Ford has more options for the Focus range than most would think about, topped off by the sporty ST-Line models with a hint of more performance. Michael Moroney took the latest Focus St-Line on the road where he was impressed while he hankered for more power.
With the current Ford Focus generation getting ready for a revamp, it was opportune to get a recent drive in the Focus ST, the blue oval brand’s sporty take on the popular Ford Focus car. Ford has offered four styling and specification pack options for the Focus and the ST Line offers most in terms of performance and style.
The Focus ST-Line models clearly stand out from the basic Focus in having ST-inspired styling features that include a honeycomb design for the trapezoidal front grille. The car has unique front fog lamps with dark surrounds and a unique front bumper insert. At the rear there is an ST-Line diffuser element and large rear roof spoiler.
The ST-Line versions come with deep side-skirts and ST-Line exterior badging on the front wings. The exterior sport effect is topped off with unique 17in alloy wheels in Rock Metallic Grey and LED daytime running lights.
On the inside, the ST-Line special features include sport seats with red stitching and a perforated leather ST-style steering wheel with grey stitching. There is an ST style gear knob, a dark woven headliner, and you’re greeted by ST-Line scuff plates as you open the doors.
The ST Line image is one of power for Focus drivers who want more. Ford in Ireland offers three engine options for the Focus ST-Line, an entry level 1.0 litre Ecoboost petrol engine, a mid-range 1.5 litre TDCi diesel engine and the top performing 2.0 litre TDCi diesel engine. The mid-range 1.5 litre TDCi engine was the Ford Focus ST Line version that I drove recently combines the performance and style feel that you expect from an ST Line with an improved economy result.
With this car is aiming to appeal to drivers who like the style and driving feel of the Focus ST Line and also want the opportunity for more economical driving, when needed. This 1.5 litres turbo-diesel engine is lively, while naturally more sluggish than the top performing 2.0 litre version. I hankered for more power, because the car’s styling want to perform even better.
For those making an ST-Line choice, the question will be how important is the car’s actual performance or is the perception of performance even more important? This ST Line will give the desired effect with a great styling and a rated economy figure of 26km/litre (3.8/100km or 74mpg), that suitably impressive.
Out on the road, you’ll still get the ST-Line sporty driving feel with the noticeably harder suspension. This actual economy performance will be difficult to achieve, because as Oscar Wilde once said, “I can resist anything but temptation” and that’s what the ST-Line will do to you. Succumbing to ST-Line temptation meant that I achieved a range of almost 900km from the car’s 53 litre capacity fuel tank, and that added more than 30% from the official economy rating.
Opting for the higher performance diesel engine version won’t impact too much on your economy levels, while it will boost acceleration performance by more than 20%. I think that if I was a Ford Focus ST-Line buyer I would also be tempted on the engine choice and opt for the bigger engine version, to complete the ST line effect.
On the inside the ST-Line feeling is less obvious. The styling is similar to Zetec models while I had expected a more dynamic looking steering wheel, even though it is a flat bottom steering wheel with perforated leather differs from the standard models.
The ST-Line seat stitching and the sports pedals gave a more lasting impression. Seat adjustment and comfort are good so it’s easy to feel in control in the car. While the clutch pedal was a shade on the heavy side, this is a car that drives very well.
The car comes with a host of safety features while the useful Parking Park is optional, the city Active City Spot and Cross Traffic Alert systems are also on the options listing, which will add to the entry price figure of €26,220 before delivery charges.
As these current generation models run out in the next short months, there will be value for Focus ST-Line buyers. That value is topped off by the Ford Clean Up for 182 with up to €4,700 off a new Focus ST-Line when you take their 4.9% car finance deal. That’s topped with a new 7 year warranty offer on the car.