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

Range Rover vs Bentley Bentayga: 2022 twin test review
Range Rover vs Bentley Bentayga - both cars front tracking
Car group tests

Range Rover vs Bentley Bentayga: 2022 twin test review

All-new Range Rover takes on Bentley Bentayga in luxury SUV face-off
2 Jul 2022
Best car manufacturers 2022
Best car manufacturers header

Best car manufacturers 2022

We reveal the UK’s best car brands based on the feedback from car owners who took our 2022 Driver Power survey...
29 Jun 2022
How to find the cheapest petrol and diesel near you
Diesel pump
Tips & advice

How to find the cheapest petrol and diesel near you

Cheap fuel is hard to come by in the UK at the moment but there are ways that you can minimise what you pay for petrol and diesel
1 Jul 2022