Ford Focus ST (2005 – 2011) Review

Ford Focus ST (2005 – 2011) At A Glance


+Characterful five-cylinder 2.5-litre engine. Rides and handles very well.

-Not especially economical. Many used examples have been thrashed.

On average it achieves 85% of the official MPG figure

Fast Fords have been around a lot longer than fast VWs. Think back to the original Ford Cortina GT and Ford Lotus Cortina. In those days VWs still had sluggish flat-four engines in the boot. It actually took VW another ten years to come up with the Golf, and thirteen to launch the Sloane's favourite okay yah GTi.

Then, in the decades that followed, snobbery dictated that that fast VWs were for yuppies and fast Fords were for chavs. And the truth was that the Mk II Golf GTi was a better car than the Escort XR3i. The Mk II GTi 16v was better than the Escort RS Turbo. Lines were drawn. Plumbers and plasterers wouldn't be seen dead in a Golf. Snobs turned their noses up at anyone in an Escort.

Then with the Mks III and IV Golfs started putting on weight and losing their reputation for reliability. While Ford had the audacity to come up with a better car. So much better that when VW re-thought its Golf for the fifth time it used the Focus as its benchmark.

Ford Focus ST 2005 Road Test



Real MPG average for a Ford Focus ST (2005 – 2011)


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

20–32 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.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

Which car to replace my Mondeo ST24 offers good performance and large load carrying ability?

"I have owned a Mondeo ST24 estate for 12 years. It has proved reliable, relatively economical, sporty, good to drive with decent performance and carries everything, including the kitchen sink. At 150,000 miles on the clock, I need to start thinking about a replacement. The current Mondeo seems not to have a suitable option and my favoured Ford would probably a Focus ST estate. Other contenders are a BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 or a V60 Volvo. An Octavia would probably also be worth considering. I prefer a manual gearbox and petrol engine. Mileage will probably be under 10,000. I tend to keep my cars a long time and buy nearly new. "
The equivalent quick Mondeo EcoBoosts are now all Powershift autos. The 250PS Focus ST wagon is interesting, but I had problems with its trick diff and I'm not the only one: A BMW F30 245PS 328i would mean getting used to rear wheel drive: A4 range test here: Have not yet driven a V60. Must put it on the list. New Octavia estate arriving soon.
Answered by Honest John

Do I need my engine flushing?

"I have been offered an engine and oil flush for my 2007 Focus ST3. It has done 40k. It is the 65k service. Do I need it?"
Probably not in case any residue remains in the engine with the fresh oil.
Answered by Honest John

Which hot hatch?

"I am thinking of buying a hot hatch, a Focus ST, Civic Type-R or Golf GTI. I have £8000 to spend and I am in my mid thirties. Which one would be the best all rounder?"
Only the Honda is belt cam. But the big disadvantage is that it is very low geared, so very wearing on the motorway. Been some timing belt failures of the Volvo T5 engine in the Focus ST. This age of Golf is also belt cam and a 2006 will need its belt replacing if that has not already been done. But best all round driver's car: the Focus ST.
Answered by Honest John

My Ford Focus ST has been revealed as stolen/recovered - what can I do?

"I bought an '05 Ford Focus ST-2 in May this year from a Ford dealer for £9000 with only 36,000 miles on the clock. It came HPI clear, with a full service history, and three owners. It's a really looked-after car. I decided this month that it's not really for me (I think I've outgrown the hot hatch stage of my life) and I would put it up for sale. I had a buyer contact me today to arrange a viewing. He seemed really interested and I gave him the reg to carry out a data check etc. He got back to me to say it was listed as stolen/recovered. I did my own check and sure enough it's coming up as stolen/recovered. I have now found out that HPI do not check for stolen/recovered so that would not have shown up in the dealer's search, and I am stuck with a car that people only want to pay 70 per cent of book price for? The dealers are saying they were unaware and that it shouldn't affect the resale price. Where do I stand and what can I do? "
You paid full retail for the car, so you are entitled to the difference from the Ford garage that did not show "due diligence" in checking the car's past and instead used a very cursory HPI check to convince you the car had been fully checked. The moral is, of course, to do your own full HPI check. Never rely on someone else's. It also makes sense to redo the finance check on the day you actually pay for the car to cover yourself against a "logbook loan" on the car between the first HPI check and date of payment.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Ford Focus ST (2005 – 2011) cost?