Top tips to bagging a great value Blue Oval, the Mk3 Focus ST.
Are you looking for the perfect everyday fast Ford? Is a Mk3 Focus RS above your budget? Or do you demand the practicality of a highperformance estate?
Right now, the Focus ST250 is inarguably the best value all-rounder in the Blue Oval world; with a few choice mods, a wellpedalled ST will keep pace with an RS, yet an early example can be bagged for a third of the price.
The Mk3 ST was unveiled in September 2011, becoming available to the British public on 1 June 2012. Around 40 other markets soon followed – including North America – making the ST250 the first truly international fast Ford.
It ditched the Mk2 ST’s five-cylinder engine (and burbling soundtrack) in favour of a turbocharged 1999cc EcoBoost four-pot; producing 247bhp (equating to 250PS, earning an ST250 nickname) it was notably faster and more economical than its predecessor.
There was a six-speed manual gearbox, uprated suspension, 320mm front brakes and sharpened steering, along with 8x18in alloys and funky bodykit. Enthusiasts bemoaned the lack of a three-door, but the regular five-door hatch was offered alongside a sublime wagon. ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3 trim levels, plus a variety of options, gave copious equipment - the ST-3 offering much more kit than even the later RS model.
ST production paused in mid-2014, resuming with a facelifted version in January ’15. Criticisms of torque-steer were addressed with revised suspension and recalibrated steering, while the aesthetics and dashboard gained improved styling. Options now included 19in rims and 335mm front brakes.
The ST250 was joined by an oil-burning ST TDCi, and in 2016 by a drag-act ST-Line – neither of which are covered in this guide. But if you see yourself behind the wheel of a quick, practical and immensely rewarding fast Ford, the Focus ST is simply unbeatable.
“The Focus ST250 is inarguably the best value all-rounder in the Blue Oval world”