2014 Ford Focus ST Review
Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2014 Ford Focus ST.
There’s a fair bit of competition in the hot hatch category in 2014 and thus the 2014 Ford Focus ST is certainly a model worth considering.
Priced from $38,290 ($18,000 more than the entry-level Focus hatch), the ST comes only with a manual transmission and only in hatch configuration.
Under the bonnet is a 2.0 litre turbo-charged EcoBoost engine that produces 184kW and 340Nm. To put that into perspective, 184kW equals just a touch over 250 horsepower and that’s more than the legendary Ford 351 V8 produced!
In a body that weighs just over 1400kgs you can imagine what the get-up-and-go is like in the ST.
The free-revving and quiet turbo engine easily propels the Focus off the line and with seemingly endless power through the six-speed transmission it really impresses.
Best of all this great acceleration doesn’t equal horrendous fuel consumption – I averaged 10.1L/100kms in a week of city driving (exactly the claimed urban rate), the official combined figure is a realistic 7.4L/100kms.
Getting 184kW to the ground via the front wheels is a bit of a challenge though and some torque steer and wheel spin (which the traction control does its best to keep in check) are evident.
Grip in the corners is impressive, the transmission is nicely matched to the engine and the Focus has a really rigid body feel. Brakes are good, but probably aren’t up to those in the Volkswagen Golf GTI.
The ride, even with the ST’s sporty suspension tune and low-profile tyres, is excellent. The turning-circle is nothing to write home about though!
Inside the cabin you get sporty Recaro seats and aluminium touches, gauges on top of the dash (turbo boost, oil pressure and oil temp), some nice leather highlights too, the look is both sporty and attractive.
The cabin though is a touch cramped, a substantially sized dashboard tends to encroach a little and the Recaro seats are really only for those who are on the slim side.
Large sweeping A pillars and chunky C pillars also hinder visibility to the front, sides and back and with a low roof-line, simply getting into the Focus is a bit of a challenge.
Legroom too, both front and back isn’t substantial.
I like all the info available via the well placed driver info screen (manipulated via steering wheel buttons) and the climate control adjustment is simple and well placed, though the Sony stereo interface is a trifle complicated.
Ambient lighting is a nice touch, the stereo sounds great and it was an easy process syncing my iPhone with the Bluetooth system.
Thankfully a reversing camera and sat-nav both come as standard in the Focus ST.
A handy storage area to the right of the steering wheel is welcome, but glove box and centre console bin aren’t overly generous in size.
Boot space is pretty good and as you might expect the Ford Focus ST has a five-star safety rating.
Summing it up; this is a real bargain. The Focus ST delivers thrills without compromising driving enjoyment. It’s just as happy to plod along like a normal Focus as it is belting hard into a corner. The ride really impressed, it’s quiet, refined and very well kitted out.
Access into the cabin though, along with overall interior space and the Recaro seats do let it down it a little and may preclude taller and heavier potential buyers.
Overall though I was very impressed, I’d probably choose it over the more expensive Golf GTI.
Great job Ford!
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo petrol producing 184kW and 340Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual only
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $38,290