Ford really have ironed out the issues with the Mk3 with this the new Mk4 Focus ST. This model really is the perfect family car, sporting the half leather Recaro heated seats that hug you and give you a feeling of safety, behind the very driver focused, flat bottom leather steering wheel. There is plenty of leg room for rear passengers or child seats with the front trim matching the rear.
Having driven this car for a long weekend it really does tick all the boxes, in normal mode the car has a planted feel on the road while achieving great fuel economy averaging 32+ MPG. The brakes are great and very responsive but then you put the car in sport mode and it comes alive.
The throttle response improves, the exhaust starts to give you pops and bangs and the steering has a more direct feel with the front end becoming very responsive to the slightest movement from the wheel.
The added bonus in sports mode is the rev matching making the downshifts unnoticeable! Having a 2.3T with 280 bhp and only being front wheel drive the car doesn’t struggle for traction as much as you would expect, the front diff is very good at handing the power even in the wet.
With the turbo boosting to around 1bar it's very fast spooling, and doesn’t suffer from turbo lag as a result.
Ford now using B&O for the sound system is a great improvement from the Sony systems in the previous model, pairing this with the sync 3.4 system it's a great match up, having apple car play as well as a wireless charging point next to the front USB port.
Turning circle was one of the biggest downfalls with the Mk3, its great that Ford have sorted this with the Mk4.
Like with any car there are a few parts that don’t suit everyones taste, and most of this is opinion based rather than actually faults with the car. In my opinion I think the car has lost the aggressive look and road presents Ford performance models have always had and demanded.
One part that would have been a big improvement on the last few Focus generations unfortunately is yet to be addressed - is not moving to a reversing camera that is only exposed when reversing. Also, as soon as you have driven on a wet road, the dirt on the back covers the camera, and that can make it a bit harder to use.
However, I'm extremely impressed with the performance and features of this car, and really would highly recommend it!
A massive thanks to Joe for the review and supplying the images! See the links below for more information.