Reader test: Ford Focus ST
Egor Oussov, Johannesburg
This morning I felt controversial, wanting to write an article on the Ford Focus ST without starting a fight between followers of VW, Honda, Ford, Seat , Opel, Audi and BMW hot hatch owners.
No matter what performance hatch you drive or prefer, they are all brilliant. The hot hatch segment is a perfect balance of price, practicality and performance that no other segments can offer.
Let’s start with my colour choice, where I went the graceful and conservative path instead of Cosworth Blue or electric orange paintworks. So you can arrive to work without screaming “look at me”, but still end up in a fist fight with another enthusiastic driver who knows what lies under that bonnet and badge - this model being nipped and tucked to make already brilliant car even better.
The engine unfortunately was left unchanged, 2.5 turbocharged 166kW and 320 Nm of torque, but the look and feel of the car had improved, with many practical features and toys that make the car more enjoyable.
The handling of the car is brilliant, where on a quiet mountain road of Mpumalanga, Cape or even Lesotho, you will understand that the Ford’s suspension had some serious work put into it, the speed the car tackles and I won’t even mention the corners as it will be illegal and unethical.
Why Ford? Firstly, it is a bargain without any draw backs or options list that throw the price to a ridiculous level with some of its competitors, especially if you are aware of potential discount you can get from Ford dealers. And yes, depreciation will be higher than let’s say Golf GTI, but when you are potentially paying R50 000 less in the beginning; the lower resale value will balance itself out.
The build quality is excellent with, so far, very good service experience and Fury Ford. And there isn’t a single day where I didn’t have a smile on my face where I activated the beast by touching POWER button to fire it up.
The sound that five cylinder engine produces is the best in the business, the bass note cannot be matched by any other hatchback unless you got yourself the big brother Focus RS, Subaru STI or potential 130i or 135i. The looks are imposing and very manly without being over the top, with a feel of testosterone injection into the ordinary citizen Ford Focus.
A year ago I was never a Ford fan, but I went through a bad experience of trying to buy an Audi S3 that went mad with their options and prices. VW isn’t far away from crazy pricing and I already witnessed discussions of the Golf 7 which is absurd and I wonder how will it affect current Golf 5 and 6 drivers and resale values of their vehicle?
So here it is, the new breed of people’s car is here and unfortunately it’s not VW anymore. And my new year’s resolution is to experience the Ford Focus RS. Hopefully our Top Gear friends will bring it for their MPH show!