fbpx
Expert Rating

Ford Focus ST

Our unique Expert Ratings combine scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites to give you a definitive rating on every new car

Expert Rating

Buy a Ford Focus from your sofa with Cazoo

Buy online. We’ll deliver it.
Find out more

Summary


The Ford Focus ST has long been the ‘sensible’ performance version of the mass-selling hatchback range, a true ‘hot hatch’ with extra potency but not quite to the outlandish standards of the Focus RS. The all-new fourth generation model launched in 2019 is no longer just a hot hatch – today the range includes an estate, a diesel engine and even an auto-gearbox version.

The basic recipe is the biggest engine – a 2.3-litre petrol of 280hp or 2.0-litre diesel of 190hp – and lots of additions to emphasise the sportiness. These include bespoke front and rear bumpers and grille, bigger spoilers, sporty suspension, Recaro seats, stainless steel scuff plates – you get the picture…

Generally testers like the ST – Auto Express dubs it “a terrific all-rounder, ranking among the very best hot hatches on the market”. However they add criticisms, mainly over the car’s expensive starting price.

Reviewers point out that rivals offer more power for less money, and better in-car technology, but where the Focus ST fights back is in its excellent handling, long a Ford plus point. Evo says that “with an entertaining chassis and punchy (yet controllable) power delivery, it’s become a much easier car to recommend.”

Ford claims bespoke styling for the Focus ST but testers disagree, Top Gear commenting that “the new Focus’s panels are too billowy for the road-sucking stance and taut purpose we want in a hot hatch.”

Top Gear is also less than impressed with the diesel, dubbing it “definitely the second-string powertrain” even if Ford pleads that it is more powerful and twice as torquey as the original Focus ST petrol engine. And several testers conclude that without bold visual styling the ST is “too normal most of the time”.

As of August 2021, the Ford Focus ST holds an Expert Rating of 73% from 26 reviews. That puts it two points behind the regular Ford Focus range, which is unusual for a hot-hatch version of a regular family model, and a whopping 13 points below its little brother, the highly-rated Fiesta ST.

Focus ST highlights

  • Potent performance
  • Excellent handling
  • Docile when pace not needed
  • Improved quality and refinement

Focus ST lowlights

  • Pricey
  • Steering not natural
  • Not visually aggressive enough
  • Rivals offer better in-car tech

Key specifications


Body style: Five-door hatch and estate
Engines: petrol, diesel
Price: From £30,255 on-road

Launched: Summer 2019
Last updated: Summer 2020
Replacement due: TBA


Media reviews


Reviews, road test and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Auto Express

+

Autocar

+

Car

+

Car Keys

+

Carbuyer

+

Carwow

+

Company Car Today

+

Daily Mirror

+

Evo

+

Honest John

+

Parkers

+

The Sun

+

The Telegraph

+

Top Gear

+

What Car?

+

Which?

+

Safety rating


Overall rating: 5 stars
Date tested: September 2019

96%

ADULT OCCUPANT

87%

CHILD OCCUPANT

72%

VULNERABLE ROAD USERS

75%

SAFETY ASSIST

While the specific Ford Focus ST has not been tested by Euro NCAP, the overall Focus range was last tested in 2019 and the top five-star rating earned applies to all models. Testers praised the active safety systems while in the impact tests all scores were at least marked as ‘adequate’ and most ‘good’, with maximum scores in several areas 

More safety recognition

Eco rating


No eco rating

The Ford Focus ST has not yet been lab tested by Green NCAP. This is a new initiative, launched in 2018 as a sister organisation to Euro NCAP. As yet, very few new cars have been tested for environmental impact by Green NCAP, and the testing programme was halted in early 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic.

If the Focus ST is put through the Green NCAP lab testing programme, we will publish the results here.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the Ford Focus ST has received

2020

  • DieselCar & EcoCar Awards – Best Hot Hatch

2019

  • Top Gear Awards – Best Hot Hatch
  • Scottish Car of the Year Awards – Best Hot Hatch

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the Ford Focus ST, you might also be interested in these alternatives

Audi S3 | BMW M135i | Cupra Leon | Honda Civic Type R | Hyundai i30 N | Mercedes-AMG A 35 | Mini Countryman John Cooper Works | Renault Megane RS | Skoda Octavia vRS | Toyota GR Yaris | Volkswagen Golf GTI

There are so many hot hatch rivals to the Focus ST, challenging it on both aggressive performance and equally aggressive visuals. The most popular include the Honda Civic Type R, the Hyundai i30N and the Renault Megane RS. Premium brands also get in the act, with the BMW M135i, the Mercedes-AMG A 35 and Audi S3 to choose from.

Buy or lease a Ford Focus ST


Regardless of whether you’re looking for a new or used Focus ST, The Car Expert’s partners have thousands of cars to choose from

Buy a Ford Focus from your sofa with Cazoo

Buy online. We’ll deliver it. Find out more

Carparison logo 400x112

Ford Focus deals from Carparison Leasing

Personal contract hire offers on a new Focus. Find out more

Rivervale Leasing logo

Ford Focus deals from Rivervale Leasing

Personal contract hire offers on a new Focus. Find out more

Carsnip logo

Buy a Ford Focus ST with Carsnip, the UK’s automotive search engine

Explore thousands of cars for sale with Carsnip. Find out more

Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites

Best car rankings

Want to see how this car ranks against its rivals?

The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on scores from 25 of the top UK motoring websites