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Ford Focus ST TDCi Estate Test Drive Review

Date: 07 October 2015   |   Author:

Category: Lower medium
Key rival: Volkswagen Golf GTD
P11D: £16,740
On sale: Summer 2015

When it was time to facelift the Focus, Ford decided to add a diesel performance version to the range, joining the petrol ST variant that already existed at the top of the line-up.

Which is why the ST TDCi now offers a car that looks and acts like a hot hatch, while still delivering company car-friendly maths.

The basic numbers for the first Focus ST diesel - although there was a diesel Mondeo ST until 2007 - are a 185hp 2.0-litre engine offering 110g/km of CO2 emissions and an official 67.3mpg figure.

There is also a 250hp petrol alternative, but that's up at 159g/km, and the ST comes in five-door or, driven here, estate form.

The Focus is probably the most overtly sportily styled of the hot diesels, and also probably the best to drive from a sporting perspective, but there is plenty of broken traction when trying to get 185hp through the front wheels in damp conditions.

The ST styling includes body-coloured side skirts and rear diffuser and a rear roof spoiler, as well as interior sports seats that are a bit too cosy for the larger driver, as well as various ST-specific adornments including a boost gauge. Unlike most other hot diesel range-toppers, the ST is available in trim levels numbered one, two and three.

There is a reasonable degree of competition in the fast, frugal and affordable estate class, mainly from the Volkswagen stable. The Focus manages to outpoint the VW Golf GTD Estate and the Skoda Octavia vRS Estate by 3.1p and 0.8p per mile respectively, although the Seat Leon FR Sport Tourer does beat the Ford by 1.0p per mile, thanks mainly to low P11D and SMR figures.

The Peugeot 308 SW GT is also worth a look, but it's only available as an automatic and is the only car of the five with a residual value under 30%, making it the most expensive of the five on whole-life cost, despite being the most efficient. And for those seeking practicality, the 308 has comfortably the largest load area, 50 litres clear of the Skoda and a huge 184 litres more than the Focus's modest offering.

However, the Focus is a fine-handling, head-turning and frugal range-topping hot hatch that makes a lot of sense for both emotional and rational reasons.

Ford Focus ST-2 2.0 TDCi Estate

Model price range £13,810-£27,590
Residual value 33.8%
Depreciation £16,740
Fuel £4474
Service, maintenance and repair £2817
Vehicle Excise Duty £40
National Insurance £2094
Cost per mile 55.3p
Fuel consumption 67.3mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 110g/km (20%)
BIK 20/40% per month £84/£169
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 476/1502 litres
Engine size/power 1997cc/185hp

Verdict


Very appealing in terms of power versus practicality and cost-effectiveness
8/10
  • Good looks and great performance and handling for very low CO2 emission levels
  • Not the most spacious of estates, sports seats designed for a lithe figure

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