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First drive: Ford Focus ST TDCi Wagon. Image by Ford.

First drive: Ford Focus ST TDCi Wagon
The updated Focus ST line-up features a diesel engine. Here we test it in practical wagon estate guise.

 



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Ford Focus ST TDCi Wagon

4 4 4 4 4

Ford now offers its Focus ST in 185hp diesel guise, yet it looks no different than the petrol-powered model. A back-to-back comparison will reveal that the petrol model is considerably quicker, but the diesel car shares the same enhanced dynamics and refinement so it's a good driver's car by any measure. On top of all that of course it can return much more palatable fuel economy, while company car user-choosers will be eying up the low emissions rating too. Family buyers that like driving will have noticed there's even an estate option.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Ford Focus ST3 TDCi Wagon
Pricing: starts at 22,195; as tested was 27,095
Engine: 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel
Transmission: front-wheel drive, six-speed manual
Body style: estate
CO2 emissions: 110g/km (Band B, 20 per year)
Combined economy: 67.3mpg
Top speed: 135mph
0-62mph: 8.3 seconds
Power: 185hp at 3,500rpm
Torque: 400Nm at 2,000- to 2,750rpm
Boot space: 476- 1,602 litres

What's this?

The diesel estate version of the updated Ford Focus ST. If you're worried about a diluting of the ST badge by the adoption of a diesel engine, don't click away in disgust just yet. Ford has pumped its 2.0-litre TDCi diesel engine up to 185hp and 400Nm for the ST and it's available as a five-door hatch or the more practical wagon pictured here. Petrol and diesel versions look identical and Ford has even priced them at the exact same point. That means a starting price of 22,195 for the ST TDCi hatch, or 23,295 for the estate. All versions in both body styles are offered in ST1, ST2 and ST3 specifications.

One of the few complaints buyers might have with the ST TDCi, particularly in estate format, is that it's not possible to fit a tow bar because of the design of the centrally-mounted exhaust.

How does it drive?

Sensibly, we drove the diesel estate at the launch before we tried the petrol hatchback. That allowed the former to shine in isolation, because five minutes in the latter on a fast road revealed how much quicker it is. Nonetheless, the diesel model is no slouch. The 0-62mph time of 8.3 seconds doesn't really tell the full story, but the 400Nm torque figure hints at this car's performance. It pulls from effortlessly low revs and impressively doesn't run out of puff at the upper end of the rev counter either. Disguising the diesel note is a well-judged sound symposer, so it even sounds sporty. And at idle, the engine noise is isolated well from occupants' ears.

As in the petrol model, the steering is just superb, despite electronic assistance. New tuning of the steering assistance system marries particularly well with the existing variable ratio steering rack to offer up real communication through the rim. It's wonderfully direct too when you're threading a series of tight corners together. The brakes, pedal spacing and gearchange are all pretty much identical to those in the petrol car too, which is to say spot on for fast driving without compromising normal use. It comes across as a very polished car, ready for hundreds of miles on the motorway in comfort before you take a scenic back road home for the sake of it. In that respect the diesel model is more of an all-rounder than the petrol ST.

Verdict

There's not a duff version in the new Ford Focus ST line-up. The petrol model is much improved and is undoubtedly to be the choice of the keen driver that prioritises performance. The wagon feels nigh on identical and will help family buyers justify the purchase. Now the diesel option is sure to extend the reach of the ST badge further, as it comes with low running costs, more or less the same engaging dynamics and only a slight dent in performance. Top work Ford.

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Comfort

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


Shane O' Donoghue - 4 Mar 2015









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2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.

2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.



2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.
 

2015 Ford Focus ST Wagon. Image by Ford.
 






 

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