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2019 Ford Focus ST-Line Review | carsales

2019 Ford Focus ST-Line Review | carsales

Bigger, smarter, and safer, the new German
Ford Focus close the gap with a small car benchmark, the Volkswagen Golf. The challenge is convincing Aussie buyers
this is the real deal. First impression, well it’s off to a very
good start. The new Focus has a mature, sophisticated
feel about the way it sits on the road. It’s refined and it’s quiet and it feels
more like a luxury car than a bulk standard small car. Okay, so Focus is more expensive now but the
extra coin buys you a more efficient new engine hooked up to a smooth 8-speed automatic gear
box. The new 1.5-litre turbo petrol three-cylinder
engine is torquey and characterful. I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s an exceptional
engine but it comes really close. I’m really impressed with its breadth of
capability. At low revs it’s tractable and quiet but
feels muscular at high revs when the turbo kicks in, which is good for overtaking slower
traffic on the highway. And it won’t suck down too much juice either. Based on an all new platform, the car has
good ride comfort and is a great daily driver. That’s impressive given this ST-Line wagon
has a lower sportier suspension than other model grades. But what exactly does ST-Line mean? Well, you get hot hatch looks without the
high price. Or the scorching performance. But I’ve got to say, I’m really impressed
with the way the Focus drives. It can be fun and engaging yet it’s never
a chore to operate, even in traffic. And although it’s chockfull of tech, you
don’t feel overwhelmed by it. This model is optioned with the driver assist
package which automatically brakes and accelerates the car and keeps it in the corners, as you
can see here. And it’s one of the best systems I’ve
used. I mean look at this. It’s driving around corners for me. Autonomous emergency breaking is standard,
as is lane keep assist. Parking sensors and a reversing camera are
always useful. And the new Focus has a maximum possible 5-star
NCAP safety rating. I really like the interior design. It’s tasteful but without being too tacky. Every model comes with this lovely 8-inch
touch screen system and it comes with voice control and all the usual smartphone mirroring
systems like Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Ford has also ditched the traditional gear
stick and have replaced it with this little dial here and it looks kind of elegant and
also opens up a bit more space here. The seats are supportive and the instrument
panel is easy to read. Climate controls are intuitive and little
touches like automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers and self-dimming rear-view mirror on
all models is very tidy. There’s plenty of storage solutions, cup
holders, door pockets but the only quibble I have with the interior are the steering
wheel buttons. There’s just so many of them. It requires a diet of premium petrol and only
has a space-saver spare tyre but the ST-Line Wagon also adds red stitching, a flat-bottom
steering wheel and alloy pedals. On the outside it looks athletic with a sporty
looking body kit, this one has optional 18-inch alloy wheels. Chuck in keyless entry and engine start, plus
wireless phone charging, and there’s not a lot you can want for here. The boot is actually more practical than some
SUVs. You’ve got these two fold-out shopping bag
hooks, there are four cargo tie-down hooks, a hidden floor, the cargo blind and easy folding
rear seats that more than double the cargo space. Criticisms are few and far between. Yes, it’s more expensive than rivals such
as the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf and it only uses premium fuel. But if first impressions are anything to go
by, the new Ford Focus deserves to do better than its predecessor and I reckon it’ll
find a lot more buyers.

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