As a result, in recent years, Ford has slimmed down the Focus range here in Australia, leaving all but a select handful of variants, most of them the sporty Focus ST grade.
The Focus ST is an undeniably impressive performance car, but for those looking for more of a comfortable, family-friendly hatch, how well does it adapt to this newfound design brief in the reshaped range?
Let’s take a look at the updated Ford Focus lineup here in Australia and find out.
Starting Price: $30,990
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Ford Focus (ST) Specifications
|Fuel type||PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL|
|Transmission||6 SP MANUAL|
|Engine configuration||DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves|
|Engine RPM||5500 / 3000|
|Fuel tank size||52.0|
|Fuel usage specs||8.1 / 0.0|
|ANCAP security rating||5|
For more details and other variants, check Ford Focus car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
The Ford Focus lineup kicks off from $30,990 for the entry-level Focus ST-Line, with prices matching for the Focus Active variant.
For those looking for a fire-breathing performance machine, the Focus ST manual is priced at $44,890, while the Focus ST automatic variant is priced at $44,890.
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What Features Does the Ford Focus Have?
The Ford Focus ST-Line and Active variants come riding on a set of 17-inch alloys, and receive automatic LED headlights and fog lights, keyless entry & start, dual-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, roof rails for the Active variant, sports suspension for the ST-Line variant and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto for both.
Moving up to the Focus ST adds a set of 19-inch alloys, Recaro sport seats, a limited-slip differential, 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, adaptive suspension, upgraded exhaust, ambient lighting package, launch control and ST upgrades for the bodywork and interior.
Automatic LED headlights & fog lights
Keyless entry & start
Reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors
8.0-inch infotainment system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
Wireless smartphone charging
Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
Roof rails (Active)
Sports suspension (ST-Line)
19-inch alloys (Focus ST)
Turbocharged engine upgrade (Focus ST)
Limited-slip differential (Focus ST)
Adaptive suspension (Focus ST)
12.3-inch digital driver’s display (Focus ST)
Exhaust upgrade (Focus ST)
Ambient lighting (Focus ST)
Launch control (Focus ST)
Ford Focus Colours
The Ford Focus is available in a range of 10 colours, including Blue Panther, Frozen White, Magnetic, Race Red, Agate Black, Moondust Silver, Blue Metallic, Desert Island Blue, Fantastic Red and Metropolis White.
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
As far as easy motoring goes, the Ford Focus is a great car that feels solid on the road while offering a great amount of comfort in the entry-level Active variant. It’s important to remember from the outset, though, that the Active and even the ST-Line are very, very different cars from the flagship Focus ST.
To begin with, the cheaper models have an engine producing 134kW of power and 240Nm of torque, which is significantly less than the Focus ST’s 206kW and 420Nm of torque. That’s a sizeable power difference that makes the base model nice and perky around town, while the flagship is extremely fast.
If you’re looking for something fast, opt for the ST, otherwise if you’re looking for your regular A-to-B commuter, the Active is the perfect option, namely because of the superior comfort levels.
The base model Focus is an exceptionally well-built commuter that gives the driver a real sense of driving engagement even on a bumbling trip to work. The compact turning circle and lightweight steering rack make the Focus easy to pilot around town and even easier when it comes time to park or navigate a tight carpark.
On the road, even the base model Focus feels solid on certain road surfaces, and while it’s perfectly comfortable on smooth roads around town and cities, the sports-tuned suspension of the ST will prove a rude surprise if you’re looking for a comfortable commuter or long-distance tourer.
Thankfully, the Focus ST gains adaptive suspension, but it can’t work miracles and transform the ST into a comfortable grand tourer on all surfaces; after all, it’s a sports car. As a result of being a sports car, the suspension holds on extremely well in the corners while the limited-slip differential gives it a lively personality as you exit with speed.
While the ST can serve double duties when it comes to thrills and family obligations, you are undoubtedly better served in the base model that offers a far more comfortable ride quality for you and your passengers.
If you have a need for speed, though, the Focus ST is an immense piece of engineering that will put a smile on your face each and every day. All we can say is choose wisely, because they’ve got two different personalities.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
While the Focus wears an American badge, it’s actually built in Germany with a uniquely European approach to the cabin’s interior design and packaging.
As a result, the Focus offers a relatively straight-forward design filled with clever practical touches that make the most of the space on offer in the cabin, and make a world of difference when you’ve got kids to take care of.
Up front, the driver receives a chunky steering wheel with a heap of adjustment in the driving position, while there’s an impressive amount of headroom and space to stretch out in the front row of the cabin.
All the infotainment and climate control settings are housed neatly on the dash, which has clearly been influenced by ergonomics, simplicity and practicality in mind, rather than eye-catching visuals.
While the interior might be a little bit underwhelming for some, it really depends on what you’re looking for in your next car, because everything is well-and-truly there inside the Focus - it just doesn’t shout about it.
In terms of storage and practical elements, the central console accommodates a storage area at the base of the dash, a pair of cupholders with another small tray behind, as well as storage inside the folding armrest and in the door bins either side.
Moving to the second row of the cabin offers up a comfortable bench seat, but overall legroom is limited in the back of the Focus platform. Behind a tall driver, adults will find their knees touching the seat, and a lack of headroom making the cabin feel quite cramped. For the majority of children, though, the rear seats are perfectly suitable for trips around town, while accommodating two ISOFIX anchors and three top tether mounts for child seats.
In terms of cargo storage, there’s 341L of boot space in the back of the Focus Active, which shrinks down to just 273L in the sporty ST flagship. If you have kids or need to lug around some luggage, you’d be significantly better served in the Active and ST-Line variants rather than the sporty range-topper which has its boot volume eaten up by a subwoofer in the floor.
Is it Safe?
The Ford Focus has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 96% for adult protection, 87% for child protection, 72% for road user protection and 72% for its safety technologies.
As standard, all members of the Focus family receive autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assistance with lane-departure warnings, speed assistance and airbags all around the cabin, while blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts remain an optional extra for the base models.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
The Focus Active and ST-Line are powered by a small-capacity 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine that is rated at just 6.4L per 100km on a combined cycle, making it impressively fuel-efficient for a petrol-powered car.
Stepping up to the lightning-fast Focus ST changes the engine to a 2.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that returns a combined cycle figure of 8.1L/100km for the manual and 8.8L/100km for the ST automatic.
Our Verdict: Is the Ford Focus Worth it?
It’s a real shame that Ford has begun to trim-back its Focus lineup here in Australia, because the reality is that as an everyday car, it feels exceptionally well-crafted for the money.
While the interior might lack some design flare, the Focus remains one of the most engaging vehicles in its respective segment, and we’re talking about the base model, here. As a daily drive, the Focus Active is a wonderful option and one of the segment’s best picks.
In terms of the performance variant, the Focus ST is beyond impressive, putting key rivals like the Golf GTI to shame when it comes to handling and personality.
As a result, we can’t help but recommend that you add the Ford Focus to your shortlist, so long as you’re clear on whether you want a commuter or a performance vehicle. Thankfully, Ford has you covered either way.
Five Specs You Need to Know
Five-year/unlimited KM warranty with four-years capped-price servicing
Five star ANACP safety rating
Three-cylinder (Active) & turbo four-cylinder engines available (ST)
ST-Line and ST receive sports suspension
6.4L/100km fuel economy for entry-level Focus; 8.8L/100km for Focus ST
Front row comfort and practicality
Fuel-efficient three-cylinder petrol in base model
Extremely fun and responsive steering
Limited second-row leg and headroom
Compact boot space in ST
Firm suspension in sporty ST
OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10
Ford Focus Competition