Fancy a car that can take you from zero to 100kph in 6.5 seconds but that’s also fit for a trip to the supermarket or the school run? Well, that’s the Ford Focus ST in a nutshell.
The Focus ST is the faster, sportier version of the ultra popular Ford Focus.
Not an obvious looking hot hatch, the Focus ST is a beautiful, respectable looking five-door family car – but look closer and you’ll notice the centred twin exhaust, the rear spoiler and its low slung stance.
Inside, the sporty bucket front seats hug your frame – but can leave you feeling a little bit squashed.
ST stands for Sports Technologies and this is visually evident in the cabin in the sports gauges that sit on top of the dash, towards the middle, displaying information such as oil temperature, oil pressure and turbo boost pressure.
I found that the driver’s armrest in this car was in a good position, and actually functioned as such, rather than the hindrance it can be in many cars.
The cabin in the Ford Focus ST is spacious, with good legroom both back and front. Although it’s billed as a five-seater, I think just two adults rather than three would be more comfortable in the back.
The boot, which houses a spare wheel, is also a decent size and can be further extended by lowering the rear seats.
Two variants of the Ford Focus ST are available in Ireland – the ST1 and the ST2.
Our test car was the ST1 and standard spec in this model includes air conditioning; Recaro sports seats; the unique ST full-body styling kit; 18” alloys; Bluetooth voice control and USB.
Move up to the higher specced ST2 and you also get cruise control, a parking pack and Ford SYNC in-car connectivity system
It’s a good car to drive and the engine emits a lovely growl when it gets going.
Our route in the Ford Focus ST1 took us on city streets, hilly country roads and on urban motorway.
Unfortunately, we were battling torrential rain and snow during our test week, which dampened our enjoyment of this car somewhat.
However, that said, I still found the six-speed manual model handled really well and the 2.0-litre 250hp petrol ecoboost engine was quite economical.
This car is as happy on city streets as it is on the open road. It’s quite quiet in the city as the growl of the engine really only kicks in when you push it.
It’s a powerful and fun car to drive, with great acceleration, lovely handling and an appetite for steep mountain routes.
With a 0-100kph speed of just 6.5seconds, it was very fast at the lights and tackled mountain terrain without breaking a sweat.
Overall, I think the Ford Focus ST is a sporty, yet practical hatch that can brighten your day while also tackling the demands of everyday life.
Prices for the Ford Focus ST1 I was driving start from €36,800. The ST2 has the same engine as the ST1 but its higher spec leads to a starting price of €39,100.
Engine: 2.0Ti-VCT 250hp (petrol)
Acceleration: 0-100kph in 6.5seconds
Top speed: 248kph
Fuel Economy: 7.2l/100km
CO2 emissions: 169g/km
Annual road tax: €570
Ford ups performance in Ford Focus ST