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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I haven't read it yet, figured I'd post it first, so I can't really give an opinion of it... Seems like they, too, drove the Euro model.
2013 Ford Focus ST

After reading it... Pretty standard review. Basically the bees knees of hot hatches. These reviews are getting pretty predictable, haha.

A few things did stand out to me:

1. They criticised the styling. Really? I mean, it's unique but I think the ST is a damn sexy piece of machinery. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however.

2. "Ford says the first STs will begin arriving in dealers this September" Like you guys needed any more proof, haha.
 

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The Focus ST is far from the prettiest car on the road. The GTI is more grown up looking, largely because it has a more understated appearance. There's plenty of sedans and coupes that are more attractive as well.
 

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Pep Boy's colored inserts? Unattractive? I think not. The looks of the car have really grown on me even more so now that I've seen it in motion. Seeing the Oxford White cars running around has almost made me change my order, must resist.
 

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I think the GTI is mixed breed chihuahua boxy-ugly. I wouldn't consider it for a second. Actually, I did consider it until my coworker bought one. I considered it based on specs and reputation alone. Then I realized how truly ugly it was. This opinion is largely based on hatches never appealing to me until I saw an Impreza WRX and MS3. The GTI looks like a 1980s Rabbit with only slightly rounded edges.

OTOH, if you compare the ST to two door coupes like the Astra OPC or Megane, than they're better looking (and less practical). It looks great compared to its US rivals: the GTI, MS3 and Impreza WRX. The ST just looks more whole in comparison, and more aggressive.

I think a person's gauging of the looks depends on their age and where they are in life. The bright colors and two tone seats are intended for a more youthful buyer, the dark leather for someone with more mature tastes who still wants a practical hooligan's car.
 

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I'm 28, I don't find the ST to be that attractive (but it isn't that bad either). The MS3 and WRX look ridiculous. I think the GTI looks the best of the bunch. The full leather seats in the ST3 are the only non-childish looking seat option.

But ultimately my preference falls with sedans and coupes: BMW E90 3 Series coupe and sedan, Audi A5, Infiniti G37 coupe and sedan, Cadillac CTS coupe (from most angles), VW CC, hell even the Kia Optima is better looking than the ST. When you look at a car, you can almost sense the quality with which it's built. To me, the Hyundai Sonata looks cheaply built on the exterior in person. The lines and all just don't look properly integrated or all that well made, you can tell a distinct difference between the body lines in the Hyundai vs Infinitis or Audis. The Focus ST looks iffy in many of the pictures. Some of the side skirts and lower bumpers look kind of cheap (especially the low rear bumper), and the spoiler looks tacked on and kind of tacky. The interior of the ST looks good in general, but you can tell they skimped in some spots when it comes to material quality and design. But overall, the GTI displays none of this on the outside, and only in a couple of spots in the interior (for example, the sportier body kit on the GTI looks to be of higher quality than that on the ST, the GTI has a better looking steering wheel).

If I was coming from a WRX or something similar, the ST would look like the classiest car in the world. But if you're coming from a BMW and Infiniti, or really any German car (I know Infiniti isn't German), it's a bit different. Understated and aggressive is viewed as more mature. If I was 21, maybe the two tone seats and spoiler would appeal to me. But I'm not. And neither are most people buying this car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If I were to compare the styling between the hot hatches available on the market in the last 5 years, it would go like this:

C30 T5>GTI MK5>Focus ST>1st gen MS3>GTI MK6>WRX>Caliber SRT4>HHR SS>2nd gen MS3 (I can't stand a car that smiles at you... besides the Austin-Healy Sprite)
 

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You call the HHR SS a hot hatch?

Ummmmmmmm.

If I was making a styling list, I would include European hatches, since they dominate the Hot Hatch market.

Citroen DS3R
Ford Focus ST
Renault Megane RS
MINI Cooper JCW
VW GTI
Vauxhall Astra VXR
Mazda Speed3

I saw a ton of DS3R's in the past few months and absolutely love them. The silly color options (specifically orange/grey) always make me happy when I see them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Might have been ugly but it was a very capable car. At least in a straight line...
 

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Any chance we'll get those darker wheels here in the U.S.? All the pictures I've seen (production version) have typical light silver wheels.
 

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darn. I'm planning on getting a blue one, but I thought I might go with silver if I could get darker wheels. I really wish that was an option.
 

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Definitely. Blue is my favorite color. My current car is very nearly the same blue so I thought I might try something different, but I don't know that I could bring myself to not get blue.
That Automobile review also has some good photos of the blue.
 
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