6 reasons why the new 2018 Ford Focus is the daily driver you should buy
The Ford Focus hits twenty this year – and now there’s an all-new one. But in a world drowning in SUVs, can it still compete?
We took a new ST-Line model for a mountain thrash to find out.
A gem of a three-pot engine
The version we tried is the 1.5 three-cylinder turbo motor. This is good for 179bhp and 177lb-ft of torque – which propels it to 62mph in 8.3 seconds going onto a top speed of 138mph via an excellent six-speed manual box (pick this one, not the auto) .
This motor is the same as the unit found in the Fiesta ST – and here the news is equally good. As even with a slight detune, it’s a burbling little firecracker of an engine that responds brilliantly when revved hard, offering plenty of mid-range thump which makes overtaking a breeze, while also being fun on the backroads.
Subtle and handsome visuals
When we first laid eyes on the new Focus, we were not convinced. In the metal though, it’s a great looking car. Apparently, it’s a big car nowadays, but this new design does hark back to the days of the mk1 model with angular slashes everywhere, setting it apart from it apart from the Germans.
In ST-Line spec, it also looks pretty aggressive, which makes us even more excited for the ST/RS models of the future, that will, of course, look relatively similar.
Lukewarm, but actually eager and fun to drive
OK, so the ST-Line is the luke-warm version of the Focus family – but, it's something of a riot to drive on B-Roads.
The revised suspension, the slick manual box, and that 3-pot motor all come together to make it fun when you want to be it to be quick, and an excellent daily driver when you just need to get somewhere.
All of the pointy handling
Driving the new Focus on the mountain roads of the South of France gave us a big grin. In the really twisty stuff you can really hang it out there, as the chassis offers feel and grip at the front making it feel properly dialled when attacking the back roads.
All in, the new Focus boasts excellent pointy handling. Show it a corner, and it barrels round like a king-sized go-kart. One downside though is the steering, which can be a bit too light at times for spirited driving.
Less clutter and smart on the inside
According to Ford, they have binned half of the physical buttons on the dashboard – making for a much cleaner and uncluttered setup. They have also shrunk the dash as well, which is a very good thing as the old car felt a bit crowded at times for space.
On the inside, everything is typical ST-line trim, as in it's somewhat sporty and good quality but not quite up to German standards just yet, with some cheap plastics being used. It also gets a futuristic heads-up-display and an excellent B&O play sound system – as well as being packed with a host of safety tech as standard, making it a very pleasant place to be.
It gives us high hopes for the future hot models
Naturally, most DriveTribers and all of us at DT towers are asking on one question: nice people of Ford, when can we have the hot models?
Because, if the luke-warm ST-Line version is this good, then we have very high hopes for the upcoming ST/RS models of the (hopefully near) future.
Now, can you please get a hustle on and build them?
2018 Ford focus ST-line