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Mk 3 Focus ST alternatives

Discussion in 'Motors' started by Slinkie, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Slinkie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 21, 2002

    Posts: 1,674

    Location: UK

    Hi all,

    I'm in the process of looking at a new car. Currently I have a lease deal that ends in mid march but want to buy my next car instead.

    I have in the past had a mk 2 focus st and my wife currently has a 65 plate 1l eco boost focus. I am considering getting a newer focus st (17/18 plate) as we have only ever had good experiences with all our fords but want to know if I have exhausted my options for alternatives.

    I have looked into Audi A3's which I feel are too expensive for the same performance, Seat Leons but they seam a lot smaller in terms of boot space and practicality that the focus. Not sure how golfs compare but they seem smaller in terms of boot space and interior space than the focus (correct me if I am wrong with this?). Fabia's seem the same and the more premium brands (merc, bmw, lexus etc) are a bit out of my price range.

    Stipulations are that the car should be no older than 2 years old, 3 at a push (my car allowance stipulates cars no older than 6 years and I don't want to change my car too often). Also, no more than £18k and must have 5 doors and must be fun/ quick (0-60 less than 7 seconds).

    My only issue I have with the newer focus' is the interior, I'm just not a fan of the dash/ centre console/ display. I can live with it but if there was an equivalent car with an interior I prefer I'd consider it over the focus.

    What other alternatives do I have or what suggestions do you have?
     
  2. Funky-Melon

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 26, 2018

    Posts: 296

    Location: Southampton

    Preference on petrol or diesel?

    3 off the top of my head in that price range
    - Skoda Ocatvia VRS or estate version
    - Volvo S60/V60 T4/T5
    - Seat Leon Cupra or estate version
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  3. Raymond Lin

    Capo Crimine

    Joined: Oct 20, 2002

    Posts: 60,963

    Location: Wish i was in New York

    Hyundai i30N?
     
  4. Nasher

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 22, 2006

    Posts: 9,931

    Having owned an A3 and a Focus ST, the ST is by miles the better car for performance. Much better handling and responsiveness.

    I don't think they have made a quick A3 since the 3.2. Unless you mean the S3?
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  5. Slinkie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 21, 2002

    Posts: 1,674

    Location: UK

    Thanks, preference is petrol. I was looking at focus sized cars rather than saloons. I currently have an octavia but want something that can be a bit more fun to drive. Fiesta, polos etc are too small so want somewhere inbetween. As mentioned the leon cupra is a bit small
     
  6. Slinkie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 21, 2002

    Posts: 1,674

    Location: UK

    I'll have a look, thanks.
     
  7. Armageus

    Don

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 9,169

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire

    Depends on your definition of quick - there is still a 190bhp 2.0TFSI version of the standard A3 that meets the OP's <7 second 0-60 requirement
    https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201812123188632


    I had an older 8P A3 with the 197bhp 2.0TFSI - was plenty quick enough (and probably as quick as the 3.2 given that engine is an old heavy lump)
     
  8. Nasher

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Nov 22, 2006

    Posts: 9,931

    Handles like a shed full of understeer though. Which isn't very fun :p
     
  9. Armageus

    Don

    Joined: May 19, 2012

    Posts: 9,169

    Location: Spalding, Lincolnshire

    Don't disagree - My current 1.0 Ecoboost Focus handles better and is arguably more fun to drive :D
    (it also doesn't suffer from "German Reliability" on a weekly basis either :D)
     
  10. LiE

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 2, 2005

    Posts: 17,625

    Location: Milton Keynes

  11. Mercenary Keyboard Warrior

    Soldato

    Joined: Aug 4, 2007

    Posts: 7,047

    Location: Wilds of suffolk

    Always going to be hard to find a challenger to ford with the criteria you have. They do a very good job in general of balancing performance and toys with cost.

