Ford Focus ST review - Interior, design and technology

It’s packed with standard kit, so you’ll want for nothing if you opt for the Focus ST.

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.0 out of 5

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

Like the rest of the Focus range, the Focus ST is based on Ford’s new C2 platform, which has allowed the wheelbase to be extended by 53mm over the previous model and created more interior space. The exterior design incorporates more flowing lines from front to back and, compared to the last car, there’s definitely a sportier, sleeker profile to admire.

Ford no longer offers the 2 and 3 trim levels, instead there is just the standard ST specification. To ensure it stands out from the rest of the range, particularly from the smart ST-Line versions, the top-of-the-range hatch comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, a redesigned grille and bumper design, a rear spoiler and two exhaust tailpipes. However, the overall effect is still relatively subtle when compared to the more outlandish and wild styling of the Civic Type R.

Inside, there’s plenty of up-to-date, stylish touches with heated Recaro sports seats, aluminium-style trim, alloy-finish pedals, a heated flat-bottomed steering wheel and two USB ports.

A problem with the cabin of the previous ST was an interior strewn with buttons and an awkward infotainment system. The new model includes an 8-inch colour touchscreen, which enables you to navigate through most of the car’s functions, although there are still buttons for the audio and dual-zone climate control.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Ford has ensured the Focus ST is suitably well-equipped with the SYNC 3 infotainment system, navigation, a DAB radio, Bluetooth plus Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity included as standard. There’s also an upgraded B&O audio system with 10 speakers and a 4.2-inch TFT screen in the instrument display which shows key information to the driver while on the move.

Another piece of standard kit, for the more tech-savvy customer, is the FordPass Connect modem system. This is an app that buyers can download onto their smartphones, enabling them to connect their vehicle to the internet and provide functions such as Live Traffic information and in-car Wi-Fi.

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