On my favourite country roads, I didn’t feel as confident as I would have liked.
On my favourite country roads, I didn’t feel as confident as I would have liked. Driving the ST felt a little remote, divorced from the road instead of feeling every nuance through the seat and steering wheel.
There is absolutely no problem with the stability on fast bends and the car remains flat and I didn’t detect any over or understeer. However, there is an element of bump-steer as the extra stiff chassis hops over uneven surfaces and a certain amount of torque-steer under strong acceleration.
It’s all very entertaining and besides, it gives the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Traction Assist, something to do. The ESP can be switched off and, of course, the ST has ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) for quick stops and safer braking. Other safety features include six airbags and a collapsible steering column and pedals.
Having a blast is fun but detrimental to good fuel consumption. Put your foot down and the official figures of 20.5 mpg, 41.5 mpg and 30.4 mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined, will be even more out of reach than normal. Moreover, the CO2 emissions are 224g/km.
The Focus ST comes as a 3 and 5-door hatchback and in three levels: ST, ST 2 and ST 3. I drove the 3-door ST 3, which costs £19,495 in its basic form, if you can call it that.
Let’s start at the bottom the standard ST features chrome-tipped twin exhaust pipes, an auxiliary instrument panel, high-performance disc-brakes front and rear and racing pedals amongst other things. The ST 2 adds Bi-Xenon headlights with washers and ESP with TA and EBA. The top of the range ST 3 gives you a Sony Audio, 6-CD player set into a stylish panel, in place of the single CD/MP3 unit and full leather trimmed, Recaro seats front and rear instead of 2-tone cloth covers.
Ford Focus Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Ford Focus ST 3|
|Body Type||3-Door Hatchback|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||6.8 Seconds|
|Top Speed||152 mph|
|Transmission||6-speed manual transmission|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded petrol, 98 or 95 (RON)|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||41.5 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3-year/60,000 mile warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 21/05/06)||£19,495 OTR|