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Other Ford Focus (2005 - 2011) models:

This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Ford Focus ST review.

View all Ford Focus reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
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PROS

Superb handling, powerful and characterful engine, hugely enjoyable to drive, well priced

CONS

Thirsty engine, poor turning circle

Verdict

If you want a hot hatch with character then there are few cars to rival the Focus ST. Ford has a great heritage in making affordable, fun to drive and fast small cars and it shows. Turn the key and the 2.5-litre turbocharged engine rumbles into life with a deep growl - while a quick blip of the throttle is accompanied by a satisfying burble from the twin exhausts.

Acceleration is effortless and feels never-ending but there's more to the Focus ST than just the excellent engine. It has superbly weighted and responsive steering, a perfectly balanced chassis and strong brakes which makes it enjoyable and rewarding to drive on twisting roads. It's comfortable too with a compliant ride, while around the town the ST is as easy to drive as any other Focus.

A mid-life facelift in May 2008 gave the Ford a sharper nose and improved interior quality but one thing remains unchanged - it's still great value, especially when compared to rival hot hatches.

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