Drove a 2013 Focus ST 6 speed and a 2013 Fiat 500 Abarth today. Quick Review for both.
500 Abarth - Small. But suprisingly comfortable for its diminutive size. Cargo area is also reasonably sized, you can probably fit about 1/2 a dead body in the back. The engine is pretty responsive, and with 160 HP, you definately feel the power versus the anemic 104 HP N/A. 5 speed manual, very easy engagement into gears. Also a pretty short throw for stock. Only downside is the fact there is no driver or passenger door armrest, as well as the massive B pillar.
Focus ST - Again manual, 6 speed stick. This car is incredibly fun. Tested with Recaro seats. If your a bigger guy, dont buy the recaro seats, trust me. You'll regret it if you have a far commute every day. The car pushes out 250 HP, channeled through a 6 speed gearbox. Comparing to the Fiat's gearbox, this thing SUCKS. Reverse is engaged via the stupid "pull up" switch, and Reverse gear is up and to the left. This may result in a steep learning curve for people accustomed with Reverse after 6th gear. The gear throws were also pretty long, this car could definately have a shorter throw, even compared to the frumpy 500 Abarth.
Both cars have electrically assisted power steering, which in my opinion, makes for a rather numb steering feel vs. the hydraulic speed sensitive steering in the SR.
Also, starting off in the Fiat is MUCH easier in the Fiat, with a clutch that gradually engages. The Focus ST clutch has two modes: disengaged, and LOL YOU'RE GONNA STALL IF YOU DONT DEPRESS THE CLUTCH IN THE EXACT PERFECT POSITION.