A little over a year ago, the Ford Focus ST was the subject of scrutiny and a test drive. The American hot hatch proved to be fast, fun, and stylish – a worthy contender to the Volkswagen GTI and Mazdaspeed3. Fast forward a year, and nothing has changed – except that a friend (and local resident) has decided to bring one home.
“I mean, truly the list is really long about the things I love about this car. But I will just stick with the highlights,” said Doug, proud owner of the 2014 example pictured. “You will hear this from many people who have driven the Focus ST, which is the first thing you notice – it sounds great. I mean, I really wanted to get a car that sounds great without being crazy loud, you know? I know some people have crazy loud exhaust, but this car just has a sweet and low sound that really makes you feel rewarded for choosing it. You just get on the gas and it’s just like, ‘give me more!’ ” he laughed.
“The next immediate thing you will notice is the torque, and man does it go! I mean, it really feels fast. You get on the gas and the force from the kick just stretches your face back to make a smile and keeps it there until you see a red light and have to hit the brakes,” Doug beamed. “I don’t really think I have to mention this, but I will: IT’S FUN! I really wanted a car that really suited my life and is a practical car for good money, good horsepower, fun, has easy access to the back seats, and a boot that holds more than just a sack of potatoes. One that can really give me what I feel is everything I need. It’s the fun weekender, the family car, and useful for the occasional groceries.
“One thing really was that I was just looking for a fun car, but I didn’t want it to be too loud or be too gentleman-like for my liking,” Doug opined. “I love the GTI, but for me, it is too composed; it looks very much more like a gentleman’s car in the hot hatch world. The Mazdaspeed3, which was my second choice, was a little too loud for my taste, and it wasn’t the new model that came out this year.
“The Focus ST to me was just perfect. It isn’t really too composed like a man in a suit-and-tie, or crazy. But it was more like the man wearing a suit, but had the crazy socks and cool tie. For me, it was the best of both worlds.”
When asked what he hates about his car, Doug responded, “Well this is going to be a short list. There isn’t anything I hate. One thing I do not like is the antenna. I mean, it works great, clear sound, but come on – give me a shark fin! It has a long antenna on the roof near the spoiler in the back, and it makes my car look like an R/C car,” he complained. “Another thing was I tested two Focus ST’s. The first one had the 201A package that came with the partial leather Recaro seats. Yeah I know, NICE! But I got the 200A package, which is the base package. I just felt like the seats were a little cheap looking,” Doug said. “I feel maybe it was the color tone, but all the people I asked said it looked fine. It does what it’s supposed to. Holds you well and gets you around the turn without having your face go through the side window. That’s what matters.”
Doug recommends the Focus ST. “In terms of what they [potential ST buyers] should know, I can’t really think of anything out of the ordinary that should bring them off the fence. It is a great car, lots of fun, has four doors and a nice boot with lay-flat 2nd row seating. Did I mention it sounds GREAT! I think everyone should test drive this car. And when I talked to my car dealer, he said that they will let you test drive the car you want to buy, so you can really feel the car you are going to get, which is great.
“If you’re really looking for a fast hot hatch that’s great money, good on gas, and puts a smile on your face, I say this is a great choice.”
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, Doug gives the Focus ST a solid 9, maybe even a 9.5. “I really feel like Ford has hit the mark for me on the hot hatches. This car was really what I was looking for.
“I have been really loving Ford lately with their latest vehicles. Great job Ford! Wish you brought the hot hatch models from Europe earlier! Keep going! Keep making these great cars and I’ll keep buying! I promise!”