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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 1 April, 2020
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Review: The Ford Focus ST-Line has a sporty look, but it's a sensible motor at heart

For when you want the look without the costs.

FORD’S ST-LINE CARS are inspired by its successful ST performance models. ST-Line models deliver a sporty image but, under the skin, use the same oily bits as the regular Zetec and Titanium models.

ST-Line cars are for those who want a sporty looking car but don’t necessarily need extra performance or want the added costs that go with a performance model.

The ST-Line Focus can be had for €25,175 with the brilliant 125hp 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine (€190 tax and 4.7 litres/100km). That’s €4,880 over the cost of the entry-level Focus but cheaper than the Titanium model (€27,395).

With the ST-Line Focus, you get full exterior body styling kit, unique mesh front grilles,  17-inch Rock Metallic finish alloys and ST Line side badges and front door scuff plates.

Inside, the ST-Line Focus gets sports seats with red stitching, a three-spoke leather-trimmed steering wheel with red stitching, alloy pedals and ambient lighting.

The ST-Line Focus also gets a sports suspension set-up so it sits a little lower and rides a little stiffer than the regular Focus models.

Source: Melanie May

The car I was testing was powered by the 150hp 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine paired with the six-speed manual gearbox (€190 tax and 4.0 litres/100km) with a price tag of €27,670 excluding options.

First impressions on getting into the car were rather favourable. Everything was laid out well, there was plenty of storage space, the cabin looked neat and tidy and the seats were comfortable if lacking in a bit of support.

My only gripe with the interior is that it felt a little dark and dated. The black headlining, black seats and black dashboard were just a bit too much. The red stitching did add a pop of colour but overall it just felt a little too glum.

The SYNC-2 infotainment system, whilst intuitive to use and easy to read, just doesn’t look as modern or slick as the offerings in some rivals.

However, things did brighten up immensely once I got out onto the road. The Ford Focus ST-Line is great to drive with a sweet chassis. The sports suspension really suits the Focus and makes for sharper dynamics.

Coupled with the smooth and well-weighted steering and the car feels agile and responsive and whilst the ride is slightly on the firm side it is still composed and copes well with Irish roads.

It is quick off the mark too thanks to 370Nm of torque from just 2,000rpm and the six-speed manual shifter is excellent and I think it really suits this engine. This Focus ST-Line feels at home on the motorway as it does around town and equally on the back roads where you can really have some fun thanks to its great handling.

That low-down torque helps pull the car out of corners at a pace, grip is good and body-roll is kept to a minimum making twisty roads something to be savoured rather than dreaded.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the Ford Focus ST-Line. I don’t think it looks particularly sporty, but it does look crisp and sharp and it has a smashing chassis. In terms of practicality and running costs it’s a pretty sensible buy too.

READ: Why it is best to reverse into a parking space >

READ: Review: The new SEAT Arona is a real star pupil in the crossover class >

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About the author:

Melanie May  / https://www.melaniemay.com

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