2014 vs 2015 Ford Focus STLast Updated June 13, 2023 | C.J. Tragakis
In the United States, the Ford Focus ST only saw one generation, with model years running from 2013-2018. However, there was a moderate refresh for the 2015 model year. There are several differences between the 2014 and 2015 Focus ST, which is to say the pre-facelift and facelifted versions of the car. For a complete detailed overview of the model, check out our comprehensive Focus ST guide.
The relatively subtle differences between the two iterations included revisions of the front and rear fascia, new paint colors, and some small tweaks to the interior controls. The engine and transmission were carried over unchanged, but the steering and suspension were revised for improved handling.
2014 vs 2015 Focus ST Exterior Differences
Though the changes weren’t drastic, the exterior facelift makes the 2015+ Focus ST easily distinguishable from the 2013-2014 models, specifically when looking at the front and rear fascia.
From the front, the 2014 Focus ST has a more rounded face. The grille is taller and the headlights look less aerodynamic, compared to the more “swept-back” appearance of the 2015 Focus ST. One interesting touch that the 2013-2014 STs have is a pair of grille inserts that come up from body lines in the front diffuser, another unique element that separates them from the smoother look of the facelifted models.
The 2015 Focus ST received some additional contour lines running down the center of the hood. You’ll also notice that the hood gap for the 2015 model is a straight, uninterrupted line, whereas the 2014 hood gap bulges out slightly to accommodate the Ford oval emblem.
Another small detail to note on the front end is the fog lights. The trapezoidal fog lights on the 2015 ST are integrated flush into the front fascia, whereas the 2014’s fog lights are round and jut out slightly.
From the rear, the 2015 Focus ST is easily distinguished by its large, black plastic insert that stretches the full width of the rear bumper. The red reflectors are also integrated into this black piece. The 2014 model featured more body-color paneling, with just two small black plastic inserts on either corner of the bumper. They are much less noticeable overall. The red reflectors on the 2014 model sit above the black inserts. For the taillights, the 2015 ST opted for a more subtle look, with taillights that look like they have been pinched down contrasted with the larger 2014 taillights.
While many will find the facelifted 2015-2018 models more modern and streamlined than the older 2013-2014 models, some purists still favor the slightly more classic and nostalgic aesthetic of the first iteration. With that said, some do not like the facelifted rear as much, due to the prominent use of black plastic and somewhat less sleek design.
Another change to the exterior (and one that’s a little harder to argue against) was the addition of LED daytime running lights. Finally, in addition to the beloved snowflake-style wheels (which did change to a dark charcoal color), the 2015+ Focus ST added an upgraded wheel option, which was a split five-spoke design.
|Tangerine Scream Metallic Tri-Coat||LP|
|Performance Blue Metallic||L1|
|Tuxedo Black Metallic||UH|
|Ingot Silver Metallic||UX|
|Tangerine Scream Metallic Tri-Coat||LP|
Sample colors are for representative purposes and may not accurately portray actual paint color due to screen settings, metallic finish, etc.
2014 vs 2015 Focus ST Interior Differences
One of the most notable differences between the 2014 and 2015 Focus ST interiors is the steering wheel. Heavily revised and modernized during the facelift, the 2015+ steering wheel features a sporty flat bottom. This looks great, and also makes ingress and egress slightly easier. It uses a three-spoke design, as opposed to the more dated five-spoke look of the 2013-2014 model. Steering wheel controls were also updated to a layout that was simpler and more aesthetically pleasing.
The control stack and dashboard remained mostly the same, although the climate control section at the bottom was simplified for a more user-friendly set-up. The gauges were also updated for a modernized look. Other changes were incredibly minor, like swapping out the dashboard’s hazard light and lock/unlock buttons for just the hazard lights button. The location of the 12-volt outlet and drive mode button was also moved from just in front of the cupholders to being just left of the shifter, making them a bit easier to access.
The 2015 facelift also saw the addition of a backup camera, which was soon to be federally mandated. Even the tiny 4.2-inch screen on the ST1 trim will show the camera view when you shift into reverse, which is better than not having one at all!
One interesting tidbit (that isn’t related to the facelift) is that the CD player and auxiliary jack were removed from the base ST1 trim for the 2018 model year. Apparently, it was cheaper to slightly re-engineer the electronics and dashboard to remove them than it was to continue producing them for a market that no longer demands CD players. For 2018 models, drivers could use Bluetooth or a USB cable.
2014 vs 2015 Focus ST Performance Differences
There were no changes to the engine or power output for any of the Focus ST models in the United States; however, there were some suspension changes made during the 2015 facelift.
Driving the two cars back to back, you’d notice that the re-tuned suspension in the 2015 model feels stiffer than the 2014’s. This helps reduce body roll and make handling feel tighter and more direct.
With the refresh, the power steering system was improved. Overall torque steer was reduced as well, helping improve steering feel during hard acceleration. The torque vectoring control system was also revised for improved handling characteristics when turning, with Ford saying the newer version provides additional grip and control through corners.
Interestingly, despite the performance-oriented revisions, Ford actually quotes a very slightly slower 0-60mph time for the 2015 Focus ST, at 6.4 seconds versus the 2014 model’s 6.2 seconds. This could be due to any number of external factors, and it’s unlikely that the pre-facelift ST shows any real-world difference versus the 2015+ cars.
Sadly, we don’t get the new 2019 Ford Focus ST here in America, so hot hatch enthusiasts will have to check the used market to find an ST. If you’ve already got one and are looking to add some performance upgrades, check out selection of Focus ST parts to find great mods to help your car stand out from the pack.
Image Credit: Ford