Owned this car over 1 year now and still love it! Stylish design, 5 door practicality, awesome power for a 2 liter engine, smooth shifting Getrag 6 speed. Comfortable for long trips and decent mpg (28+). I compared to a Mazdaspeed3 and found the Focus not as quick, but much more refined. European design influences are apparent in the handling department. Not too thrilled with the SYNC. Glitchy with iOS.
I have been driving Mustangs for the past 16 years and with the birth of our 2nd child the backseat was beginning to get crowded. It was time to retire the '05 v-6 Mustang in favor for something that had a bit more room in the back. While the ST does not have as much room as our Edge, it does the job. This car handles well on the road and is very fun to drive. While it is a major change going back to front wheel drive, this car has delivered. The dash does have a heavier rubber type of finish that hopefully will keep it from cracking years down the road. The interior is upgraded from that of the standard Focus and the 6 speed gearbox snaps into the next gear as you tear down the road. YouTube has several good reviews.
The car in general is a good car... BUT The "Ford Power Shift Automatic Transmission" is a hybrid between an automatic and a manual, with a clutch. The car shudders when shifting, lags between gears, and shifts hard. It is also noisy and sounds like there's loose parts. Ford has a FIELD SERVICE ACTION (FSA) for the clutch and computer controlling the transmission. If you take it to Ford, they will replace the clutch free of charge, but it takes 6 weeks to get the part ordered. Truthfully, my car has been running better since I go the new clutch a couple of weeks ago. But I believe buyers should be CLEARLY INFORMED that the car they are about to buy has a transmission that they've never heard of before.