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I30n Performance or Focus ST 2019?

Mr.Paws

New Member
Jan 26, 2020
3
3
3
England
I had my heart set on the i30n Performance as I've always liked Japanese cars, not that this is, but it's a similar idea. My last 2 company cars have been German, not through choice. The current one is a 2018 Golf GTD, it's ok, but as a drivers car it is a bit dull. The suspension is too soft and you feel disconnected from the car. It does everything well, but nothing great, just my opinion. I have no interest at all in a GTI Golf. I'm not into badges and prestige and all that nonsense.

I've already had a test drive in an I30n Performance hatch. It was slightly wet though and not long enough. The torque steer in it and wheel spin in first and second was quite extreme, when booting it. Then again it is in the Golf, maybe the torque of the GTD, but it scrabbles all over the place in the wet. The suspension is in a different league from the Golf, really planted, no body roll. The steering is a lot better also. I had everything set at the most aggressive I think, but the suspension at Sport. Even so I did find the steering lacking real feel, direct yes, but I find this with just about every modern car I drive. I previously had an MX5 NC as a second car, and obviously it is totally different, you feel everything and speed feels like it should. But then again it's totally different to this, and has it's flaws in other ways (suspension too soft, too high as standard). As I said I just didn't get the time and the conditions weren't right. The car is way, way better than what I have by a mile. It didn't feel really quick in a straight line (obviously faster than what I have), but I'm not bothered about that. I just want some fun on B roads, as around here, everything else is a total waste of time due to traffic. For that purpose I think it would be ideal. Ideally I'd like the Civic Type R, but it looks horrendous, so that ends there.

I went to a Ford dealer and they only had an ST in the showroom. I really liked the look of it in white, I thought the seats were better also. But it was pointless as I couldn't drive it as they had no demonstrator. So I'm going to have to travel, or get it blind which I really don't fancy. If it was a private car, I'd get the Hyundai over a Ford. But it isn't, and I'm not responsible if it breaks.

I've also been thinking of the Peugeot 308 GTI, again if it was private I would never have a French car. I don't really like the looks. I also have a feeling it might not be available as a company car at a reasonable price, due to high depreciation. That's why the German cars are favoured and often cheaper than higher depreciating cheaper cars to lease. The main attraction to this car is it's weight. In my experience that makes a big difference to how a car feels. I've had a couple of Honda Type R's with B Series engine, this was a while ago, before they became bloated. The 308 is also good on fuel due to a smaller engine. I like the thought of a small engine in a higher state of tune, that you have to really work. But it looks pretty dull and I don't think that it will be feasible.

I could also opt out of the company car scheme and buy my own. The only real car I fancy is the Toyota GT86, but it's impractical, for the rare occasion that I need practical. The speed of this car doesn't bother me at all. I just want some fun, something that it is really lacking in modern cars, well the ones in my price range. This is just in my very own humble opinion.

I've got a feeling I'll probably get the I30n. It seems like a really good car, just wish I had more time in it, it's way better than what I currently own.

Just wondered if anybody has actually driven the Ford and can compare. Thanks.
 

Crocoman

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2017
1,729
1,836
113
Scotland
The new Ford Focus ST is getting a very good write up but I do feel that, here in the UK at least, it’s because of the bias towards the hot hatch order. I almost feel like everyone wants to elevate everything above the I30N but I could be completely wrong. It feels like they have Hyundai praise and now it’s back to Ford and Renault being on top. You know, back to normal.

All I can say, is after 22 months of ownership of the I30N Performance, I still have an excitement EVERY time I know I’ll be out in the car. I mean EVERY time.

That’s something that not many cars can give you.

Objectively though, do try and test drive various cars if you can.
 

Mattymofo

Active Member
Aug 12, 2019
276
166
43
England
I test drove both matey and I thought the Focus was superb. Drove well but it just didn't give me the same fizz as the i30N did. Also in the UK it was going to cost almost 4 grand more and I didn't know where that extra money was if that makes sense.
 

Crocoman

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2017
1,729
1,836
113
Scotland
Yeah, I’m struggling with the Focus ST pricing tbh, and it doesn’t leave any room for a new RS in the 30k’s price range (which doesn’t bode well).

