Put proper winter tires on it (Hankook icept, Michelin x-ice, or the best: Bridgestone Blizzaks) and it performs awesome in the snow if you can stay out of boost. Ice, slush, snow, I've never had an issue outside of crazy 5+ inches where the car itself scrapes the snow. Obviously the WRX with proper tires will do much better, but I wouldn't get the WRX because I like modding and the WRX is very limited on how far you can mod it. My buddy with a 2015 WRX in Oregon is extremely limited in how much he can mod his car and they are limited by the drivetrain at like 300hp so basic bolt ons alone is all he can do. Our car can handle 400 with ease before needing a clutch upgrade. If you don't NEED AWD then the ST get's the vote in my eyes.Going to be purchasing an ST or a WRX in June
How does the ST handle the weather? Going to be in Michigan for at least another 4 years
Shoot, the RS outhandles the WRX in the snow too with that awesome new AWD system lol that's just not fair! I need oneAs Brian60 said, it's really good with winter tires. In my experience the ST's lift-off oversteer characteristics can offer some unexpected excitement when you're forced to brake hard during lane changes in fresh snow. Just don't be too aggressive overtaking in crappy weather (obviously) and I think you'll find it's very civil.
I live in Western Canada with a lot of freeze/thaw cycles during the winter, so our roads suck pretty hard after a fresh snowfall. We also have a lot frost heaves late in the winter that can lead to sudden weight shifts. For what it's worth, my RS' AWD handles that far better than my ST did.
That must be nice...I'd love to throw in an LSDI was debating the same as I get lots of snow too. I landed on the ST, had an MFactory LSD installed and it was still cheaper than a WRX, so a bit of best of both worlds.
It was pretty steep as I found a shop to do it (one that luckily had done the same thing on another ST so they were familiar with it), as since it's my DD I couldn't have it torn up in my garage for a week or two. I've been super impressed, especially coming from a WRX. I was thinking that with the ST having a mouth full of gears it would have lowered my MPG, but I'm still averaging 32MPG. I don't have any wheel hope and almost no torque steer, and it's a beaST in the snow. Expensive, but well worth it for my area. It takes the city an entire day after a snow storm to plow my street.That must be nice...I'd love to throw in an LSD
This paragraph here answers your question Pantera, and the part I bolded is the biggest part I agree with that made me not consider a WRX at all. FWD is NOT as bad as people claim in bad weather...it does as good as your tires will allow.Ultimately if you put a set of Bridgestone Blizzak WS80 or comparable snow tires on the Focus ST, it will get you there. The WRX on the same tire may get you through snow slightly better. If you have to drive in conditions where the AWD and snow tires become a necessity, then I would probably skip on both the Focus and the WRX. In these conditions, I would imagine you would also want additional ground clearance.