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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

Lots of the Focus ST’s technology is 'off the shelf' and already tried-and-tested from many of the brand’s other models, such as its electronics and SYNC 4 infotainment system. 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 2023 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey and the standard Focus failed to appear in the top list of 75 cars – it last came in 72nd place in 2021.

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Ford's overall performance as a manufacturer in our Driver Power brands list wasn't too inspiring, either, coming 28th out of 32 manufacturers. Its models scored poorly for build quality, practicality and comfort, with the infotainment receiving praise. Reliability across its lineup was slightly better than average, with 21% of owners reporting an issue with their Ford in the first year – that’s less than Volkswagen’s statistic (26%) and on par with Hyundai, although it didn’t solely reflect their hot-hatch models.

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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Charlie writes and edits news, review and advice articles for Carbuyer, as well as publishing content to its social media platforms. He has also been a regular contributor to its sister titles Auto Express, DrivingElectric and evo. As well as being consumed by everything automotive, Charlie is a speaker of five languages and once lived in Chile, Siberia and the Czech Republic, returning to the UK to write about his life-long passion: cars.

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