The 308GTI is very comparable and sometimes quicker round a track certainly than the I30N. I quite like the understated looks and you don’t see many of them around. We MAY have picked one (if we were looking at different cars when we bought the I30N) but I’m not sure if there’s something just not quite right with them.
 
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Manted

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2018
259
274
63
Buxton
Well mate I have an ST in Orange Rage and what a car it is but I don’t like to bang on about it on here.In my opinion it beats the N in all but two departments one being the noise of the exhaust it pops nicely but I miss the gurgle on the overrun.And then there’s the price I paid 30k exactly for mine.The build quality is much better,the interior is a lot nicer with the Recaros,and it’s more spacious.The main points for me is the engine it pulls like a train and the gear change is sublime and it doesn’t try to stall all the time like my N did at the lights.Ive never looked back mate and knew I wasn’t going to get another N when my car was written off.Brings a smile every time I get in it just like the N did but in my opinion this is a better package.9EDEFEEA-2D87-4DEE-8B3A-5C841265D95B.jpeg
 
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Manted

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2018
259
274
63
Buxton
Cars are getting more and more expensive they are packed with tech nowadays.I would think the new RS will be just shy of 40k and will at least be part electric.On another note local dealer is selling the 308GTI for 19500 brand new not bad eh!
 

Ackerman

Member
Aug 22, 2019
66
90
18
Germany
Well mate I have an ST in Orange Rage and what a car it is but I don’t like to bang on about it on here.In my opinion it beats the N in all but two departments one being the noise of the exhaust it pops nicely but I miss the gurgle on the overrun.And then there’s the price I paid 30k exactly for mine.The build quality is much better,the interior is a lot nicer with the Recaros,and it’s more spacious.The main points for me is the engine it pulls like a train and the gear change is sublime and it doesn’t try to stall all the time like my N did at the lights.Ive never looked back mate and knew I wasn’t going to get another N when my car was written off.Brings a smile every time I get in it just like the N did but in my opinion this is a better package.View attachment 11155
I'm sorry but that color is named pornhub. :D
 

marksandygill

Active Member
Jun 6, 2019
128
98
28
Southampton
I do like the 308gti, and I've only seen one since they came out! But they will depreciate like you've driven it off a cliff, also that interior is just...an acquired taste...

I hated the old ST but the new one looks nice (maybe a tad boring and not enough difference to the ST-line?) And is faster than the n...
 
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PeterP

Active Member
Nov 2, 2018
193
174
43
27
Slovenia
Well mate I have an ST in Orange Rage and what a car it is but I don’t like to bang on about it on here.In my opinion it beats the N in all but two departments one being the noise of the exhaust it pops nicely but I miss the gurgle on the overrun.And then there’s the price I paid 30k exactly for mine.The build quality is much better,the interior is a lot nicer with the Recaros,and it’s more spacious.The main points for me is the engine it pulls like a train and the gear change is sublime and it doesn’t try to stall all the time like my N did at the lights.Ive never looked back mate and knew I wasn’t going to get another N when my car was written off.Brings a smile every time I get in it just like the N did but in my opinion this is a better package.View attachment 11155
Do you miss the lack of customizability on it? Also how is the ride comfort compared to the N in normal suspension? Also how's the infotainment like, I know Ford likes to have their own thing but is it easy to use and such? Nice color btw :D
 
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Manted

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2018
259
274
63
Buxton
Yes mate I do miss the custom settings In sport mode it’s firm but is the equivalent of say N custom with the suspension turned down on the N so it’s fine.Normal mode is great it’s so comfy just like the N in normal the Fords chassis is brilliant.The steering is nice just two turns of the wheel lock to lock so it’s direct.The infotainment is really good it has voice recognition tell it where you want to go and the sat nav sorts you out a route.I have the the heads up display so it shows the route on there.Sound systems sweet it has an amp in the boot and sounds really nice it’s a b and o system.
 
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Cavaco90

Well-Known Member
Mar 26, 2019
348
311
63
Portugal
I had my heart set on the i30n Performance as I've always liked Japanese cars, not that this is, but it's a similar idea. My last 2 company cars have been German, not through choice. The current one is a 2018 Golf GTD, it's ok, but as a drivers car it is a bit dull. The suspension is too soft and you feel disconnected from the car. It does everything well, but nothing great, just my opinion. I have no interest at all in a GTI Golf. I'm not into badges and prestige and all that nonsense.

