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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 424 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.5/10
    Quality
    7.4/10
  • Reliability
    7.6/10
    Performance
    7.7/10
  • Comfort
    7.6/10
    Styling
    8.1/10

I'm 48 y/o ... worst purchase I've ever made!

By on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,250

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great price, fun to drive once you're up to speed"

Cons: "Tranmission is horrible!"

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

"Ford Engineers absolutely missed it with the electronic transmission. Every person that has ridden in my car has asked me what's wrong with it. POOR engineering on Ford's part but the dealership will tell you it's the way you drive it. You should drive it like a manual. If I wanted a manual I would have bought one. Can't wait to sell this car to some other poor soul. KIA I'm heading your way. Note: I took a $3,000 loss on a 2011 Ford Escape due to a horrible transmission, just needed to move on; starting to see a trend with Ford."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Maintenance nightmare

By on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

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: "gas mileage"

Cons: "maintenance issues"

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

"Went through rear tires quickly due to a poor design of the rear wheel camber. Engine and catalytic converter failed at 100000 miles even with regular oil changes"

TO ME CARS ARE A NECESSITY BUT I DO LIKE THIS CAR

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "THE MANUAL TRANSMITION HAS BEEN GREAT FUN."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"THE CAR HAS BEEN JUST WHAT I WANTED, A BASIC CAR THAT PREFORMS WELL. MY ONLY CONCERN IS THAT THE RELEASE FOR ADJUSTING THE SEAT IS VERY AWKARD TO GET TO, I WILL GO BACK TO POWER SEATS IN MY NEXT CAR. IT IS SO AWKARD I MAY GET A NEW CAR BEFORE I FINISH PAYING FOR THIS ONE."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love everything but the transmission

By on Sunday, July 26, 2015

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

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Gas mileage, sporty feel, comfort, price"

Cons: "Transmission doesn't seem reliable"

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

"This is my first new car so I expected to have zero problems with it. I think it's comfortable to drive in (I commute an hour each way to work), the blind spot mirrors saved me from a few close calls, radio is fine, for the price it looks great and feels sporty, the gas mileage is fantastic. I was hoping to keep this car past its warranty. However, I had transmission issues. First time it was the jerking which stopped after some parts were replaced under warranty. Then one day my car wouldn't go into reverse so I had to have it towed across the city to the dealership where the problem was fixed. Everything seems fine now however I have absokuteky zero confidence in this car's transmission not failing after the warranty is up so unfortunately when the time comes I'm trading it in. It is a fun ride and a great commuter car for now."

Decent vehicle for a Focus.

By on Saturday, July 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,500

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"When the vehicle was purchased new in 2012 it had mechanical issues with the transmission hesitating or slipping on a constant basis. For two years, the sales team at the dealership insisted it was part of the design. It was supposedly meant to force the driver to accelerate slowly from full stops. Finally, Ford issued a recall and sent us a letter to have my transmission repaired at any Ford dealership free of charge. Go Ford! Today, we own a spirited little four banger that is very conservative with fuel consumption. My Wife drives it now and she loves it."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Highly Fuel Efficient

By on Thursday, July 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, good fuel economy, fun to drive"

Cons: "Don't take it to Europe unless you have a Garmin"

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

"Bought this vehicle out of necessity in Nov 2011 because my other vehicle had an expensive tran repair. Also was headed overseas and needed a fuel efficient vehicle. When I transported and received the vehicle in Germany I switched everything over to Kilometers and liters/100KM instead of MPG. While driving the Autobahn I got as low as 3.9 liters per 100KM which converts to 76MPG. This was not going downhill, it was a straightaway. My average between city/hwy was between 5.1 and 5.9 liters/100KM, again in MPG between 47 and 55. I have had this vehicle up to a max speed of 135 MPH on the Autobahn and was amazed that there was no shaking or wandering. The vehicle settled nicely and was no problem. Overall, I am very pleased with this vehicle except for one thing........I was told by my Dealership that I could get a European SD card for my navigation when I arrived in Europe. Upon checking with the Ford dealership in Germany, they put their card into my vehicle and all you got was sound and no video/picture to input your requirements. Come to find out the American/European systems are incompatable. Had to go out and buy a Garmin to hang on the window."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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