Ford Focus ST Estate: Pace and space

  • Powerful engine proves tractable and enjoyable
  • Sizeable load area makes short work of rubbish clearance
  • Fuel consumption still struggles to break the 30mpg mark

The keys to the ST are becoming the most coveted in the Parkers' editorial office.

There is something addictive about its performance but also its sheer practicality without having to resort to a larger, more cumbersome estate or people carrier.

What I love about the ST is how easy it is to live with its performance. Don’t fancy going for it? No problem – short shift and enjoy the pulling power as the car eases along. This is not a car that insists the driver rev the engine to get any form of forward motion.  

That’s not to say there isn’t fun to be had by pressing the right pedal down hard. Again the ST builds power and speed as the engine revs rise that picks up a pace as the turbo cuts in.

Add in the hard metallic rasp of the exhaust note and it’s easier to fight off a grin at the Comedy Club on a Saturday night.

You do need your wits about you though. As the power pours through the front wheels, the pulling power tends to drag the car to the left and then the right.

A quick twist of the steering wheel soon sorts things out. The car never feels out of control and for me it makes the drive all the more engaging for it.

Away from spirited driving the ST’s practical nature is beginning to shine through. A trip to the local tip is a mile away from the glamour of the ST’s hot hatch performance, but with the rear seats folded the commodious load area was more than enough for a host of house detritus.

Annoyingly, the rear seats don’t fold flat as only the seat backs tip forward, which does make sliding and pushing loads down the length of the car more challenging.

If the base of the seats could tip up that would allow the seat backs to fold flat. Less sweat and tears then to load kit into the car.

Seemingly at the moment, no matter what the roads or what the type of driving average fuel consumption is not breaking through the 30mpg barrier. It consistently sticks to between 29.1mpg and 29.4 mpg.

However, I know from when the ST was first delivered some seriously light right foot driving to restrain the ST’s thirst for high octance fuel saw it not only break the 30mpg but march towards the mid-30s.

I’ll be looking to see if the Focus and, more importantly, my driving style can repeat that.

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Ford Focus ST estate view

Boot space and practicality impresses as much as ST's performance

Total mileage: 7,955 miles

Average mpg: 29.9mpg