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
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.
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.
In this review
- 1VerdictThe Focus ST is a fast, fun and affordable hot hatchback that also comes as an estate
- 2Engines, performance and driveSuper handling and punchy performance from both petrol and diesel variants make the Focus ST a hoot to drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsNew diesel offers economy that belies the ST’s performance, but Focus depreciation is going to smart…
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingUnderstated it ain’t, but dramatic style inside and out reflects the Focus ST’s character
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceFab up front, but cramped in the back and boot space is limited. Plenty of doors, though
- 6Reliability and SafetyOnly ‘the nut holding the wheel’ might compromise a full-house safety package, but Focus ST reliability is less assured