Ford Focus ST Review 2024
Ford Focus ST At A Glance
On average it achieves 0% of the official MPG figure
Ford has probably done more to democratise performance than any other car company, and the Ford Focus ST hot hatch is a case in point. That’s because it’s a brilliant, all-purpose kind of car that is realistically affordable for a lot of people. And it happens to be really fast and fun to drive alternative to a Volkswagen Golf GTI, Hyundai i30 N, Cupra Leon and Honda Civic Type R.
Let’s start by examining what makes the Ford Focus itself so good. It functions really well as a family car, with plenty of space for a typical family of four and a decent-sized boot. Go for the estate version (which is also available in ST guise) and that boot becomes genuinely huge.
The Focus may be family-friendly, but it’s still quite a compact car, so it doesn't feel excessively big for single people and couples.
Its interior is a really pleasant place to spend time, too. The dashboard looks good, the seats are fantastically comfortable and supportive (the Ford Focus ST’s sports seats, in particular), it’s quiet, there’s a good view out from every seat, and it feels quite plush and really well-made.
Among the raft of updates applied to all Focus models in 2022 was a new infotainment system with a 13.2-inch touchscreen display, which runs Ford’s latest SYNC 4 software. If you’re familiar with older Ford infotainment systems, you’ll notice straight away that the new one is a massive improvement, with sharper graphics and simpler-format navigation. If you’re new to Ford, just know that this is one of the best media systems in the business.
Even regular Focus models are fantastic to drive. They feel light and poised, and you have complete trust that the car will do what you want. More than that, you feel like you’re directly plugged into the car, which makes the Focus really rewarding and fun – whether you’re just popping to the shops or going for a blast on a favourite country road.
In the Ford Focus ST, everything gets turned up a few notches. The 280PS 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine serves up a suitably rapid turn of speed, with a 0-62mph time of 5.8 seconds and 155mph top speed. And the suspension is tuned and honed to provide a more focused and fun driving experience.
It’s not the quickest or most hard-edged hot hatchback you can buy, but the Ford Focus ST treads the fine line between everyday usability and ultimate B-road thrills. It’s really fast and fun when you want it to be, the rest of the time it’s a normal everyday car that’s easy to park and can dispatch hundreds of motorway miles in one stride. Faster hot hatches tend to feel like they’re straining at the leash, which can make them a bit wearing when it’s not appropriate to let them run.
There’s only one model of Ford Focus ST available, with a few variations. The hatchback costs just under £37,000 at the time of writing, while the estate is an extra £1400. You can add an automatic gearbox, but it dulls the driving experience. The ST is also the best-equipped Focus you can get, coming with loads of features as standard.
There are more thrilling small-ish fast cars than the Ford Focus ST, but few are as well-rounded or as usable everyday, especially if we’re talking about the estate. With production of all Focus models due to end in 2025, buy one while you still can.