Road Test: Sharp Focus

2015 Ford Focus ST Hatchback

April 20, 2015
by Emily Atkins
(Image: Emily Atkins)

(Image: Emily Atkins)

There’s plenty of competition in the “hot-hatch” category these days, so it’s no wonder Ford has upped its game with the 2015 Focus ST.

Earlier versions of the car felt bloated and a bit sluggish in the handling, but this one is all pizazz and performance.

For 2015 Ford refined the suspension with all-new front springs and sportier shock absorber tuning both front and rear. The electric power-assisted steering has also been revised to provide the Focus ST driver with improved steering feel.

These changes do make a for a remarkably improved driving experience. This ST is nimble, quick and turns into a corner with precision and grip.

Add this to the car’s quick acceleration, great sound and nice, big brakes and this is a really fun driver’s car.

It’s also a great looking car, with an aggressive stance and and especially the tester, with its double “Satin Black” racing stripe, that looks like mercury in certain light. Very eye-catching

It’s also quite practical, with a spacious hatch, that turns into a roomy cargo compartment with the rear seats folded down. Space for passengers in the back is not huge, but it is comfortable for ferrying people about town.

Up front, the cockpit is well organized with easy-to-see controls and a touchscreen infotainment system. Connectivity is excellent, and both the phone and stereo sounds terrific. Voice control was not easy to use, and could not seem to understand any commands.

The leather Recaro driver’s seat is multi-adjustable, and extremely comfortable, especially on a long drive. It is oddly canted to the rear, however, leaving no option to have a flatter thigh support. As strange as this felt at the outset, it quickly felt normal, and really did provide good support and comfort, whether on the highway or through twisty, quick corners.

The improvements in the 2015 Focus have really made this into an outstanding hatch with great road manners and enough utility to make it  a justifiable purchase.

As Tested:

Price: $34,814

Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged Ecoboost 4-cylinder

Power: 252 HP; 270 ft-lb

Transmission: 6-speed manual

Fuel Economy (L/100km): City 10.2/Hwy 7.3/Combined 8.9