Where sporty compact cars are concerned, the Ford Focus ST is the complete package. It looks fast, it actually is fast and in a boon for those who need to justify such a fun purchase, the Focus ST boasts a category-topping 5-Year Cost to Own figure.
So, how do you make such an exciting car without breaking the bank? Build from an affordable starting point; in this case, the Focus hatchback. On top of that already capable foundation Ford adds a host of performance-focused (pun intended) upgrades including unique front and rear fascias, a racy flat-bottomed steering wheel, and a tasty 2-liter turbocharged engine. That last bit flings the Focus forward with gusto thanks to its stout 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, while also returning up to 32 mpg on the highway.
Offered exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission, the Focus ST is a Ford to be reckoned with at the race track and a joy on winding back roads. Key to those road-holding abilities are 18-inch wheels with summer tires and a race-tuned suspension. Despite all the go-fast touches the ST is still a Focus hatchback, making it a fine commuter and an adept cargo-hauler.
Given its elevated thrill-quotient the Ford Focus ST's base price of $25,300 is quite reasonable, contributing to its low 5-Year Cost to Own. Even loaded with leather-trimmed Recaro sport seats, a 10-speaker Sony audio system, a heated steering wheel, $595 worth of Tangerine Scream paint, and countless other goodies the loaded price rings in at a still quite sane $30,295. Good times without the financial guilt. Sounds like a winning combination.