I've already had a test drive in an I30n Performance hatch. It was slightly wet though and not long enough. The torque steer in it and wheel spin in first and second was quite extreme, when booting it. Then again it is in the Golf, maybe the torque of the GTD, but it scrabbles all over the place in the wet. The suspension is in a different league from the Golf, really planted, no body roll. The steering is a lot better also. I had everything set at the most aggressive I think, but the suspension at Sport. Even so I did find the steering lacking real feel, direct yes, but I find this with just about every modern car I drive. I previously had an MX5 NC as a second car, and obviously it is totally different, you feel everything and speed feels like it should. But then again it's totally different to this, and has it's flaws in other ways (suspension too soft, too high as standard). As I said I just didn't get the time and the conditions weren't right. The car is way, way better than what I have by a mile. It didn't feel really quick in a straight line (obviously faster than what I have), but I'm not bothered about that. I just want some fun on B roads, as around here, everything else is a total waste of time due to traffic. For that purpose I think it would be ideal. Ideally I'd like the Civic Type R, but it looks horrendous, so that ends there.

I went to a Ford dealer and they only had an ST in the showroom. I really liked the look of it in white, I thought the seats were better also. But it was pointless as I couldn't drive it as they had no demonstrator. So I'm going to have to travel, or get it blind which I really don't fancy. If it was a private car, I'd get the Hyundai over a Ford. But it isn't, and I'm not responsible if it breaks.

I've also been thinking of the Peugeot 308 GTI, again if it was private I would never have a French car. I don't really like the looks. I also have a feeling it might not be available as a company car at a reasonable price, due to high depreciation. That's why the German cars are favoured and often cheaper than higher depreciating cheaper cars to lease. The main attraction to this car is it's weight. In my experience that makes a big difference to how a car feels. I've had a couple of Honda Type R's with B Series engine, this was a while ago, before they became bloated. The 308 is also good on fuel due to a smaller engine. I like the thought of a small engine in a higher state of tune, that you have to really work. But it looks pretty dull and I don't think that it will be feasible.

I could also opt out of the company car scheme and buy my own. The only real car I fancy is the Toyota GT86, but it's impractical, for the rare occasion that I need practical. The speed of this car doesn't bother me at all. I just want some fun, something that it is really lacking in modern cars, well the ones in my price range. This is just in my very own humble opinion.

I've got a feeling I'll probably get the I30n. It seems like a really good car, just wish I had more time in it, it's way better than what I currently own.

Just wondered if anybody has actually driven the Ford and can compare. Thanks.
I hope you have dropped a similar post on the ST forum because in here you will get biased (except for @Manted).
I didn't try the ford, don't think i ever will on the short term, but with the N is simple to have fun on B roads: Nice tires, N Custom and a bit of windows down. That's it. For me the N has all the gadgets I need, apple play works like a charm, has enough room (no kids, but would not be a problem, at all) and is good looking. There wasn't a single time I left the car without looking back at him, just to contemplate one last time, 1y later. Just test drive the Focus when you get the chance and y'll be more convinced, don't go blind on this, specially with the amount of choices around. Analyze the problems that are known to each and choose according.
I think the Focus is a better machine overall, but there is something on the N that will make you smile :)
 

PeterP

Active Member
Nov 2, 2018
193
174
43
27
Slovenia
I think both are very capable machines, you can tell that Ford has been in the bussiness for a while aswell. They wont put out something subpar. But for me i had and still have a budget i must go by and i must say that i looked into the new ST when i saw it. But since i had already went for the N almost 2 years ago i will stick with it for quite some time still(ceramic coated, ppf front end for stonechips, badges etc, winter wheels+tyres etc... If i was buying a car now i would think very carefully what i would buy the ST is more expensive here for example. For the price of the Ford ST i get a Honda TypeR for example. So for me it's for how much you can get and what do you get for that much. :D This probably doesnt help at all now that i read it again o_O:D
 

Mr.Paws

New Member
Jan 26, 2020
3
3
3
England
Thanks for all the replies. Very interesting read. I don't think I'll bother with the 308, I've never liked French cars. I know things have moved on a lot, but I always thought they were crap and I can't really see past that..

