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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
7.2
Out of 10

Based on 470 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.4/10
    Quality
    7.2/10
  • Reliability
    7.4/10
    Performance
    7.6/10
  • Comfort
    7.6/10
    Styling
    8.1/10

AMAZING CAR!!!!!!!!

By on Friday, February 05, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,500

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"I am 22 and I have gone through 5-6 Hondas, but I went out of my comfort zone and traded my fit (I grew to hate it because of the MPG in town 18-19) plus it did not offer much of anything expect cruise control. I traded it for a 2014 sedan/hatchback titanium focus (my original plan was to get a Honda insight.) At first I was little bummed because of the price, 16k. But my gosh it is so worth it! I do not regret it one bit. It drives smooth, looks amazing, I am still trying to figure which buttons work what. haha. It was love at first sight! I love everything about it. I have a three year old son and safety was a HUGE concern of mine and this car as it all, even great gas mileage! I live 2 hrs away from the dealership I bought it from by the time I had came back I had put 120 miles on the car and it still had more than half a tank of gas. In town it gets about 27, it changes a lot. I don't know what else to say about it. You pay for the price of the car and this is well worth every penny."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

So peppy and fun!

By on Wednesday, February 03, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,500

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
10/10

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

"I drove a van for 15 years and was SO looking forward to getting a peppy, fuel efficient and eye catching ride. I decided on the Focus 2 years ago after seeing a picture in a magazine with a great review of it. I bought it with 5000 miles and just loved it. One day recently I was online and read these reviews about the transmission problems. OMG! I got terrified mine would fall prey to these problems and immediately began to notice things about the shifting that I had never noticed before. So then I got very paranoid and took it to the dealer. They,of course, know that the DCT does often shudder at low speeds. They recalibrated the computers on the transmission AND gave me a free loaner car while it was serviced. It drives perfectly. When I began to think about how a manual transmission works, I changed my driving style because I have driven a stick. Instead of gently pressing on the gas from a dead stop, I now aggressively step on the gas and it zooms through those first 2 gears with no stuttering. Maybe thats what I should have done from the beginning but I always pressed gently to save gas. Don't do that in this car. PRESS! Anyway, it is fun to drive, it gets up and goes and I really love the design!"

I got what I expected!

By on Thursday, January 21, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Milage and comfort, handling is great."

Cons: "The 6 speed automatic has some issues."

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

"I bought this Focus because my father had one of the older models and got at least 10 years of relatively trouble free ownership. I have put 40000 on my Focus and only had minor transmission issues that the dealer tells me are inherent in this 6 speed automatic because of the kind of transmission it was originally, a manual that they combined with a computer operated clutch. The mileage has been 41 on the interstate for long trips and around 20 in town with stop and go driving. It is very comfortable with plenty of front leg room but the back is a bit tight."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Not crazy about it.

By on Friday, January 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good price, great gas mileage"

Cons: "transmissions issues"

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

"I have had all kinds of problems with the transmission. It has been serviced once and needs to go back again. I thought I was purchasing an automatic transmission. Ford says it's not exactly automatic, acts more like a standard."

A Little Gem

By on Thursday, January 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Performance, practicality, price."

Cons: "no windshield darkening on top"

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

"This is my second Focus ST. The first was a 2013 lease and this is a 2015 lease. I wanted and found a combination of practicality, performance and price in this car. Other hot hatches may have marginally superior performance but with worse mpg, cargo space and price. The ST has the most bang for the buck; it handles like a dream and performs wonderfully. A couple of friends came to visit recently and I had room in the car for them as passengers and their large suitcases as cargo. I have room for materials for many of the projects around my home. The city mpg is good, on the highway very good. If I were to decide to buy it the price with my options (Recaro package)is very reasonable."

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Most disapointing new car

By on Thursday, January 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,250

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "None."

Cons: "Stiff Steering, 39 feet Wide turning radius."

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

"I have had the focus st ST3 package for a year now and I still hate it. There are some real problems with this car, for instance Pros: Basically none. Cons: 1. The worst turning radius in the segment, 39 feet is ridiculous for a compact car, and i know a lot of people say its because it has bigger 18 inch tires, but that's not the reason. The GTI, WRX and Civic si all have the same tire size and they all have a very short turning radius. 2. Pedals are offset, and the gas pedal is not level so heal and toe is difficult. 3. Interior space is nonexistent. Center console is huge and there are no storage cubbys. 2 cup holders and a very small center arm rest is unexceptionable. 4. Back seat space for passengers is extremely small. A Honda fit has more legroom. Even front legroom is horrible. 5. Seats are terrible, very tight. 6. back cargo area is super small. 7. Turbo acceleration is off and on, you have to jam your foot into the accelerator to get any movement, and this car is not traffic friendly. Throttle is not smooth and is jumpy at low speeds. Many people have stalling problems. This is a known defect in the car. 8. Motor mounts are not strong enough, the car will make a clunking noise, another known defect with this car. 9. Gas mileage is typically between 18 and 22 miles to the gallon no matter what way i drive. 10. Shifter is clunky. Very notchy with extremely long throws. 11. Limited slip differential is not offered as standard equipment and not even as an option. The car has no traction. Roofline is too low, i typically hit my head on the ceiling, A pillers are too wide, and the windows are very small. Visibility is awful. 12. Car is too heavy, feels awful to drive. And is not agile because of all the weight. 13. Suspension tuning was not done right. The car crashes over bumps. 13. Steering is overly stiff all the time, even during low speeds, which makes parking even more difficult. This car is extremely hard to live with on a daily basis for all the reasons above. I do not recommended it at all."

4 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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