Ford Focus St 2020. More significant, smarter, and safer, the new German Ford Focus close the gap with a small car. Benchmark, the Volkswagen Golf. The challenge is convincing Aussie buyers this is the real deal. The first impression, well, it’s off to a perfect start.
The new Focus has a mature, sophisticated feel about the way it sits on the road. It’s refined, and it’s quiet, and it feels more like a luxury car than a bulk standard — small car. Okay, so Focus is more expensive now, but the extra coin buys you a more efficient new engine. It is hooked up to a smooth 8-speed automatic gearbox. The new 1.5-liter turbo petrol three-cylinder engine is torquey and characterful. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s an exceptional engine, but it comes close.
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I’m impressed with its breadth of capability. At low revs, it’s tractable and quiet but feels muscular at high revs when the turbo. Kicks in, which is good for overtaking slower traffic on the highway. And it won’t suck down too much juice either. Based on an all-new platform, the car has excellent ride comfort and is a great daily driver. That’s impressive given this ST-Line wagon has a lower sportier suspension than other. Model grades.
But what exactly does ST-Line mean?. Well, you get hot hatch looks without the high price. Or the scorching performance. But I’ve got to say, and I’m impressed with the way the Focus drives. It can be fun and engaging, yet it’s never a chore to operate, even in traffic. And although it’s chockfull of tech, you don’t feel overwhelmed by it.
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This model is optioned with the driver-assist package, which automatically brakes and accelerates. The car and keeps it in the corners, as you can see here. And it’s one of the best systems I’ve used. It’s driving around corners for me. Autonomous emergency braking is standard, as is lane keep assist. Parking sensors and a reversing camera are always useful.
And the new Focus has a maximum possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. I like the interior design. It’s tasteful but without being too tacky. Every model comes with this lovely 8-inch touch screen system, and it comes with voice: control and all the usual smartphone mirroring systems like Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Ford has also ditched the traditional gear stick and has replaced it with this little. Dial here, and it looks elegant and also opens up a bit more space here. The seats are supportive, and the instrument panel is easy to read. Climate controls are intuitive and little touches like automatic headlights, rain-sensing. Wipers and a self-dimming rear-view mirror on all models are very tidy.
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There’s plenty of storage solutions, cup holders, door pockets but the only quibble. I have with the interior are the steering wheel buttons. There’s just so many of them. It requires a diet of premium petrol and only has a space-saver spare tire but the ST-Line. The wagon also adds red stitching, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and alloy pedals. On the outside it looks athletic with a sporty-looking body kit, this one has optional 18-inch. Alloy wheels. Chuck in keyless entry and engine start, plus wireless phone charging, and there’s not. A lot you can want for here.
The boot is more practical than some SUVs. You’ve got these two fold-out shopping bag hooks; there are four cargo tie-down hooks, a hidden floor, the cargo blind and comfortable folding rear seats that more than double the cargo. Space. Criticisms are few and far between. Yes, it’s more expensive than rivals such as the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf. And it only uses premium fuel. Than its predecessor and I reckon it’ll find a lot more buyers.