Ford Focus ST-Line X Edition – a class leader in the fun factor league

Very classy looking.

FEW cars stick in the mind of someone who drives dozens each year; some better than others, and the original Ford Focus was one of the few whose first drive is vividly recalled, from 1998. It was a game changer for anyone who enjoys the act of driving and has meant that every succeeding Focus has a lot to live up to, and rather stiffer competition. The good news is that the Focus is still a class leader in the fun factor league.

My test model, a (very) mildly sporty ST-Line X Edition, provides a slightly lower and firmer suspension but nothing extra under the bonnet, but the Focus can still make the winding road home something to anticipate with relish.

Power comes from a 1.0-litre EcoBoost, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with electric assistance, making it a mild hybrid. With 155PS – there’s a lower powered 125PS – the test car is priced at €31,217 (£27,160).

Give the car a gentle poke with the proverbial sharp stick and it will fairly gallop along, and it also feels lively and responsive in corners, a lot like that now aged first of the line from the last century, in fact. It passes the benchmark 62 mph in 9.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 131 mph. All this and a combined 52mpg.

The generous standard equipment list includes auto lights and wipers, auto dimming mirrors, keyless entry and start, heated seats and steering wheel, power folding door mirrors, heated windscreen, active cruise control, rear privacy glass, wireless charging, climate control, navigation and Bluetooth and power adjustable driver seat.

On a more practical level, the newest Focus has found enough space in the back seat for a couple of lanky adults to enjoy the ride and the boot is plenty big enough for family duties.

Ford has, thankfully, kept buttons and knobs for features like adjusting the audio and heating while giving the cabin a touchscreen feel elsewhere. It looks classy enough, if not something to give a Golf a sleepless night.

Classy styling highlights include ST-Line badging, smart alloy wheels, red brake calipers, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, alloy pedals and red stitching on the upholstery and steering wheel. The ST-Line offers a sporting look without the harder edge of the more performance versions and in the test car’s Desert Blue paint finish – a €834 (£725) extra cost option – looks very classy.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Ford Focus ST-Line X Edition

Engine: 1.0-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol with electric mild hybrid assistance – 155PS

Gears: 6-speed manual

Performance: 0-100 kph (62 mph) Petrol 9.2 secs

Maximum Speed Petrol 210 kph (131 mph)

Economy: Petrol 5.4 l/100km (52.2 mpg) WLTP

Emissions: 122 g/km WLTP

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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Written by

Mark Slack

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