There is also the inevitable annoyance that you get with a three-door car of having to access the back by climbing past the tilted front seats.
Ride and Handling
The Focus is already well-known as a fine-handling car, and with the ST that is magnified. With this much power fed through the front wheels, you might expect some unsettling evidence of torque steer, an irksome characteristic of less well-engineered cars where the power seems to snatch at the steering. Not here though. The car handles with agility and corners very cleanly and predictably, with little body roll. It is equipped with a torque vectoring system that applies braking to the inside wheel to help pull the front end more efficiently through a corner, and it works very well. The brakes are powerful and progressive, and the whole driving experience is top-notch.
The suspension set-up is MacPherson struts at the front and independent at the rear, and Ford’s engineers seem to have achieved a very good balance between cornering efficiency and ride quality. The ride is well-judged, sportily firm as you would expect of a car with this kind of performance, but adequately supple over the bumps.
Ease of Use
It may be a high-performance hot hatch, but the Focus ST is also a practical five-door model. So there is none of the physical awkwardness or need for athleticism that is inevitable with a sporty three-door model. Arguably it looks a bit more mundane as a result, but we’d rather have the greater convenience of an easily-useable back seat with practical access via rear doors. Boot space is good too and the back seats fold down for an extended load bay when you want to carry extra kit, leisure equipment or sports gear.