If you haven’t considered the ST because you’re one of those people who “Wouldn’t buy a Ford”… please go drive one before you fall into that default response. Manufacturers change & evolve. And time & time again, when we get these test cars, the ST/GT/Ecoboost Fords are the ones we’re getting most excited about. There’s an energy behind them.
And a lot of times, you can’t explain, or quantify that energy. You’re either feel it, or you don’t. No right or wrong answer here; you just need a little unbiased time behind the wheel in order to know if it fits.
I owned a newer GTI for almost 3 years, and I frankly like the ST more. And that’s tough, because I loved my GTI a lot. But the bottom line is – the ST represents my style more accurately. The new Focus ST has all of the characteristics I USED to see & love in the GTI, and other import brands.
The ST is high-profile, rowdy, and unapologetic… it’s a dog pulling hard at the leash. And the fact that Ford makes it in yellow, definitely helps.
Driving the ST seems to feel a little more mechanical & engaging than a lot of new cars. More feel to the gas pedal, more thrust of boost, and radical brakes. The ST is definitely less sophisticated than a GTI, for example. But that’s what I really grew to LOVE about it. The ST seems proud as hell to be an ST – whereas the newer GTI definitely wants to be included at the Audi/BMW party.
Inside, this ST had the 402A option package – which includes adaptive HIDs, and heated Recaro seats with the ‘Recaro’ logo on the outside bolster… and the ‘ST’ logo on the seat-back. It also includes Ford’s SYNC infotainment system – with navigation and premium sound system. And not to be overlooked, it includes a slew of other features – like a heated flat-bottom steering wheel, dual-zone heat/AC, ambient lighting, and keyless entry. The 402A is a $4600 option, but if you break it down, it holds value.
This car was equipped with ALL the add-on Mountune Performance goodies. The Mountune MP275 ‘software tune’ is a factory endorsed, factory installed, factory warrantied remap on the ST. It bumps the power numbers to 275hp, and 296 torque. Mountune also offers additional supporting bolt-ons straight from the dealership: intake, cat-back exhaust, short-shifter, lowering springs, and strut brace. With the Mountune package, the ST goes like hell. IT’S FUN!
The exhaust note is pitch perfect. It snarls under throttle, and talks back (pops) when you lift or shift. It’s amusing, and it’s almost hard to believe that you can buy it this way right off the dealership floor. Also available is a Quaife differential, which should be a serious consideration if you want to keep that horsepower dialed to the ground.
IF YOU’RE ON A BUDGET…..
- Depending on where you live, you can probably squeeze a deal on a stripped-down, bare-bones version of a Focus ST for about $23,000. Get in, & get out with an ST… and worry about the mods later. That’s a good option for a lot of tuners, because it lets you do all your modifications in the aftermarket on your own time & dime.
- The 402A option-package delivers a lot of value for the buck. But the fact is, it’s still a lot of ‘buck’ at $4,600. If you really want it, but it’s stretching budget… stay loose & and negotiate it into the price. For example – if a dealership has 6 Focus STs on the lot, and 5 of them have the 402A package, and 3 of those are white…. Well – you are probably in strong negotiating position if you can handle white.
- The Mountune & Quaife parts are awesome. Trust me – you want them! Yeah sure – you can get all that stuff in the aftermarket over time. But it would be really killer to get it now. Not only that, but if the dealer does the work, it’s warrantied. And it can be financed into the purchase price. To get everything on the mod-menu, the extra cost is a little over $5000… and that DOES NOT include install. However, keep in mind that $5000 gets eaten up pretty quickly in the aftermarket too. Here’s my advice: prioritize what you really want, and try to negotiate it into the price of the car. Even if you have to pay for for the diff, I’d suck it up & do it. $1000 is only about $15/month when financed, and the Quaife diff could very well be a now-or-never mod. It’s all a game of ‘give & take’ in order to come to a mutually beneficial deal. And you have to admire Ford, for giving you options to get the car aggressively modified & backed – from mile 1.