2013 Ford Focus ST owner review

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Review written by:
Brad M
PROS
  • Power
  • Practicality
  • Fun factor
CONS
  • Ride
  • Glitchy tech
  • Those wheels are damn hard to clean

About the Ford Focus

Brad M purchased this Ford Focus used for $20,000 (including all on-road costs) in 2018. Brad M would buy this car again because: “I love it, value for money, fun factor, practicality, comfort (for me).”

How reliable has your car been? Tell us about any issues.

It has been extremely reliable. Bought used at 60,000kms, it now has 99,000kms on it.

Only consumables have been replaced including front brakes, battery, fluids and rear motor mount which was more of a small modification rather than needing to be replaced.

I did chew through a brand new (dealer process when purchased) set of tyres in 20,000kms. These no name tyres were OK in the dry, scary in the wet. But they did survive a track day and a trip to the drags.

The Michelin PS4 tyres I put on for the last 20,000kms are far superior and are wearing better with yearly wheel alignments, albeit they have had an easier life.

The paint on the car does appear thin, chips very easily. I’ve had multiple touch ups done professionally and myself.

I do enjoy a bit of detailing however and the blue looks fantastic.

What do you think of the ownership experience with your car?

The car has really complemented my love for cars and driving (outside of Sydney traffic). The biggest box this car had to tick when purchasing was I had to fall in love with it. Which I did, immediately.

I also drove a Toyota 86, which is definitely a fantastic handling car, however it was a bit small, the interior rattled (1 year old car) and it just didn’t make me smile. I liked it. Didn’t love it.

Outside of normal maintenance costs which have been minimal, the ownership experience has been excellent.

I do look back at it when I walk away, I do lust after it to drive it when it’s parked up (doesn’t get used for work), and as a car enthusiast I believe these elements are super important in the ownership experience.

In saying that, there are times when the car gets tiresome, more on that further down.

Are you happy with the price and features of your car?

Absolutely. In my opinion it was cheap when I bought it. I really felt for the age, kilometres, power, condition, features, practicality and handling there was not much else that could beat it at this price.

The features are actually what made me go for an ST over the XR5. Climate control, cruise control, reverse camera, parking sensors, Xenon headlights, etc., etc, are all things that the XR5 did not ever come with in Australia. At the time a really good condition XR5 with leather seats were similarly price to a newer ST.

What do you think of the performance and economy of your car?

The performance from the 2L eco boost is fantastic. There is torque everywhere, in every gear at any time. It is rare to catch the motor in a spot of turbo lag. The acceleration is always instant.

I always run 98 RON fuel and have always averaged around 8-9 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres around home with plenty of traffic lights. Pretty good I thought.

On the highway I’ll see anywhere from 6.8-7.2L/100kms. I thought this figure would be a bit better but considering the power and taking advantage of on ramps, probably not bad.

What do you think of the technology in your car?

This is a 2013 model car. Compared to rivals in the segment at the time the technology is there, but held back by a very small screen and a tonne of buttons. Sat Nav, reverse camera, Bluetooth, it’s all there. But the tiny screen prone to laggy response does disappoint the experience. The system does struggle to connect via USB with current iPhones, but that is probably down to age of the technology.

Otherwise, the Sony Stereo is great, crisp, clear and loud.

The dual zone climate control works well, always left in automatic climate mode.

Auto wipers are great, sometimes a bit hit and miss but I appreciate they are there.

The xenon headlights were a disappointment at the start. Bright as anything but did not go very far up the road at all. In fact it felt like they pointed directly at the ground.

A bit of research and I discovered they did have adjustment. Problem solved, they shine up the road nicely, don’t dazzle other drivers and the included cornering lamps are outstanding. All cars should have these.

The auto function for the headlights work well. In the event of rain, the auto wipers will activate along with the headlights. Fantastic feature.

What do you think of the ride comfort and handling of your car?

Handling. It is fantastic fun. Perfect? No.

The steering is fast and precise, makes the car feel lighter on its feet. It does lack a bit in feel, typical of many electric power steering systems however it is probably one of the better systems out there.

The ride is hard. Most of the time for me, it is a non issue and plays a big part in the handling and feel of the car. Body roll is minimal, the car almost always feels planted and solid on the road. Inspires confidence.

This confidence extends to the highway. On a trip at the end of last year from Sydney to Brisbane the car was surprisingly fantastic on the smooth pacific highway.

Kilometres were chewed up very easily, quietly and comfortably. The Recaros held me in nicely (but these seats aren’t for everyone). This trip was completed in one day, barely tired at the other end.

Whilst I speak a lot of praise for this car, this section holds the biggest negatives for me.

Firstly, the torque steer. It does it, I accept it, it is perfectly manageable. Tyres, wheel alignment and tyre pressures play a big part in improving this.

Secondly, comfort on rough roads. As mentioned earlier the ride is hard. This factor can make country trips absolutely exhausting on bumpy roads. It’s a compromise

And, finally, again on bumpy roads, I feel some of that confidence that is inspired by the handling of the car is taken away as it rides (or smashes into) lumpy roads.

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Ratings
Overall8.5
Show Breakdown
Technology 7.5
Reliability 10
Ride & Handling 7.5
Price & Features 8.7
Performance & Economy 8.1
Ownership Experience 9
Top Line Specs
7.4L
184kW
172g
5 ★
View all specifications