Lifestyle

Road test: Ford Focus St has plenty of the 'wow' factor

The Ford Focus ST's performance at this price is unbelievable.
The Ford Focus ST's performance at this price is unbelievable.

WOW! That's not usually a word that glides from my vocabulary.

Frankly I think there are more descriptive words in the English language to express admiration of a sensational success.

I'm also usually not generous in the compliments department, they need to be earned not bandied about willy nilly.

Gushing embarrassingly is not for me.

That was before I spent some time with the Ford Focus ST.

Now "wow" seems like the perfect word because so impressed were we that it is difficult to get out much else. By their very make-up, hot hatches should excite and impress.

The pulse should race.

And as the sale of larger cars, even those of the performance variety, declines it is most likely that hot hatches with their economy and drive performance will excel.

There are already some fine examples on the market but this Focus ST could very well eclipse them all.

Comfort

The interior of the Focus ST is a surprising delight.

This hot hatch certainly looks like a sporty ride with logos stamped on the seats, mats, front door scuff plates and gear stick and trim to match the exterior colour. The performance gauges and dials give you a feeling of being seated in a cockpit preparing for take-off.

It is good to see that Ford has not let the reasonable price-tag affect the use of high-quality materials and there is not a cheap plastic or poor join in sight.

On the road

Buckle up and get ready for one hell of a ride. The Focus ST has a smaller engine than its XR5 predecessor but with the added power and wide torque band there is little chance you will miss it.

The Ford Focus ST.
The Ford Focus ST.

This is a car with balance and poise, a car that can be as subtle or as aggressive as the situation demands.

The gear shift is comfortable and the gears easy to engage and silky smooth.

What do you get?

The Focus ST blows its competitors away when it comes to inclusions even the European masters who are usually both stylish and generous.

On the standard equipment list is dual-zone climate control, 18-inch alloys, LED day running lights, rain-sensing wipers, smart-key entry with push button ignition are all standard as is sat-nav, reverse camera, park assist and Ford's impressive SYNC in-car voice control audio and Bluetooth communication system with a five-inch display screen and nine-speaker audio system.

A five-star ANCAP safety rating embraces features like driver, passenger, side curtain and side airbags, Anti-lock braking system with EBD and emergency brake assist, Hill Launch Assist, Dynamic Stability Control and front and rear sensors.

Other contenders

Hot hatches are all the rage with the Renault Megane RS265 (from $39,990), the Volkswagen Golf GTI (from $42,640), Subaru WRX (from $39,990) and VW Scirocco (from $47,490) all revving at the start line.

The lowdown

In the Focus ST Ford was hoping for a true global performance car, one that appealed to dynamic drivers wherever they were in the world. Well, there is little doubt they have found it. This performance at this price is unbelievable. Take one out for a test drive before the secret gets out.

Vital statistics

Model: Ford Focus ST.

Details: Five-door front wheel drive hot hatch.

Transmission: Six-speed manual

Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged GTDi Ecoboost generating maximum power of 184kW @ 5500rpm and peak torque of 360Nm between 2000rpm - 4500rpm.

Consumption: 7.4 litres/100km (combined average).

CO2: 172g/km.

Performance: 0-100kmh in 6.5 seconds.

Bottom line: From $38,280.

The Ford Focus ST.
The Ford Focus ST.

Topics:  cars, ford, motoring, road test



City centre dances back in time for Kitsch in the Swich

Megan Mitchell, Deborah Farrell, and Lily Mitchell at the Kitsch in the Swich in the Ipswich CBD on Saturday.

The city was transformed into a retro lovers paradise on the weekend

Family and friends unite to help after son's death

The Maskell family with son and bother Jack (centre) who died in a motorcycle crash on Friday.

Jack Maskell died in a traffic crash late last week

Hospital emergency: Thousands clog ED with minor issues

EMERGENCY CALL: Ipswich Hospital's emergency department has been swamped in the past 12 months by people presenting with very minor issues.

Residents need to stop presenting with only minor treatment issues

Local Partners

Rebecca Hall doesn't own a TV

Newspapers, yes. Television, not so much

Jaime King 'terrified' by son's heart surgery

Jamie King was "terrified" when her son went in for heart surgery.

John Mayer's advice for Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes has revealed John Mayer gave him advice

Josh Brolin and Kathryn Boyd tie the knot

Josh Bolin marries in front of close friends and family

Marilyn Manson wants a 'nice' girl

Marilyn Manson wants a girl who understands both of his identities

Angelina turns to Depp for consolation after divorce

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with their six children

Angelina Jolie is reportedly being consoled by Johnny Depp

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'