Ford Focus ST long-term test: report 4

Has Ford replicated the brilliance of the Fiesta ST in its new Focus ST hot hatch? And can it match the class-leading Honda Civic Type R as a daily driver? We've got four months to find out...

Ford Focus ST long term

The car Ford Focus ST  Run by Allan Muir, managing editor

Why we’re running it To see whether the new ST can live up to Ford’s reputation for making great hot hatches and provide better value than its rivals

Needs to Be thrilling and fun to drive on country roads while being practical and civilised enough for everyday use

Mileage 2240 List price £32,495 Target Price £29,655 Price as tested £32,745 Test economy 26.6mpg 

28 January 2020 – Out to launch 

I’m alternately amused and annoyed by the fact that a shortcut to activate the launch control function – part of the £250 Performance Pack fitted to my car – pops up in the instrument cluster every time the car comes to a standstill. The implication is that ST owners make a habit of blasting away from every set of traffic lights as quickly as they possibly can.

Ford Focus ST long term

Although you have to press a button on the steering wheel to actually engage the launch control, the continual flicking from one thing to another on the screen between the dials can be distracting in stop-start traffic. Considering how often I’m likely to use this function (never, especially as we said it was “about as useful as a short-sighted guide dog” in our comparison with the Honda Civic Type R last October), making it such a prominent feature seems like overkill. I'm beginning to think I needn't have bothered specifying the Performance Pack in the first place.