By Jeffrey Mills
A car that gets driven every day needs to tick a few boxes. It has to be practical – have decent book space and room for a few passengers – and quite usable in most environments. There are a lot of cars on the market that will tick these boxes. With the Focus ST, you get that and a lot more.
Code named the focus ST250, this car packs a respectable 184 kW of power and 360 Nm of torque from a 2.0L turbocharged Ecoboost engine. These numbers may not seem very impressive when compared to other front-wheel drive cars in the market but the power delivery and driving engagement is what sets the car apart from its competition.
There are not many manual cars that give a person a real sense of enjoyment and engagement. The car has a decently-weighted clutch pedal and smooth gear shifter so shifting through the gears on your daily commute becomes a rewarding endeavour. The car is equipped with decent technology such as Bluetooth, cruise control and Ford’s SYNC system which significantly improves usability.
One of the few drawbacks of the Focus ST is the interior which does not feel as high quality as its competitors. The car available was in the ST1 trim which is equipped with the cloth Recaro sports seats; the ST3 trim is equipped with the leather Recaro sports seats which gives the car a more premium feel. Another issue is the turning radius which is not the best but still acceptable. The final niggling issue is the exhaust note. The car could use a slightly louder exhaust note to improve on an already enthralling driving experience.
The Ford Focus ST remains one of my personal favourite cars on the market. With the next generation Focus ST not coming to South Africa, this car may be one of the last ST products we may see. Enjoyable, usable and practical, the Ford Focus ST is definitely a modern driver’s car that offers something that not many other cars can.