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Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £15,599. Borrowing £12,479 with a £3,120 deposit at a representative APR of 12.9%.

49 monthly payments
£224.85
Fixed interest rate
12.9%
Total amount payable
£20,430.85
Cost of credit
£4,831.85
Optional final payment
£6,518.00
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

Ford Focus ST buying guide

Ford Focus ST interior and technology

Unsurprisingly, the interior of the Ford Focus ST is very similar to that of the standard Focus. The dashboard features a prominent touchscreen and a selection of materials, and the steering wheel features buttons for the cruise control, audio and menu functions. For the ST, these are joined by a red S button that takes you straight to the hardest, most performance-oriented settings.

The ST also gets a handful of exclusive badges, new graphics for the screens and half-leather heated sports seats that should keep you snug through fast corners and sudden direction changes.

In 2022, Ford facelifted the Focus range, and the most noticeable change is a much larger touchscreen. This runs Ford’s very latest infotainment system, while the climate controls have moved to the bottom of the screen and are no longer physical buttons.

Standard equipment for the ST includes adaptive LED headlights, 19-inch grey alloy wheels, a rear-view camera, a heated steering wheel and a B&O premium audio system. The ST treatment also includes upgraded suspension, model-specific bumpers and, for petrol cars, a limited-slip differential to improve cornering performance.

Ford Focus ST boot space and dimensions

Like the standard Focus, the Focus ST hatchback is a smidge under 4.4 metres long, with the estate version coming in at under 4.7 metres long. All STs get parking sensors at both ends and a reversing camera, so parking and manoeuvring should be as easy as accelerating to the speed limit.

It’s worth noting that the ST’s standard-fit B&O sound system includes a subwoofer that reduces boot space a little, so the ST isn’t quite as good at load-lugging as cheaper Focuses without this audio equipment. Cars with a tyre repair kit get slightly more boot space than cars with a mini spare wheel.

Ford Focus ST engine range explained

Ford Focus ST 2.3 EcoBoost petrol

With an adapted engine from the Ford Mustang, the petrol-powered Focus ST boasts 280hp and a sub-six-second 0-62mph time. That makes it one of the fastest hot hatches on sale. Even the standard Focus is a hoot to drive so the Focus ST, with its various chassis upgrades, is even more entertaining on a twisty backroad. The engine is responsive, the steering is spot-on and the manual gearbox is addictive.

Ford Focus ST 2.0 EcoBlue diesel

The 190hp diesel engine sacrifices a little on-the-edge performance for better fuel economy than the petrol ST. You still get the go-faster styling and the range-topping kit list, and the diesel may prove to be easier to live with – especially if you spend a lot of time on motorways.

FAQs

The Ford Focus ST has been a mainstay in the Focus range for over 20 years, with the latest generation launching in 2019 and being facelifted three years later. There’s a choice of petrol or diesel engines and two distinct body styles, giving buyers plenty of options.

The 2.3-litre petrol engine gives the most excitement and a full-on hot-hatch experience, but the 2.0-litre diesel does provide considerably better fuel economy. It depends on your preferences as to which you think is best.

Even as the halo model of the range, the Focus ST isn’t free from depreciation. The hatchback is predicted to retain 44% of its value after three years and 36,000 miles, which isn’t too bad. Of course, that’s great news for buyers looking for a used Focus ST, as it must be one of the most exciting cars for a reasonable budget.

The Ford Focus has a strong reputation for reliability, which bodes well for the Focus ST. It has a few ST-exclusive parts but, as these are upgraded over the standard ones, they should last the test of time. If you’re in any doubt, consider taking out an extended warranty with your purchase.

The Ford Focus ST hasn’t moved to all-wheel drive and an output nearing 400hp like the Audi RS3 and Mercedes-AMG A 45 S, instead favouring a more traditional front-driven setup. Still, with 280hp from the petrol engine, the Focus ST can launch from 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds. That’s more than enough to feel fast in a straight line. Thanks to the Focus’ impressive list of performance parts, it’s perhaps even more impressive through the corners, where you can carry lots of speed thanks to high grip levels and pliant suspension. The diesel engine hits national speed limits in 7.6 seconds.

Yes, the Focus ST is an exciting hot hatch that’s able to carry up to five adults and the weekly shop. If you’re after day-to-day thrills and the usability of a family hatch in one car, the Focus ST should be on your shopping list.

You can find petrol-engined STs with an automatic gearbox, but the vast majority of cars come with the manual gearbox. Unless you really need an automatic, we’d recommend the manual – it’s more satisfying to use and gives the fastest acceleration. With the automatic commanding a premium over the manual on new cars, it’s likely to remain a rare choice.

Sitting in group 34 out of 50, the petrol Focus ST is more expensive to insure than a standard Focus due to its increased performance and value. That looks good next to the group 40-rated Honda Civic Type R, while the diesel ST looks very cheap in comparison – it sits in group 23.