Ford Focus ST review


What is?

It’s okay, people. In a world in crisis, we are not witnessing the recovery of everything we take ourselves seriously. One of the great constants is to stand firm. Ford’s hot hatch. Fast, accessible, usable, fun.

Introducing the next generation Focus ST. It’s almost new, but it stays true to those values.

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The heart of the range is a five-door hatchback, now powered by a frantic 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine. Damn shrinking, this one actually got bigger. It starts life with a six-speed manual transmission, though an optional seven-speed automatic arrives a few months later. And you can have a diesel and/or a van. We’ll explore why you might want to, and why not, later in this review.

Serious engineering continued under the skin. But the skin itself doesn’t quite announce the fact. It hardly differs from a normal one-litre Focus ST-Line. Optional 19-inch wheels help, and so does the lower suspension. But really, the new Focus’s panels are too bulging for the road-sucking stance and taut aim we want in a hot hatch.

This engineering includes a true electronically controlled limited-slip differential on the petrol version, not simply brake control of a spinning wheel (although it has that, too). And adaptive damping is standard on the gas hatch, optional on the diesel. Although not available on the Estate, it has a different rear suspension layout to free up a larger trunk.

The brake booster is powered by an electric pump, so it can compensate for fading when you’re hurtling down a trail or climbing a mountain pass. The suspension, of course, is lowered (-10mm) and beefed up and supported by 18- or 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. Steering is also faster.

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No sports car these days can live without a mode button, and here it’s mounted on the steering wheel. Options: ‘slippery/wet’, ‘normal’, ‘sport’ and (if you have the optional Performance Pack) ‘piste’. Affects the usual stuff: throttle map, ESP threshold, sound enhancement.

Because the petrol diff is electrically controlled, you also get more lockup (and thus more steering torque) in sport and track mode. The new servo also allows for a sharper braking response in higher modes. And while the dampers are adaptive on all Focus ST sedans, they don’t have different programs unless you get the Performance Package, when you get a car with higher damping in throttle mode.

The 2.3-litre engine is related to the previous Focus RS unit. But get updates for better response, not always entirely successful. It makes 276bhp here, putting it squarely in the meat of the hot hatchback market. The torque figure is more impressive, a somewhat epic 310 lb-ft, reached at 1,800 rpm. There is no substitute for the remaining cubes.

That torque figure actually tops even the diesel version’s 295 pound-feet. And if you like diesels, you have to settle for a maximum power of 187 hp. Clearly, this is definitely the second-row powertrain, though Ford argues that this ST diesel is actually more powerful and has twice the torque of the original Focus ST170. By the way, in the spirit of the times, diesel is not called diesel. It has no external badges and the price list calls it EcoBlue.

Our choice of the range.

Why was Ford Focus discontinued?

It was just, as the marketplace not buying those vehicles, it just didn’t make sense to continue investing in it,” Galhotra explained.

What are the main problems with Ford Focus?

Top Ford Focus Problems
  • Broken motor mounts. …
  • Check Engine Light and Hesitation or Stumbling While Driving. …
  • Warped Front Brake Rotors Can Cause Steering Wheel Shimmy. …
  • Rear Bearings Corosion Due to Heavy Winters. …
  • Check engine light due to intake manifold control lever. …
  • Warped Front Brake Rotors Can Cause Steering Wheel Shimmy.

What’s the verdict?

A fantastic proposal for every day, a warm and calm hatch. mostly for good

Good compact cars are great cars to own, and this shows why. Maybe a Golf is more satisfying inside, a Mégane more urgent, an i30N louder, a Civic Type R crazier. But this Focus brings a load of long-term attraction to the package. And it’s well equipped, both in the things that make it a good hatch and the things that make it a good one (differential, shocks, modes).

His problem, perhaps, is that he does everyday things too well, he feels too normal most of the time. It looks too much like a Focus performance car and doesn’t open the window on driving exhilaration until you work up a good sweat.

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