McLeansboro Times-Leader

Z_CNHI News Service

September 25, 2013

Ford Focus ST brings surprising performance for small domestic car

A sporty small performance car with a domestic name?

Can it be?

The new Ford Focus ST has carved out its niche to compete head on with European imports. It is welcome news for Ford enthusiasts looking for a domestic car with ample power and lots of interior refinements.

Not only does the Focus come out of the gate with a powerful engine and performance package as standard equipment, it accomplishes all this with high end driving dynamics at a budget price. Hard to beat.

The ST comes as a five-door hatchback. No sedan or automatic transmission is offered.

Main competitors for the Focus are the Mazdaspeed 3, Volkswagen GTI and Subaru WRX, all fine cars with a long tradition of performance. Still, the Focus represents the latest technology led by its mind-blowing 252-horsepower inline four-cylinder engine.

Mated with a six-speed manual transmission, driving the test car was all about fun and excitement going through the gears. From the moment you step behind the wheel you are greeted with high-mounted trio gauges providing needle feedback on oil pressure, engine temperature and turbo boost.

Ford says its little racer will reach 60 miles per hour from a stop in 6.2 seconds but it actually comes closer to 6.0 in testing. Know that if your right foot gets a little heavy in some gears, redline will bring a spirited fuel shut down.

Another surprise with all of this boost is miserly fuel usage. The Focus actually delivers on its combined EPA fuel economy of 26 mpg.

The test car included black leatherette Recaro seats with dark blue trim on the bolstered side and back seat panels, and a sporty embroidered ST emblem on each seat back. The bolsters provided excellent support whether on a short trip or during lengthy interstate travel.

Many optional high-end items on the import competition are included with the ST base price including 18-inch aluminum wheels, dual exhaust tips, fog lamps, halogen headlamps and an aggressive looking blackened grille.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do your genes make you procrastinate?

    Procrastinators, in my experience, like nothing better than explaining away their procrastination: General busyness, fear of failure, and simple laziness are just a handful of the excuses and theories often tossed around. Now researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder have added another option to the list: genetics.

    April 21, 2014

  • VIDEO: Moose charges snowmobile, flees after warning shot

    While snowmobiling in New England, Bob and Janis Powell of Maine were charged by a moose and caught the entire attack on camera.

    April 21, 2014

  • Screen shot 2014-04-18 at 4.44.15 PM.png Paint, doodle and sketch: 3 apps for art lovers

    In the absence of a palette of watercolors and a sketchpad, these three apps can fill in as your art supplies of choice.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Warren's populist pitch on student loans is off key

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren's populist rhetoric pumps up students about their loan burdens, but she conveniently neglects to mention the real problem - the exorbitant cost of college - much less how she's benefitted from those high prices.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo