As mentioned last week, we’ve reached the end of our time with the Focus ST, and it’s fair to say we were pretty sad to see it go. Still, we were cheered considerably when it’s replacement turned up.
Our Fiesta ST-2 has turned up in Race Red paint with precisely zero options.
It still has plenty of kit though, including DAB radio, and upgraded audio system, Bluetooth and Recaro seats.
Early impressions are good as we trudge through the running-in period, and there are already signs that the car will be a proper little fizz-bomb when we can let rip. Roll on 1000 miles.
By Euan Doig
Week ending October 11
Miles this week 640
Alas, the Focus is shortly to leave us – sad days indeed. It’s also sad because I’ve yet to suss out the depths of its Sync infotainment system. This is supposed to seamlessly link with your mobile device and make communications and entertainment simple. Maybe I’m being technologically inept, but I’ve never got it to work properly.
For a start, it wouldn’t work when I plugged in my old iPhone 4. It would play and display the tracks but no sound would come out of the speakers. However, it would work when I streamed music via Bluetooth, although this meant I couldn’t explore the playlists via the control system, and was instead forced to experience the vagaries of 'shuffle'.
The second way in which the system defeated me was in the way it would make my phone play songs even when I was listening to the radio. I couldn’t hear the music my phone was playing, but when I activated the Aux function the phone was never at the track I’d switched it off at.
This proved especially exasperating if I was listening to an audio book when I switched off the car at the end of one journey, then turned on the radio at the start of the next trip. The phone would play in the background, necessitating a long rewinding session the next time I wanted to listen to the book. Unfortunately, the same is true with my new iPhone 5C.
Nonetheless, none of this detracts from the sheer joy of driving the Focus. Every journey is properly good fun, no matter how fast, slow, twisty or straight the road. The best thing to do is switch off the phone completely and just concentrate on driving the thing.
By Euan Doig - Euan.Doig@whatcar.com
Week ending October 4
Miles this week 487
Ford Focus ST
There are a couple of idiosyncracies with the Focus that I can’t quite get the hang of. First, it has a start button, which is all very hot hatch. I realise it also does away with an ignition barrel right where the driver’s knee would strike in a collision.
However, I always think start buttons don’t work properly unless they’re combined with keyless entry. It means you have to take the key out of your pocket, plip the button, then either put it back in your pocket to get in the car or put it in the centre console, where it rattles around.
I don’t get it. Am I missing something?
By Euan Doig