The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

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
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why a see-through mouse is a big deal for scientists

    A group of Caltech researchers announced in Cell Thursday their success in making an entire organism transparent. Unfortunately, this isn't any kind of "Invisible Man" scenario: The organism in question is a mouse, and the mouse in question is quite dead.

    July 31, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 2.12.55 PM.png VIDEO: Five-year-old doesn't want her brother to grow up

    Sadie, an adorable 5-year-old from Phoenix, wants her brother to stay young forever, so much so that her emotional reaction to the thought of him getting older has drawn more than 10 million views on YouTube.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lockport-police.jpg Police department turns to Facebook for guidance on use of 'negro'

    What seems to be a data entry mistake by a small town police department in western New York has turned into a social media firestorm centered around the word "negro" and whether it's acceptable to use in modern society.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • The virtues of lying

    Two computational scientists set out recently to simulate the effects of lying in a virtual human population. Their results, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, show that lying is essential for the growth of a cohesive social network.

    July 31, 2014

  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo