Ford Focus ST review - Reliability and Safety
Only ‘the nut holding the wheel’ might compromise a full-house safety package, but Focus ST reliability is less assured
Ford has worked hard to ensure the latest Focus is a step up over the old car, with an improved cabin and a general feeling of solidity that seems to address past criticisms. You can’t argue with the fact the ST is also one of the safest hot hatches on the market, either, thanks to standard traction and stability control, a torque vectoring system, strong brakes and suite of airbags throughout.
The automated braking system has been upgraded, too, and now operates at speed of up to 31mph. These combined to help the Focus ST achieve a maximum score of five-stars in Euro NCAP's crash safety tests. In addition, Ford offers options such as a Driver Assistance Pack that adds safety collision avoidance, blind spot monitoring and lane-keep assist to make the Focus ST that bit safer – you can also specify adaptive cruise control.
However, it's not all good news. Ford didn't fare well in our 2014 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, finishing a disappointing 25th out of 33 manufacturers. To make matters worse, the Focus range finished 133rd out of 150 cars – it managed only 115th for reliability, and 139th for build quality.
Hopefully some of those issues will have been addressed with the current model’s facelift, but we’ll be watching closely to see how the range performs in future surveys.
All Fords come with a three-year/60,000 mile warranty, which is about average for this class. The cover also includes one-year roadside breakdown cover, but you can buy warranty extensions.
Generally, thanks to the mass market nature of the Focus ST, scheduled maintenance costs should be reasonable. You can buy a pre-paid servicing pack for the car, which costs £340 for two years or £570 for three – but you have to stump up the cash before the first service.
You can also take advantage of a Service Assure plan, if required, which spreads the costs of servicing across monthly instalments. Buyers should also be aware that the Focus ST is likely to eat its way through tyres as a result of all that power.
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 technologyUnderstated 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 Safety - currently readingOnly ‘the nut holding the wheel’ might compromise a full-house safety package, but Focus ST reliability is less assured