Ford Focus ST (2012 – 2015) Review

Looking for a Ford Focus ST (2012 - 2015)?
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Ford Focus ST (2012 – 2015) At A Glance


Fitted with impressive 250PS EcoBoost engine. Available as a hatchback or an estate. Great value for money compared to other hot hatches.

Despite 'symposer', engine may be too quiet for some hot hatch fans. Engine can develop a wiring problem.

Ford’s ST brand has come a long way over the last 12 years, slowly transforming the humble Focus into a potent hot hatch that harks back to the fast Fords of the 1980s. Now in its third generation, the Focus ST is faster, lighter and more economical than ever before.

As you’d expect, the latest ST is very different from the standard Focus, with a lowered chassis (10mm) and a new front and rear end. Ford further enhanced the exterior with a light facelift in 2015, which enlarged the grille and slimmed down the front and rear lights. 

Muscular rocker panels and a large rear spoiler define the shape of the car, while a hexagonal mesh grille and LED lights complete the hot hatch appearance. Inside the changes are more subtle, with Recaro sports seats, leather gear knob and ST stitching.

The interior was given a through refresh in 2015 and the button heavy dashboard was replaced with a clean, clutter free design. The steering wheel was also improved, with easier to use on-board buttons and improved finger grips. 

Under the bonnet the old Volvo derived 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine has been ditched in in favour of Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder unit. Power is an impressive 250PS, which brings the 0-62mph down to a Golf GTI matching 6.5 seconds.

Ford has also improved fuel efficiency, with the new engine returning a claimed 39.2mpg and emitting 169g/km of CO2. Ford’s in-house Team RS has also worked on the car, re-designing the air intake and exhaust systems and using a clever engine calibration to deliver a notable 360Nm of torque.  

From 2015, the Focus ST gets a diesel engine for the first time, with a turbochargd 2.0-litre engine producing 185PS and 400Nm of torque. Although lacking the punch of its EcoBoost counterpart, the diesel unit will return a claimed 67.3mpg, while emitting just 110g/km of CO2.  

Power is delivered to the front-wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox, which has been optimised with sporting ratios carefully matched to the performance characteristics of the engine.

The demons of torque steer are (partly) contained with the use of an electronic compensator, which feeds back into the power steering to counter any disruption in the handling. Sports suspension and high performance brakes also come as standard.

Available as a five-door hatch or estate, there are three trims to choose from – ST1, ST2 or ST3 – and the top spec models feature heated seats, xenon highlights and dual-zone air con. Ford also offers a range of unique paint schemes for the ST, which range from the traditional racing blue to the extravagant bright orange Tangerine Scream.

Focus ST Road Test

Focus ST facelift 2.0TDCI 184PS Road Test

Looking for a Ford Focus ST (2012 - 2015)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Ford Focus ST (2012 – 2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

23–37 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Ford Focus ST (2012 – 2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

My Ford Focus ST needs an expensive repair for a known issue - can I claim the money from Ford?

My 2013 Ford Focus ST experienced uneven engine running in December. A Ford dealer traced the problem to the engine wiring harness - a problem for which the car was recalled in the USA. The harness was repaired, at a cost to me of £200, as there was no UK recall code. In February, the car began displaying multiple problems - parasitic battery drain, alarm randomly going off and the power button failing to switch off the engine. My dealer has now told me the car needs a new engine wiring harness and body control module. The cost, including labour, will be £2260. The car is four years old, has only covered 20,900 miles, and has only ever been serviced by Ford dealers. Given the problems seem to be caused by substandard components, is there any hope of claiming some sort of goodwill from Ford UK for the cost of the repairs? If so, how might I go about that?
Yes, take the matter to Small Claims against the supplying and servicing dealer citing the USA recall for exactly the same problem. First, tell the supplying dealer that is what you intend to do and he may go to Ford with a goodwill claim to avert the Small Claim. I have to warn you, if it goes to court you may not win, but a Small Claim is a relatively inexpensive legal process: The Focus ST entry is here: /
Answered by Honest John
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