The minute you open the Focus ST’s driver's door, a pair of unique, heavily bolstered, part-leather front seats from specialists Recaro immediately differentiate it from lesser Focus models. These adjust electrically in multiple ways and grip you tightly around the midriff, rather like a friendly bear.
They enhance what’s already a great driving position, because every Focus comes with loads of adjustment for its steering wheel, along with well-aligned pedals and a dashboard that is pretty simple to use.
The quality of the materials is a little iffy, with plenty of hard plastics on show. But details, such as the alloy pedals and ST-engraved stainless steel scuff plates on the sills, add a smidgen of sporting panache and charm.
Visibility is generally good, with thin(ish) windscreen pillars that provide a largely unobstructed view forwards. The thicker rear pillars are a demerit, but then you get lots of parking aids, such as a 180deg reversing camera and parking sensors at the front and rear. Oh yes, and at night, LED headlights illuminate your way through the gloom.
You also get Ford’s latest Sync 3 infotainment system. This isn’t the best on the market, but it’s better than the systems found in the Mégane RS or Civic Type R. It comprises an 8.0in touchscreen with in-built sat nav, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto if you prefer using your phone’s sat nav and apps instead. Then there’s the stereo: a Bang & Olufsen system that pipes a healthy 675 watts through its 10 speakers.