Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the 2015 Ford Focus ST.
It’s hard not to love a good hot-hatch and the updated 2015 Ford Focus ST is one of the best.
Essentially the same car as I drove and reviewed last year, the Ford Focus ST was recently updated with Ford giving the sporty model refreshed styling, some cabin improvements and a couple of new paint colours.
The most important change though was the introduction of the Ford SYNC2 infotainment/connectivity system and this is a welcome addition.
While the previous set-up in the Focus ST was alright, it was a touch busy and complex. The update brings a much cleaner and more user-friendly arrangement.
Another change is the introduction of an engine stop/start system which works seamlessly enough and can be disengaged at the press of a button, if required.
Speaking of the engine, the Ford Focus ST comes exclusively with a 2.0 litre turbocharged unit that produces 184kW and 340Nm and is only available with a six-speed manual transmission.
How does it go? Extremely well!
With plenty of power up high in the revs and then a mountain of lowdown grunt too, the Ford Focus ST has enough get up and go for just about every application.
The transmission is really well suited to the power and torque as well. You can’t have a true sports model like this without giving it adequate stopping power and the ability to grip and hold on in the bends. Ford has it all covered here.
Be aware though, the Focus ST will try desperately to spin its front wheels and torque steer is an issue when you are asking the engine to really work – even in a straight line!
As with the previous model the turning circle is compromised by the wide 235mm tyres and thus you will have to get used to three point turns where a standard Focus would get around in one go.
The ride is also geared towards sport rather than comfort and with a tight chassis as well, the feel is that more expected from a go-cart than a luxury saloon (as you’d expect!).
Around town you can expect to use 10.0L/100km, the official claimed combined figure for the Focus ST is 7.3L/100km.
Inside the cabin you are immediately drawn to the Recaro seats which are also designed more to hold you in the corners than provide supreme comfort. You will also most likely find more comfort in the seats if you are on the smaller size.
Legroom front and back is fairly limited in the Focus ST, though I didn’t feel quite so cramped in the updated model as the centre control area of the dash doesn’t seem to protrude as far out.
Getting in and out of the Focus ST also takes a bit of manoeuvring and is definitely better suited to young, flexible and moderately sized people!
The Ford Focus ST can be optioned with a $2,000 technology pack which features; Lane Departure Warning, Driver Fatigue Warning, Blind Sport Sensor, Forward Collision Mitigation and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
Premium paint comes with a $450 price premium.
The 2015 Ford Focus range, including the ST, comes with a full five star safety rating.
Summing it up; The Volkswagen Golf remains the yardstick for the hot hatch market and is now $2,000 cheaper with a new starting price of $44,490.
The Ford Focus ST kicks-off $5,500 cheaper at $38,990. With a mountain of get up and go, really well set up steering, brakes and suspension and a genuinely sporty interior it’s hard not to have the Ford product as a genuine option.
With the new SYNC2 tech and attractive styling I reckon it’s a genuine ‘must drive’ option if a genuinely sporty five-door hatch is on your agenda.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2015 Ford Focus ST
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-petrol producing 184kW and 340Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual (only)
Safety: Five stars
Price: From $38,990