In-depth reviews

Ford Focus ST review - design

Surprisingly subtle exterior styling, in more subdued colours at least. Not the most attractive hatch, but there’s not much to offend

Evo rating
  • Strong performance; agile; entertaining chassis
  • Expensive; unnatural steering response

Focus STs have always been a relatively subtle foil to the more extravagant Focus RS. We’ve not yet seen a Mk4 RS, but true to form the latest ST is relatively subtle, even in some of the brighter shades to grace the options list.

This is either a good or bad thing depending on how you view the ST in the first place. From some angles its pronounced arches and sucked-in waistline is fairly appealing, but the creature-of-the-deep face and slightly sagging rear are less successful. Ford has jazzed it up a little with a subtle bodykit – new front bumper, side skirts, half-hearted diffuser, a tailgate spoiler, and a set of new wheels – but in darker colours it’d take a keen eye to pick it out in a supermarket car park.

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Compared to the purposeful Hyundai i30 N, classy Volkswagen Golf GTI and brilliantly brutish Renault Megane RS, the Ford's underwhelming aesthetic isn't enough, but then at least it's not quite the acquired taste of the Honda Civic Type R.

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