Review: 2013 Ford Focus ST

I was given a 2013 Ford Focus ST to review.  It’s basically a four door Ford Focus with horsepower and speed tucked into every conceivable corner of the vehicle.  They found a lot of corners to add it as it has 252 horsepower in it and every single one of them is fun to drive.

The Focus ST is basically the Ford engineers wandering up to Volkswagen and throwing the gauntlet down at the Volkswagen GTI and then saying, “beat this!” and then watching the Volkswagen people slink away.  It’s the new owner of the compact sedan performance crown.

2013 Ford Focus ST

The car was a lot of fun to drive.  It was a six speed manual transmission that was easy to drive through the streets of Saskatoon on my morning commute.  Unlike many of Ford’s other vehicles, it was nice to drive a car that was not equipped with collision detection, blind spot alerts, and rear view cameras.  The car has one purpose and that is performance and it showed.

The handling was remarkabe as I zipped along through city traffic on my daily work commutes were the capable workings of the ST’s uniquely-tuned sport suspension which lowered its chassis by 10 mm, compared to the regular Focus. The ST’s stiffer suspension was combined with the Focus’ standard MacPherson struts up front and a double-wishbone system in the rear.

We took the car to our cabin for Thanksgiving.  I had to work on Saturday and Mark had a football game so we left Sunday morning for the cabin.  Since it was a demo car, we left the dogs behind which created some more space for us but we did manage to bring up three empty planters in the trunk as well as a lot of blankets that Wendy had washed at home.  I was surprised at how much the trunk of the hatchback held.

2013 Ford Focus ST

The drive to Arlington took us along Highway 16 until the Watrous turnoff.  A quiet Sunday and a lonely stretch of highway let me open the car up a bit and again I was surprised how quiet it was.  Despite the increased speed, I was surprised how low I had ESPN Radio playing.  There just wasn’t the need to compensate for highway noise.  That being said, I don’t want to take anything away from the Sony 10 speaker stereo system.  It was exceptional.

The one thing I didn’t like was on the 30 km stretch from the highway to the cabin is along a gravel road and I found the backend of the car was all over the place.  While I normally drive 70-80 km/h down that road, even at 60 km/h, the Focus’ back end was moving more than Miley Cyrus’ and that isn’t good.  

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As you can see, it came with the basic Ford MyTouch, Ford Sync, and excellent Sony stereo system.  The middle arm rest has USB ports to import music, upgrades, and power to charge your cell phone.  We plugged in an iPod and were able to control it easily from the steering wheel.  Apparently that worked too well as I drove Wendy and Mark crazy while flipping through a couple of playlists.

The car came with heated seats and as someone who had a sore back, you have no idea how nice that felt over a two hour drive.  For those that see it as a frivolous winter feature, it seemed to be worth it this fall.

Size wise, it felt good.  I am 6’4” and it had the leg and headroom that I need.  The boys were comfortable in the backseat but adults would find it less comfortable; which is the same with any compact.


I loved the car.  It was a joy to drive and fit our family well.   If you are like me and approaching your midlife crisis point, it is a car well worth looking at.

  • Model as Tested: 2013 Ford Focus ST 4dr Hatchback w/EcoBoost (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
  • Vehicle Type: FWD 5-passenger 4dr Hatchback
  • Estimated MSRP: Price: base, $29,999; as tested, $34,849 (includes $3,300 in options; $1,550 D&D charge; and a $100 Fed. excise tax; doesn’t include current dealer or manufacturer incentives)
  • Engine type: Turbocharged, direct-injected inline-4, gasoline
  • Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 247 @ 5,500
  • Transmission type: Six-speed manual
  • Track Test Results: 0-60 mph, mfr. claim (sec.) 6.5 (0-62 mph)
  • Fuel Consumption: Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.) 14.5
  • Seating capacity: 5

For more information, check out the Ford Canada website for the Focus ST or talk to your local Ford dealer.