's in neutral. There's a "hill start assist unavailable" message that pops up and then the car stalls. The car is unsafe and frustrating to deal with. Never buying another Ford again."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Wish I never bought!

By on Tuesday, September 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
2/10

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

"I have had several issues with the transmission in this car! I had it fixed 1 month ago and it is leaking fluid again! I brought it to the dealer I bought it from several times and told them there was a problem with the vehicle, and was told there was nothing wrong with it, when I brought it to get an oil change they are the ones who have told me twice the transmission was leaking. No Ford dealer can take it in for one or two weeks because they are so backed up fixing transmissions! Just received a letter from Ford "not a recall" but there have been some issues so they are extending the warranty on the transmission. Does anyone have that much time to drive to the dealer to fix a newer car, and be in convinced to have the dealer take 10 days to fix it? Back interior below rear window has rotted out! Anyone want to fix that at Ford? Not really!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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