Car and Driver has placed the Focus on the 10Best list for two years running now, with the caveat to avoid the DCT and MFT if possible. I believe it has beaten every other compact in C&D comparison tests as well.
And as far as the ST is concerned, I have yet to see it lose any comparison test, from any reviewer, even against the European competition across the pond.
Mine: 2002 Focus SVT: 142k, Sonic Blue, #1654, All Options
Mods: Tom's Tune, Borla, HFC, STS, Painted Machs, Euro Grill, FRPP Springs
Hers: 2010 Focus SES: 67k, Ebony, Auto, Moon and Tune