Ford Focus ST hatchback - Reliability & safety

The Focus ST is very safe but owner satisfaction needs to improve

Carbuyer Rating

4.2 out of 5

Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Reliability & safety Rating

4.0 out of 5

The Focus ST is based on one of Britain's most popular cars, so there shouldn't be too much trepidation around buying one. Safety is particularly impressive, with Ford pulling out all the stops to keep occupants safe, but reliability isn’t praised by owners.

Ford Focus ST reliability

The latest Ford Focus is not only a recent model but it's also built on a new platform for Ford. Lots of its technology is 'off the shelf', though, from its 2.0-litre diesel engine to many of its electronics and SYNC 3 infotainment system. In the petrol ST, the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine is a development of the motor seen in the previous-generation Ford Focus RS and is also related to the engine found in the entry-level Ford Mustang.

The Ford Focus ST wasn’t specifically listed in our 2021 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey but the standard Focus stumbled to 72nd place out of 75 cars rated. We suspect Focus ST owners may rate the driving components better than buyers of the standard Focus but it still scored low marks for reliability, exterior design, safety features and value.

Ford's overall performance as a manufacturer in our Driver Power brands list wasn't too inspiring, either, coming 25th out of 29 manufacturers. Its models scored poorly for build quality, practicality and comfort, with the SYNC 3 infotainment receiving praise.

Safety

The Focus is loaded with safety features, and the standard model has already been awarded a five-star crash-test safety rating from Euro NCAP. It's covered in an array of ultrasonic sensors, cameras and radars to help warn the driver of danger and help them react, or even brake automatically. Lane assist, evasive steering assist and parking aids are all fitted, along with traffic-sign recognition. The Focus ST is also the first of its models in Europe to be offered with a head-up display, helping the driver concentrate on the road ahead.

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