Everybody’s talking about Focus RS model. Whether it is about its 350 horsepower, or glorious drift mode, or huge wing at the back. But what if regular Focus is too plain for you, but RS is just too immature for your age or over the edge when it comes to attention seeking. Maybe driving 1.0-liter three cylinder engine seems like an understatement for your needs, but 350 hp cramped in hatchback body is a bit too much, as well as back hurting ride.
Let’s say that you have more to spend than $17k for your hatch, but adding $20k on top of that appears ludicrous to you. There is glorified middle in this case, and that would be 2017 Ford Focus ST.
2017 Ford Focus ST STYLING
ST model does get plenty of spicy details, but it isn’t berserk as RS one. It got its meshed grille and bumped hood, but air intakes and grille surrounding are much more tamed. Same is at the rear. You’ll get your wing, but not that much menacing one. You’ll get double center exhaust, but not an overly aggressive diffuser.
Most will glorify boyish racer appearance of RS on any picture, but in reality, it might seem too much for people over thirty years old. ST model is tamed, but as you see not too much to kill all joy of owning sportier models.
Interior is the place where the two don’t differentiate much. You can get the flat-bottomed steering wheel, and you will get sporty seats. The cabin is, as in the regular model, well executed with quality materials and good fit and finish. Standard equipment has some shortcomings, 4.2-inch touch screen for example, which is way too small for today’s time, so you should go for a higher ST2 package that brings an 8-inch display with the latest Sync3 system, part leather interior, and most importantly remarkable Recaro seats.
Mentioned package offers a lot of other things as xenon headlights, dual-zone climate control and Sony audio system besides other stuff, so as the top ST3 package includes only some slight upgrades, middle trim stands as a most reasonable choice.
2017 Ford Focus ST PERFORMANCE
Under the hood, we have turbocharged 2.0-liter I4 rated at 252 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque. That is less than 350 hp from RS, but it is way more than 182 hp that top regular version offers from 1.8-liter Ecoboost I4. That is also enough for you to reach 60 mph in quick 6.4 seconds while preserving your wallet with 25 mpg combined of fuel efficiency. It is clear that ST model, packs quite a perk compared to the regular model, and same goes for driving manners.
We have sports tuned suspension, which you will adore at back roads, and sure, the ride is harsher than in regular version, but perfect compromise is achieved. RS is a beast, which can become frustrating during normal everyday usage when there is no pothole that you didn’t sense and every push of pedal “catapults” you at front. ST is more than vigorous enough to raise your adrenaline level and yet still able to be decently comfortable in everyday living.
So, when to consider 2017 Ford Focus ST? When you want fun, but not track one. You want a special hatch, but not the mad one. You can add $7k on base Focus price, but not exactly $20k. Fiesta ST and Mini JCW are too small, Golf GTI is too plain looking, while Subaru WRX is just too boyish and Sentra Nismo is just a pretender to be sporty.
You see that it is very easy to end up with Focus ST, despite it is already five years on the market, although we should mention that new Civic Si is coming, which will complicate things a bit for this Ford.