I'll try and get a drive in a Focus. I'm wanting to wait a little bit as I'd rather have a 20 plate. I think the main reason I want the N, is because I like cars from that part of the world, also I have never, ever seen a single one around where I live.

I don't want to drive the Civic, as I'll probably want one, and totally ignore it's looks.

Thanks for the advice Manted, interested to hear from somebody that has owned both, thanks everybody else. Whatever I get it will be much, much better than what I have. Really overrated car the Golf, for my needs anyway.
 
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Tom Vanlimbergen

Well-Known Member
Jan 19, 2018
457
551
93
46
In my opinion the ST and the N are very compareable. In some departments the ST is better, in others the N.
Overhere (Belgium) for me it boils down to the pricing on the two cars. The yearly taxes on the Focus are substantially higher, you only have 2 years warranty instead of 5 and when I want to configure the Focus exactly the same as the N it would cost me 5000 euro's more!
For me that is a no brainer then...
 

circ0n

New Member
Oct 24, 2019
21
15
3
Berlin
I test drove both cars back-to-back in October, when I was strongly leaning towards the ST, mainly due to slightly better engine and better interior production quality. Here my impressions in comparison to the N, both drives on wet country roads and city, in Germany:
+Better engine, pulls great, basically no turbo lag
+No need to go off throttle when upshifting (really fun)
+Recaro seatsprovide better side support
+B&O sound system on par with those of compact german cars
+More fun/useful features such as adaptive cruise control and head-up display
=Some parts of the interior make a better impression than in the N, some worse. Overall, I was disappointed in the interior quality of the ST, on pics it made a much better impression than live, e.g. door panels look like (fake) leather with stitches, which is reality are just cheap plastic, not even fitted well, A-pillars are hard plastic as well.
=Infotainment systems are both rather good, can't really complain about it, although N performance display is great
=consumption was pretty much the same of around 10l/100km on average, which probably due to the next point
=both are heavyweights, there is no real difference , I believe the ST is about 50kg heavier with more features
=Steering feels different - lighter in the ST, but you still have great feedback, I preferred the N steering a bit more
=Ford offered a free 5-year warranty if you signed up for their Ford app (which can be just deleted right after), so same as Hyundais 5year
-Sound is definitely better in the N, not just outside but especially from the inside. In the ST it sounded like I'm playing NFS Underground from inside, and not the same quality of pops and bangs from outside
-The display behind the wheel looks like from Mid-00s in the ST. Can't really tell you what exactly it is, but just doesn't make a good impression
-On a bad city road the normal suspension mode of the ST felt noticably stiffer than the nomal suspension mode in the N
-The ST was slightly more expensive (post-discount) by c. €2k with similar features
-I called up 6 Ford dealers in Berlin, all were rude, didn't seem like there were interested in selling anything or providing a good service

Overall, with the ST you notice, how Ford holds back to leave some gap to the future RS, e.g. the ST even looks almost exactly the same as the normal Focus. Ultimately, for me there were 3 decision-making factors that changed my opinion in favor of the N: the Hyundai dealer is amazing and even does motorsport in the N himself, the interior quality of the ST didn't meet the (higher) expectations, but most of all, the N was more emotional - i couldn't erase the stupid grin from my face during the whole test drive and it was just not the same with the ST. If it was a new RS, I'd probably chosen Ford.
 

BillTheButcher

Active Member
Sep 9, 2019
111
103
43
UK
-The display behind the wheel looks like from Mid-00s in the ST. Can't really tell you what exactly it is, but just doesn't make a good impression
This has always put me off Fords (although I wouldn't let it stop me getting one if I liked the rest of the car): the dials and graphics look so cheap and nasty.
 
