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.

Most Popular

What are 4D number plates and are they legal?
Ross Hollis at perfectlyprintedplates.com
Tips & advice

What are 4D number plates and are they legal?

Everything you need to know about so-called ‘4D’ number plates, including whether you’re allowed to have them on your car
25 Jan 2022
Best electric cars to buy 2022
Best electric cars
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2022

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
10 Jan 2022
New 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 hits the road for the first time
Lamborghini Countach - front
Lamborghini Countach

New 2022 Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4 hits the road for the first time

Lamborghini’s reborn Countach pictured on the move ahead of it arriving with customers
25 Jan 2022