In-depth reviews

Ford Focus ST review

The Ford Focus ST is neither the fastest nor the cheapest hot hatch, but it’s up there with the very best

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

  • Hatch and estate body styles
  • Torquey petrol engine
  • Lots of driver tech
  • More powerful rivals
  • Expensive to buy
  • Firm ride

​Over the years the Ford Focus ST has developed into a terrific all-rounder, and ranks among the very best hot hatches on the market right now.

It’s not perfect of course (no car is), with a lofty starting price and a lack of practicality hindering the overall package, but many will see these shortcomings as a price worth paying for such a talented machine. And while others have moved the game on when it comes to tech, the latest Focus ST still comes with the very best stuff that Ford has to offer to keep it in the running.

About the Ford Focus ST

Prices start at over £33,000 for the entry-level petrol model, which is a lot considering the number of rivals that have a lot to offer for less money. This includes everything from more power to better in-car technology, so how does the Focus ST fight back?

In a word, handling. Ford has found a sweet spot with the Focus chassis (as it with the smaller Fiesta ST) that makes it come to life in a corner. The performance when you turn the wheel is truly breathtaking, so much so that you can almost feel the half a century of experience that the US manufacturer has behind it making sporty cars.

As mentioned, competition is certainly fierce, with the aggressive Honda Civic Type R, the entertaining Renault Megane RS 300 and the impressive Hyundai i30 N. There are also the more upmarket offerings including the BMW M135i and Mercedes-AMG A35.

Whereas most of these competitors have opted for 2.0-litre power, Ford stands out in choosing to go with its 2.3-litre EcoBoost unit for the Focus ST. The engine produces 276bhp with a huge 420Nm of torque and is the same unit used in the Ford Mustang. Ford has also introduced a diesel ST model using a 2.0-litre EcoBlue turbo diesel engine with 187bhp.

In addition to the five-door hatch bodystyle, there’s also the Ford Focus ST estate version offering more load-lugging capacity to go with the driving fun. Both the hatch and estate petrol models are front-wheel drive and offer 0-62mph times under six seconds. The diesel is able to dispatch the same sprint in around 7.6 seconds.

However, none of these come cheap, with diesel hatch starting at just over £30,000. The petrol hatch model is around £33,000, while the estate is an additional £1,400 on top of that. By comparison, the Honda Civic Type R is pretty much on par price wise, but offers more power and performance than the ST.

Standard kit on all Focus ST versions is impressive with eye-catching 19-inch alloy wheels in a dark-grey finish, LED headlights and taillights, Recaro sports seats and keyless entry. Solid Race Red paint is a no-cost option, with six other colours available from Ford’s Premium and Exclusive ranges.

If you're looking to buy a Ford Focus ST, why not visit our sister site buyacar.co.uk for the latest deals...

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