Ford Focus ST vs rivals
We see if the new Focus ST can live up to the Ford hot hatch legend as it tackles the Renaultsport Megane and VW Golf GTI
So, has the new Focus ST been worth the wait? Oh yes. As we’ve come to expect from Ford, this latest hot hatch is fast, fun and great value.
It certainly has the measure of the Megane in this test. The revised Renault is still very rapid, thrilling to drive and great to look at. But it’s hobbled by its three-door layout, noisier cabin and less robust build.
There are no complaints about the Golf’s rock-solid quality, while its upmarket cabin and premium image are unrivalled here. It also packs a strong blend of driving fun and grown-up refinement, while in Edition 35 form the GTI is faster than ever. Yet ultimately, it trails the Ford.
The ST fits the hot hatch bill to perfection. It’s huge fun on a back road blast, yet also a refined cruiser and extremely practical family car. And like all fast Fords, the Focus is affordable to buy and run. It takes a well deserved victory.
WinnerFord Focus ST-3 ★★★★★
We were expecting great things from the new Focus ST, and it didn’t disappoint. The 2.0-litre EcoBoost delivers a knock-out punch, while the car’s ride and handling balance is sublime. An attractive price tag, versatile interior and generous equipment are the icing on the cake.
2nd VW Golf GTI Edition 35 ★★★★
After four years at the top, the Golf GTI has finally suffered a road test defeat. The original hot hatch is still an engaging and desirable car, but in Edition 35 guise it’s expensive and starting to show its age. Standard model is cheaper, but can’t match the firepower of the Ford or Renault.
3rd Renaultsport Megane 265 ★★★★
The revised Megane is still the first choice for pure driving thrills, even without the hardcore Cup chassis, while uprated engine delivers explosive pace. Yet it lacks its rivals’ all-round appeal and three-door body limits its family-car credentials.
In this review
- 1Introduction - currently readingWe see if the new Focus ST can live up to the Ford hot hatch legend as it tackles the Renaultsport Megane and VW Golf GTI
- 21st Ford Focus ST-3So, does the latest Ford flier shake up the hot-hatch market?
- 32nd VW Golf GTI Edition 35New special edition improves already very capable package
- 43rd Renaultsport MeganeRapid hatch gets round of updates to stay in touch with rivals
- 5Facts and figuresFord Focus ST vs rivals - specifications