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Ford Focus ST (2013-2018) review - Interior, design and technology

Understated it ain’t, but dramatic style inside and out reflects the Focus ST’s character

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

3.7 out of 5

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The Focus ST couldn't be more different from one of its main rivals – the Golf GTI – when it comes to styling. While the VW is subtle about its sporting credentials, the Focus ST is everything you'd expect from a fast Ford. It certainly looks the part thanks to a gaping mesh grille, 19-inch alloy wheels and a wide range of colours, including Tangerine Scream orange available on ST-2 and ST-3 models. It's by no means understated, but that's what this type of car is all about. For the facelift, Ford has updated the front end with a wider grille, slimmer headlights, rectangular foglights and a more sculpted bonnet.

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The sporty theme is continued inside. Every car is kitted out with front Recaro sports seats, contrast piping, carbon fibre trim, extra gauges on the dash, a sports steering wheel, metal pedals, a metal gear lever and a generous distribution of ST badges as standard. Again, it doesn’t look as classy or understated as the Golf GTI’s cabin, and it’s not as clearly laid out, either – although the quality and feel of the Ford’s plastic parts isn’t far off the VW’s.

Moving up the range, Ford gives the Focus ST-2 half-leather trim, dual climate control and a heated windscreen, while the range-topping ST-3 is further softened by luxuries such as heated seats, full leather trim and bi-xenon headlamps. In line with the rest of the Focus range, Ford has redesigned the interior with fewer buttons for a classier look. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

An eight-inch touchscreen is now available fitted with Ford's latest SYNC3 sat-nav and infotainment system as standard. It’s easy enough to use; it just feels clunky next to some rival set-ups.

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