Does The Ford Focus ST Even Matter Anymore?

Illustration for article titled Does The Ford Focus ST Even Matter Anymore?

I kind of feel bad for the 252 horsepower Ford Focus ST these days. Over the past couple years it's become almost completely overshadowed by its smaller, cheaper, racier brother the Fiesta ST, and now there's a ton of hype around the upcoming Focus RS monster hatch.

Is the Focus ST doomed to become the forgotten middle child? Does it even matter anymore in Ford's burgeoning hot hatch lineup?

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I think it sill matters, and so does the latest video review from XCAR. It matters to the guy (or gal) who always wanted an exotic but now finds themselves in need of a normal car to take them to a normal job with room for two kids and their stuff.

The larger Focus ST excels at that in a way that its little brother the Fiesta ST never can. All that extra space makes a huge difference to the people who need it. Sure, the puckish Fiesta ST is the arguably more "fun" car, but I've driven a few Focus STs and I'll never complain about the loads of turbo torque it offers, or the way it's surprisingly willing to rotate on an autocross course.

You can have your cake and eat it too with the Focus ST, more so than the Fiesta and without breaking the bank as hard as the Focus RS presumably will. Being the middle child isn't so bad.

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DISCUSSION

Anyone who thinks the car is irrelevant needs to drive one for more than an hour's road trip/ test drive for a magazine.

The Focus ST is faster than the Fiesta ST in every single way from the Factory, has a higher ultimate handling capability thanks to it's fully independent control blade IRS, more grip from it's wider stickier factory rubber. Yet despite out performing the Fiesta ST the longer wheel base and greater interior volume makes it a more civilized place to be on longer drives.

The Fiesta ST is fun in an adolescent sort of way, i.e. for caning it around a city and feeling slightly more playful. However in the real world it's less comfortable to drive on the freeway, and ultimately is a smaller and cheaper feeling car despite the relative lack of price differential between the two cars.

The Fiesta is good, but the Focus is more mature and refined by just enough to be my personal choice. The Focus ST will still get up and run just fine, but it has also mastered the art of calming down when you're done playing. The Fiesta is too amped up, it wants you to misbehave and to rely on momentum rather than being able to pull you out of the corner on a wave of torque,