    On the Audi understeer thing its definately a thing, I have no idea why they setup so far that way. I know it makes the cars very easy to get in and drive, and I certainly questioned when I moved to Audi, as when I test drove compared to my mini which was basically spot on with steering I felt, it felt like the Audi was horrible. (I mainly drive back B roads etc). I would say however that now I dont notice it, like anything you adapt and I find whilst initial bite to turn in isnt as good I now can drive easily as fast as before. But if you come from a nice neutral or even oversteery car to an Audi your going to struggle a lot. Plenty of people dont get remotely close to the point where the ultimate maximum grip is ever an issue and the understeering will naturally make the driver slow or be more concious of whats going on than potentially sudden snap oversteer.

    Audis are also seemingly quite sensitive to tyres, if you go for some of the more top end tyres (like you will get recommended here) you will find the understeer goes a lot (so I am told by people that do it, not worn mine out yet, but think they may be going soon, was wheelspinning/traction control in second the other day)

    The cupra is probably the best VW challenger to a focus ST if the ST really suits you. But if the ST really suits you then get one.
     
  12. rodenal

    Capodecina

    Joined: Dec 7, 2011

    Posts: 10,000

    The Leon Cupra is a good car (weirdly I've only driven one on track but at a moderate rather than quick pace so can't really make an informed handling comment) quicker out of the box - not sure on the boot space comment as the focus hatch has a tiny boot for the class of car, I'd be surprised if the Leon lost out


    On the other side of things I own a MK3 ST estate and would really struggle to justify changing it for a similar car. It handles well albeit struggles in the damp without a diff, space isn't bad, looks good, seats are great, gearbox ok, quick enough (mine is also mapped) and so far has been reliable.

    It does however have some annoying rattles, the recaros don't seem like they will wear well with age, my infotainment is shocking (better on the facelifts you are looking at) and I wish it had more exhaust note rather than just the sound symposer.

    Overall I really like it, have had it nearly two years and don't really plan to move it on soon. Someone helpfully ran into the back of it this morning which is the first real issue I've had!
     
  13. kurosagi01

    Gangster

    Joined: Apr 17, 2018

    Posts: 158

    Might be able to squeeze in a Civic Type R FK2?
    Can't really see any Hyundai i30N for around 18k
     
  14. DereksDontRun

    Hitman

    Joined: Oct 23, 2013

    Posts: 615

    are 3 yr old M135i's down to 18k? probably a smaller boot with the rwd tho
     
  15. 200sols

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jan 14, 2018

    Posts: 1,028

    Location: Hampshire

    What about a Volvo V40 T5
     
  16. LiE

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 2, 2005

    Posts: 17,625

    Location: Milton Keynes

    Yea the boot was smaller than the S3 I looked at. Boot size on the Leon/Cupra is a good.

    Ultimately all the hot hatches didn't have a big enough boot for me so I ended up with an estate.
     
  17. Slinkie

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Oct 21, 2002

    Posts: 1,674

    Location: UK

    Thanks all, I'll have to look into the leon again. When i originally looked (albeit briefly at a parked one in my company's car park) it didnt look much bigger than a fiesta.

    I think the 1 series' are too small. I need a boot big enough for prams/ baby things but also for golf holidays so a couple of cases and golf clubs in the boot.

    As said, i have had experience of focus'. My old mk 2 st was great so just want something similar but looking at all options.
     
  18. ahenners

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 31, 2010

    Posts: 1,237

    Location: Lancashire

    Octavia VRS or Leon Cupra for me. I have an Octavia VRS (63) and my brother has the Focus ST (14). Focus is cramped inside and smaller boot, interior also felt lower quality in build and materials. Focus is a better steer, though the torque steer can be an issue.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  19. Funky-Melon

    Gangster

    Joined: Jan 26, 2018

    Posts: 296

    Location: Southampton

    Cupra estate if you need the space, fast and still looks great IMO.

    The Audi is essentially the same thing in a posh frock. Personally prefer the Cupra over Audi though.
     
  20. mccarf

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 22, 2012

    Posts: 1,203