At first blush, the 2014 Ford Focus ST and 2015 Subaru WRX seem very similar. Both have six-speed manual transmissions, 2.0-liter turbocharged engines, and power ratings within 16 hp of one another. But as Motor Trend‘s Jonny Lieberman discovers in the latest episode of Head 2 Head, the new WRX and Focus ST have important differences.
For one, having all-wheel drive helps the 2015 Subaru WRX get off the line faster. With its 2.0-liter turbocharged Boxer-four engine serving up 268 hp, the WRX rockets to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. The 2014 Ford Focus ST, which has all 252 hp going toward its front wheels, requires 6.2 seconds to reach the same speed.
Out on public roads, Lieberman is impressed with both cars. Starting in the 2014 Ford Focus ST, he applauds how lively the front-wheel-drive hatching is on a winding two-lane.
“This is a hell of a way to go down a twisty road,” Lieberman says. “Not the fastest way, but it sure is a ton of fun.”
Next up is the 2015 Subaru WRX, and while Lieberman finds its styling and cabin only mediocre, he’s more than impressed with the way the performance sedan drives.
“It’s shocking how well it goes down the road,” he says. “They’ve just done such a wonderful job with this car.”