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i30 N I30N vs Focus ST Carsales review

mickjf

Member
Oct 19, 2019
53
78
18
Canberra
For a company that can get a hot hatch so right in the Fiesta ST it amazes me how they've dropped the ball with the last two Focus ST models.

They're not bad cars, but they are definitely weak in some inexplicable ways (more power, torque steer and a jittery ride for slower lap times than the i30N) and nowhere near being more than the sum of their parts.
 

mikeo

Active Member
Jan 4, 2020
192
145
43
SW Scotland
Not much wrong with the mk3 (face lifted version) Focus ST. Had one prior to the I30N. Torque steer much reduced from the pre face lifted mk3 (steering/torque vectoring system and geometry tweaked I believe). Still there but much improved. You can't eliminate it completely from any half powerful front wheel drive car.

Still love that Tangerine Scream paint job. Though a stage 1 Mountune power upgrade helped.

Could not find the love for the mk4 Focus ST when I was looking for a new motor at the start of the year. I30 N a much more involving car to drive. Only needs a bit more power and to loose 100kg+ and it would be at the top of the hot hatch tree. Only my personal opinion of course :)

PS. The Ford was 100% reliable during my 2 years ownership.
 

Mason Storm

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
171
65
28
Hertfordshire
I also had a MK 3 but pre face lift again 100% reliable. Had a mountune LSD and exhaust plus short shift kit and bluefin remap. The remap gave huge torque but the LSD helped but still had torque steer at times. The only issue was it didnā€™t sound great even with the exhaust

must say the I30N is a better car though, more stable and able to deploy power more effectively and more engaging
 
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richi

New Member
Jul 2, 2020
2
0
1
UK
Not much wrong with the mk3 (face lifted version) Focus ST. Had one prior to the I30N. Torque steer much reduced from the pre face lifted mk3 (steering/torque vectoring system and geometry tweaked I believe). Still there but much improved. You can't eliminate it completely from any half powerful front wheel drive car.

Still love that Tangerine Scream paint job. Though a stage 1 Mountune power upgrade helped.

Could not find the love for the mk4 Focus ST when I was looking for a new motor at the start of the year. I30 N a much more involving car to drive. Only needs a bit more power and to loose 100kg+ and it would be at the top of the hot hatch tree. Only my personal opinion of course :)

PS. The Ford was 100% reliable during my 2 years ownership.
I last test drove an i30N fastback >1 year ago and loved it but didn't get the deal I was looking for so left it until now. I have just test driven a Focus ST and found it pretty good but the ride in Comfort was really jittery and in sport really uncomfortable. How did you find the two cars compared in that respect? (I can't get one locally for another test drive). I really like the i30N but I couldn't live with a jittery ride for everyday driving and that's what's stopping me just ordering one up based on my more than 1 year old memories. I also found the Focus, despite being really nimble and fast, didn't induce much emotion, whereas I recall coming out of the i30N grinning like a Cheshire cat!
Any thoughts from owners on the ride in particular would be fantastic.
 

mikeo

Active Member
Jan 4, 2020
192
145
43
SW Scotland
I found (as others have stated) that the Normal mode in the I30N to be more than acceptable (and I'm another that aint no spring chicken). Rural country roads round here are far from the best. But as long as I miss the worse pot holes, it's just fine.

My last three cars were Ford Focus ST's (one mk2 and two mk3.5). The new Focus ST just did not float my boat. Far from a bad car, in fact pretty decent. But I felt they had just watered it down a bit, only my personal opinion here.
EG. no central exhaust pipe, electric hand brake and the build quality in the one that I test drove was truly awful. Drivers door panel rattled very badly and poorly fitted drivers side front wing and the paint on it was not a match for the rest of the car (orange color). Regardless of what the dealer said, it looked like it had a bash and had a new front wing fitted. First impressions are important to me when I go to look at / test drive a car. This just put me off. If my experience had been better, hey maybe I would have bought one (maybe!).

I'd probably agree with your comments regarding the ride in the MK4 Focus ST. I felt that the balance between comfort and sport did not suit me. Others may well disagree but these sorts of things can be very subjective. And also depends to a great degree on the road surface/s that you get to test the car on.

Enjoy whatever you decide to buy :)