What is it like on the inside?
The interior of the Focus since its 2021 facelift will polarise opinion among many (or perhaps you just won’t care) as Ford has overenthusiastically embraced the post-button era we find ourselves in. The 13.2in Sync 4 touchscreen infotainment set-up is the first thing you’ll notice as you get in – it’s not tastefully integrated, it looks like it’s been glued on top of the dashboard.
Ford has done away with the climate control buttons, but given them permanent space on the touchscreen. It’s almost like they should have kept them in place… Changing the fan speed is fussy and making alterations to where the air is blowing blocks the satnav map you’re using.
Likewise you tap ‘Mode’ on the steering wheel, which used to switch driving modes for you, but now it doesn’t, activating a touchscreen menu instead. Then you have to reach away from the steering wheel and jab at ‘Slippery’ or ‘Track’ to change modes. That said, there’s one side benefit for the ST, and that’s that the starter button is finally somewhere you can see it.
What else can you tell me about the cabin?
If you’re an aficionado of STs past, you’ll notice that the Recaro seats are gone. Don’t worry, you still get front seats. Big-bolstered ones that clasp your love handles in bends. But the designer label is gone, because Ford says it can make seats just as good in-house, so it’s the own brand Ford Performance seat now.
And is the ST practical?
Rear space is fairly generous, there’s a good view out because the rear windows aren’t as slight as other hatchbacks. While the 370-litre boot isn’t class leading, it’s more than adequate, especially compared with some of the sportier alternatives that the Focus makes its case against. Plus without a huge plastic rear wing, the tailgate won’t rattle every time it’s closed.