Ford Focus ST hatchback - Interior & comfort
Quality and technology have both taken a big step up in the Focus ST
Earlier Focus ST models came under fire for having a high-set driving position but an excellent set of sports seats give a great driving position in the latest ST.
Most of the interior is familiar from across the Focus range, but that's no bad thing because even the standard model is well-trimmed and sophisticated in its latest outing, particularly following a facelift which ushered in new technology. It mightn't topple the Volkswagen Golf GTI or BMW M135i for quality, but it does enough to put a nose ahead of the Hyundai i30 N.
Ford Focus ST dashboard
Hot hatch owners have come to expect certain features, and they're present and correct here in the form of unique graphics for the instruments, sporty carbon-fibre look trim inserts and - most importantly - a chunky, flat-bottomed steering wheel sporting the 'ST' logo. You'll also find metal pedals, scuff plates and a new gearstick with red markings to complete the look.
The facelifted Focus ST benefits from a much bigger 13.2-inch touchscreen with Ford’s latest infotainment system. There are new graphics and features, and the climate control functions are moving to the screen. New Ford Performance seats are also fitted, replacing the Recaro versions found in the pre-facelift car.
Owners of previous Focus STs probably won't quite believe how much kit there is in the latest model. For starters, the huge dash-top display comes loaded with Ford's excellent SYNC 4 infotainment system but also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity if you prefer, and has a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Then there are adaptive Matrix LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel and seats, keyless entry and a rear-view camera - features you'd be more likely to find in a luxury car than a Ford hot hatch not so long ago.
The main decision facing petrol buyers will be whether to fit the Performance Pack and Track Pack. The former adds go-faster features like the limited-slip differential, Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD), a gear shift indicator light and rev-matching technology when you change down in the manual for around £800. Owners can switch off the latter if they prefer. There’s also a Mean Green paint colour, which is exclusive to the ST and helps it stand out from ST-Line versions of the standard Focus. Track Pack upgrades the suspension, brakes and alloy wheels for a more hardcore experience, while the roof, bumper inserts and door mirrors are painted gloss black.