Tested for Parkers.co.uk – check out the full review of the Ford Focus by heading to the link below:
Sporty looks without the high-performance running costs?
With the fitment of sporty aesthetics and slightly recalibrated suspension, the ST-Line offers a more entertaining drive over the standard models without compromising on running costs or comfort for everyday use.
The 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine replaces the 1.6-litre version and remains available in 150hp and 182hp outputs. This lower-powered version on test would normally offer the best balance of power and economy but the automatic gearbox fitted here dampens the driving experience somewhat.
The 0-62mph time may appear marginally slower on paper – 9.4 seconds over the manual’s 9.1 – but the dulled engine response makes accelerating up to speed noticeably more hard work in everyday use. Slotting the gearlever into the sportier S setting might improve throttle response but this also makes for jerky progress at low speeds.
As a result, the engine works harder for more of the time, leaving that official 46.3mpg figure an achievement far too difficult to obtain; we averaged between 33-35mpg at best over a mixed range of roads. The engine sounds noticeably more gruff too when worked hard, making this Focus less refined than both the old unit and other petrol versions.
Sure enough, if you have to opt for an automatic gearbox, the ST-Line chassis makes for an entertaining way to handle a country lane. We’d just approach the bodykit and sporty aesthetics with caution as you might find the straight-line performance a little underwhelming; opting for the 182hp manual version will bring out the best of this chassis setup.
The optional 18-inch wheels on this test model firm up the ride even further too, but if you are looking for a composed and mildly entertaining hatch dressed with sporty looks, this ST-Line is a fine – if a little expensive – choice.
Watch the video review:
Read the rest of the full Ford Focus hatchback review at Parkers below: