The Ford Focus ST-Line comes with different engine choices, but you won’t discover anything that’s too crazily potent here. The point of the ST-Line is to deliver athletic looks without costing the earth to run. Motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay reports.
A couple of petrol units can be selected with 125 or 150 horsepower, and both engines are Ecoboosts, which are pleasing and keen to drive. The smallest 1.0-litre petrol powerplant is fun, but the 25 additional horses that the 1.5-litre Ecoboost has is better to have more of a laugh with. It’s also economical, returning up to 51mpg on average – and it’s the one I drove for this review. There’s also a 1.5-litre diesel that produces 120ps. It’s the best motor to have for commuting regularly. For me though, the best engines are those alert petrol units, they’re just so satisfying to use.
All the engines can be hooked up to a manual transmission or an automatic ‘box, but I’d go for the manual because it’s more entertaining to use. The Blue Oval brand makes top manual gearboxes, and this one is another feather in Ford’s cap.
Ride & Handling
Because it’s a functional hatchback wearing a hot-hatch cloak, the Focus ST-Line doesn’t have the same stiff suspension as the fierier ‘ST’, but it does sit lower than an ordinary Focus. The advantage of this is you get that muscular look but without the tougher ride quality. The Ford Focus is already a fine handling machine, so it feels like a good arrangement for the performance that the ST-Line has.
Okay, so just because the Focus ST-Line looks sporty, it doesn’t mean it’s brazen and garish. The body kit which makes it look more hard-hitting is understated and gives the Focus an even smarter, crisper form. There are some nice touches, like the ‘ST-Line’ symbols near to the wing mirrors, and then there’s the attractive rear boot spoiler. There are the more noticeable external touches, too, like the shadowy metallic finished alloys that imitate the shade of the wheels on the hardcore ST.
The ST-Line look carries on inside, as well. You clamber into the Focus over ST-Line brand-named door sills, and sit in comfy red-stitched sport seats. The core controls you use to operate the Focus are all ST-Line extras, too. You’ve got alloy pedals, a three-spoke sports steering wheel, and the gear knob is the same as you’ll find in the authentic ST models. Space-wise, the Focus ST-Line will seat five-up, like any other Focus.
There’s 316-litres of room in the boot, which is good enough for a five-door hatchback, but it’s not as big as some in its segment. For instance, the SEAT Leon offers 380-litres. With the rear seats folded down, the Focus’ boot balloons to 1,216-litre, though.
The Focus ST-Line is a fine car. Its stirring handling and response is excellent, and the Ford is not expensive to buy or run, whichever powertrain you go for. It is an indisputably fun family-sized hatchback to drive. Why not contact Perrys to find out more?
Pros ‘n’ Cons
- Appearances √
- Handling √
- Efficiency √
- Fun √
- Boot Space X
Fast Facts (Focus ST-Line 1.5-litre Ecoboost – as tested)
- Max speed: 130 mph
- 0-62 mph: 8.9 secs
- Combined mpg: 51.4
- Engine layout: 1499c 4-cylinder petrol turbo
- Max. power (PS): 150
- CO2: 127 g/km
- Price: £21,645