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Mr.Paws

New Member
Jan 26, 2020
3
3
3
England
I test drove both cars back-to-back in October, when I was strongly leaning towards the ST, mainly due to slightly better engine and better interior production quality. Here my impressions in comparison to the N, both drives on wet country roads and city, in Germany:
+Better engine, pulls great, basically no turbo lag
+No need to go off throttle when upshifting (really fun)
+Recaro seatsprovide better side support
+B&O sound system on par with those of compact german cars
+More fun/useful features such as adaptive cruise control and head-up display
=Some parts of the interior make a better impression than in the N, some worse. Overall, I was disappointed in the interior quality of the ST, on pics it made a much better impression than live, e.g. door panels look like (fake) leather with stitches, which is reality are just cheap plastic, not even fitted well, A-pillars are hard plastic as well.
=Infotainment systems are both rather good, can't really complain about it, although N performance display is great
=consumption was pretty much the same of around 10l/100km on average, which probably due to the next point
=both are heavyweights, there is no real difference , I believe the ST is about 50kg heavier with more features
=Steering feels different - lighter in the ST, but you still have great feedback, I preferred the N steering a bit more
=Ford offered a free 5-year warranty if you signed up for their Ford app (which can be just deleted right after), so same as Hyundais 5year
-Sound is definitely better in the N, not just outside but especially from the inside. In the ST it sounded like I'm playing NFS Underground from inside, and not the same quality of pops and bangs from outside
-The display behind the wheel looks like from Mid-00s in the ST. Can't really tell you what exactly it is, but just doesn't make a good impression
-On a bad city road the normal suspension mode of the ST felt noticably stiffer than the nomal suspension mode in the N
-The ST was slightly more expensive (post-discount) by c. €2k with similar features
-I called up 6 Ford dealers in Berlin, all were rude, didn't seem like there were interested in selling anything or providing a good service

Overall, with the ST you notice, how Ford holds back to leave some gap to the future RS, e.g. the ST even looks almost exactly the same as the normal Focus. Ultimately, for me there were 3 decision-making factors that changed my opinion in favor of the N: the Hyundai dealer is amazing and even does motorsport in the N himself, the interior quality of the ST didn't meet the (higher) expectations, but most of all, the N was more emotional - i couldn't erase the stupid grin from my face during the whole test drive and it was just not the same with the ST. If it was a new RS, I'd probably chosen Ford.
Thanks that;s really informative. I wish I had a longer test drive in the N. But the dealer was really good and I hammered the thing when I was in it. The Ford dealer didn't have a car for me to drive, I couldn't get into the boot of the one in the showroom as the battery was flat. I'm not bothered about things like that as I just looked in the boot of a regular Focus to get an idea of the size, that didn't have a flat battery. But I'd guess to a lot of people it would look very sloppy, well it is...

I'm pleased that you mentioned the entertainment systems in the cars. In older cars I always upgraded the headunit, added amps, sub etc. More modern cars the stereo is usally better , still not as good as previously mentioned, but are ok for my needs. That's one good thing about the Golf, it's pretty good, but superb to use, every feature of the system.

I think I'm going to get the N. I can't buy a car blind and I don't really want to travel to try the Ford. The N that I test drove was white. Colours are down to the individual, but I wasn't keen. I want to get a Micron Grey one. Thanks for the advice again.
 
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PeterP

Active Member
Nov 2, 2018
193
174
43
27
Slovenia
Thanks that;s really informative. I wish I had a longer test drive in the N. But the dealer was really good and I hammered the thing when I was in it. The Ford dealer didn't have a car for me to drive, I couldn't get into the boot of the one in the showroom as the battery was flat. I'm not bothered about things like that as I just looked in the boot of a regular Focus to get an idea of the size, that didn't have a flat battery. But I'd guess to a lot of people it would look very sloppy, well it is...

I'm pleased that you mentioned the entertainment systems in the cars. In older cars I always upgraded the headunit, added amps, sub etc. More modern cars the stereo is usally better , still not as good as previously mentioned, but are ok for my needs. That's one good thing about the Golf, it's pretty good, but superb to use, every feature of the system.

I think I'm going to get the N. I can't buy a car blind and I don't really want to travel to try the Ford. The N that I test drove was white. Colours are down to the individual, but I wasn't keen. I want to get a Micron Grey one. Thanks for the advice again.
When i went to enquire about a Focus ST myself i was put off with that aswell, there wasnt a single Focus ST in the country i could test drive or even sit in.... For me that is a deal breaker rly.

P.S. Micron Grey is nice :D good choice