Ford Focus ST-2 vs ST-3

Our Focus ST-2 met up with a Focus ST-3 for a game of Spec-wars…

As with the Fiesta ST range, the ST-1 represents the best level of value into hot-hatch performance in the Focus lineup. But with fewer colours and a sparse options list available, the ST-2 and ST-3 will be the more appealing models for buyers.

Focus ST-2: additional kit over an ST-1

Part-leather and colour-coded Recaro seats, climate control, heated front windscreen, automatic headlights and wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, front and rear floor mats

As we’ve mentioned previously, the extra toys on the ST-3 wasn’t quite appealing enough for us to warrant the extra outlay – hence opting for an ST-2 with a select few options instead – but here we’ve lined them up to see what we’re missing out on…

Focus ST-2 vs ST-3: what’s the difference?
Focus ST-3: additional kit over an ST-2

Go for the fully-kitted ST-3 and not only will you get Rock metallic alloy wheels, SYNC 2 with 8″ touchscreen DAB audio system, illuminated ST front door scuff plates, power-folding heated door mirrors, rear parking sensors and cruise control with speed limiter, but also:

Full-leather Recaro seats

The ST-3 seats aren’t available with colour-coded inserts; which some may prefer

Not only are the ST-3 front seats powered electrically, they have manual adjustable thigh support too


Rear seats
Keyless entry


Xenon headlights with adaptive front lighting and washers.
Focus ST-2 headlight vs Focus ST-3 Xenon headlight
Focus ST-2 headlight vs Focus ST-3 Xenon headlight

Sure enough, this may be a feature you’d use once in a blue moon, but the ST-3 also offers the option to alter the bias in the trip computer for when you drive abroad.



The Stealth grey pictured here had the optional door-edge protectors and the Premium SYNC 2 navigation upgrade, which includes 3D map rendering and 10 Sony speakers.

The only option our ST-2 has over this ST-3 is the Style Pack which, along with privacy glass, red brake calipers and illuminated ST front door scuff plates, come with larger 19″ alloys.

Standard ST-3 wheels vs 19″ Style Pack wheels
Focus ST-3 18-inch standard wheel vs 19" Style Pack
Focus ST-3 18-inch Rock metallic wheel vs 19″ Style Pack


Considering all three models perform in the same way, the ST-1 is all you’ll need if you just require a weekend toy. The ST-2 still marks the best balance for us in the range, but if you do shell out for the ST-3, it still undercuts the cheapest VW Golf GTI model by £950. And the Focus includes 30PS more and 2 extra doors on top.

Best of all though perhaps, is the owner of this ST-3 managing to haggle their’s for the same price as an ST-2. Challenge on.

Spec: ST-2 2016
Engine: 2.0T Petrol, 247bhp (@ 6,000rpm), 254lb ft (265lb ft @ 1,750rpm overboost)
Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
Mpg: Official: 41.5 mpg Achieved: 30.6 – 33.1mpg
Performance: 0-62mph: 6.5 Secs, 154mph
Colour: Tangerine Scream
Running Period: Spring 2016 – 
Options: ST Style Pack( 19" 5-Spoke Alloy Wheels, Privacy Glass, 
Illuminated Scuff Plates, Red Brake Calipers), City Pack (Rear Parking Sensors, 
Folding Mirrors), SYNC2 DAB Navigation System, Cruise Control + Active Speed 

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