Why does everyone always compare the ST170 to cars that are quite obviously built for racing and to cater to the Chav/Boyracer mentality.
The Focus ST170 was designed to be a faster version of the already popular existing Focus, and was the first of a new generation of Focus, we now have the focus RS etc. If you want to compare with the Type R, use the RS instead.
To me this car was designed for comfort, road handling and to be more than capable of giving you enough power to be happy whilst also being practical enough to live with on a daily basis. Plus it is easy to add a couple of small mods to improve it, if that is your desire.
Now here's a word... PRACTICAL... that's the word Type R owners don't seem to like, hence the Boy racer tagline.
All in all give me the ST170 over the Impreza/TypeR any day, whenever you see those cars it usually involves baseball caps and spotty teenagers thinking they are it and wanting to race everyone else, looking down there noses at normal sensible people who are more than content with what they have, coz they have something fast and in your face. I don't quite fancy looking like one of them thanks.
The ST170 is a great car, whilst not being lightning quick and having its faults (like every car does) it's comfortable, more than quick enough and handles great. I would recommend one :) I have also owned other sports cars, Toyota Supra, BMW 535i, RS Mexixo Mk11 etc etc but I find that I am more than happy with the ST170.
I can't comment on the ST3, as I have not driven one yet, but being in a friends of mine, it's not as comfortable, and being the type that drives to a lot of Gigs etc round the country, I don't feel I could buy one just for the power alone.
If you want Evo pace, go and buy an Evo, if you want a good all round package and are prepared to comprise on the outright speed, buy this :)
Don't know where you are driving that teenagers can afford to buy Civic Type R's or Impreza's, let alone insure them, but round here I am much more likely to see the chav brigade in something with reasonable secondhand value and insurance... like the ST170.
Most Impreza owners seem to be middle aged (perhaps mid-life crisis) and the Civic attracts all sorts, I see quite a few are owned by 30 odd year old women round by me.
Also whilst the Impreza and Evo offer all out performance for a cost of frequent servicing and low mpg, the Civic is as cheap to run as the Focus ST170, offering 35mpg combined and average service intervals.
I have an ST170 estate...
I too bought it because it was PRACTICAL, and fairly quick on the side...
I did consider a 300bhp Volvo, but the running costs are horrific!!!
I love all the comments about comparing it to a Civic Type R... They don't have anywhere near the 1580 litres of boot space that I have ;)
Who ever passed the comment about it not having a VTEC type system, they are wrong, VTEC, Duratec, Zetec, VVTL are all the same thing, it just means variable valve timing, it's not like Ford could name their system VTEC is it? It's just a name... So yes, it does have a VVT head developed by Cosworth... It amazes me how people make blind comments...
In all, I love this car, it's a good 'Do all' car, and it does them all very well =)
Owned my ST170 for about 3 month. Management lights on already, Ford say new runner control unit and intake manifold £640, anyone had this problem?
Slower than most of its competitors. Better handling than most of its competitors. You pays yer money as they say.
My commute involves some wonderful tight, twisting B-roads, and I've borrowed significantly more powerful cars that I can't get down those roads any quicker or with as much sheer balance and feel.
Race a CTR or Clio 182 off the lights in an ST and you'll be left standing. Take one on on a B-road, and it will hold its own despite the power deficit. You can drive a Focus past its limits of grip in a way you just can't do with a Civic. It has balance in spades, superb steering and great brakes. But if 0-60 is your thing, don't even bother. Buy a Civic and be happy. Or buy a Renault and get yourself nice and fit as you push it everywhere, keeping a carrier bag to collect all the bits as they fall off over every bump.
Mine's coped with a year of hard use with nothing more than servicing and tyres. Servicing and parts are cheap (as with all Fords), it's bloody quick on the roads I use it on, is affordable to run, and it looks good (in my opinion). What do you want for £3k secondhand?
Whilst the ST170 is a great handling car, so are both the Civic and the Clio, which arguably makes the ST170 lacking when it costs the same to run, but with less power, and handling which is only on par with the Civic and Clio.
What I like about the Focus is that it's a nice sized car with a tidy interior and subtle, but sporty looks (I probably prefer the styling to both the Civic and Clio). It's also cheap to buy used, and slightly less insurance because of the lower power output.
What I want is the Focus looks with the Honda engine and the VW build quality, and to be as cheap as a Clio to buy. Sods law.
You don't get more bang for your bucks than the Focus. Running cost is similar to a standard car in its class and reliability is very good. I've considered more expensive cars, but the overall package in the ST170 is so good that I still stick with this car. A lot of hot hatches can blast you 0-60, but the same cars will struggle when the bends start to appear. Then you can basically keep up with anything. My car is completely stock making it 100% reliable. I know people pushing up the horsepower figures by 40-50hp in these cars, but this will always lead to problems in the end.
I`v owned my 04 plate ST 170 for 6 months now, and I find it equal if not above build quality of a Golf, and for the money you pay, you're rewarded by lots more mod-cons. Yeah I'm sure a Clio or a Civic will beat an ST in a straight line, but only for a short time as the Clio would just fall to bits, and the Civic would run out of fuel!
The focus is a great all round car that looks great, and I'm planning to keep mine for a long time yet... very happy with it.
LOL it's funny watching peaked cap abusers get ratty when you say their Clio is tat!
If its speed you want, go buy a road bike, or like me, an RMZ 450 :)