When the first Focus came out its styling set a trend for all hatchbacks. Particularly the rear lights mounted on the pillars of the car and the diamond-shaped headlights, both of which became common on the roads amongst the Ford’s counterparts. The second generation Focus offered much of the same, except it was more aggressive, more angular and muscular. The new Focus continues in the vein of its predecessor. You know what you are getting when you see it: something of a hooligan. It is not pretty, and perhaps it might not age as well as the first-generation model, but it is certainly a hot hatch to rival the, admittedly, more refined Golf GTI. There are two trim levels available. While there is no difference in performance, the higher spec ST3 is R44 000 more expensive than the standard ST1 option, but for that money you get very comfortable: body-hugging leather Recaro seats, climate control, bi-xenon headlights as well as day-time running lights, and keyless entry.
We had a blast in the ST. Much like the Eco-Sport crossover we drove recently, the ST manages to keep us entertained from the set off. Owing to its energetic mid range and superb levels of adhesion on the tarmac, it is easier to drive and more fun than some of the three-quarter of a million sport coupes during the daily commute. And with the five-door configuration and 184kW 360Nm 6.5 seconds
smaller engine, it is more practical too. The Focus ST is a great car of exceptional value. The bang for your buck is about as loud as the Tangerine Scream itself.