Which Ford Focus Is The Best?< Back to blog
The Ford Focus is a multi-award-winning car that’s available in a mind-boggling array of trims. These range from lukewarm mild hybrid engines that offer adequate performance and efficiency. Or there’s a range-topping hot hatch ‘RS’ edition which has blistering place and exceptional handling.
Alternatively, there’s the more practical, elongated Ford Focus Estate. This model throws in executive car updates to the standard Focus, allowing company car drivers to get business lease deals on a cheaper car in this typically expensive class.
With so many versions of the Ford Focus available, how can you decide which ones is best? Don’t worry, we’ve put together a blog comparing all the best Ford Focus models to help you decide on the perfect specification.
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Ford Focus Standard
It’s hard to fault the standard version of the Ford Focus when you consider how many options you have to customise it and make it your own.
Ford has done a good job of keeping its popular hatchback up to date with regular facelifts throughout its lifespan. This has meant you can choose between loads of different trims to suit your needs.
Need help deciding which Ford Focus to choose? See our tables below comparing performance, equipment levels and price of the latest Focus range.
Ford Focus Standard engines
Ford Focus Standard key exterior features
Ford Focus Standard key interior features
Ford Focus Estate
Sometimes you just want a car that does it all. This is Ford’s thinking when they created the Focus Estate, which comes in priced at the more reasonable end of the scale when compared to some premium German alternatives.
Trim levels remain the same as the normal Focus range, while there’s even a rapid ST version if you’re adamant on having a good turn of pace.
But what separates the Estate Focus from any normal Focus is a longer body beyond the B-pillar which ensures you get a huge increase in boot space. Namely, 575 litres instead of 273 litres in the normal hatchback.
Ford has put a great deal of effort into improving the look and driving experience of the Focus Estate too. Rather than the MK3’s ‘safe’ family-friendly approach (which we think made it a bit drab), it’s now much more appealing all-round.
Borrowing a lot of nice features from the latest Fiesta, with more snazzier modern styling. There’s even a refreshed engine range and better handling which make the Focus Estate. You can even choose between an extensive range of petrol or diesel engines like you can in the standard Focus hatch, making it very customisable to your needs.
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Ford Focus ST Edition and ST
Ford introduce brand-new Ford Focus ST Edition
Ford has recently announced a brand-new version of the hot hatch Focus ST and there have been even more improvements to its bonkers performance.
- According to Ford, the new Focus ST is the most agile version of this model to date, thanks to a high-specification adjustable suspension and lightened alloy wheels for increased cornering precision and response.
- Real petrolheads can optimise the driving experience of their Ford Focus ST too, with each model including a suspension guide. Apparently there’s a Nürburgring setting! ⚡
- As for the exterior design which is so iconic for all of Ford’s ST variations, this latest Focus ST gets high gloss black detailing, signature ST badging and part-leather Recaro sports seats to keep bums in seats when you’re cornering.
- To cap off this beautiful-looking sports car is exclusive Azura Blue exterior paint which confirms this car’s vibrant, outgoing character.
This exclusive model is being named the Ford ST Edition and Ford Performance have developed the car to be a halfway house between the standard ST and ludicrously quick Focus RS.
Driving dynamics have also been updated in the Focus ST Edition which make it even more sportier than the standard ST. For example, the car has been lowered 10mm at the front and rear for better downforce. On top of this, the spring rates have been increased by more than 50% compared to the standard Focus ST.
There are some clever sports technologies onboard the Focus ST Edition too that give it an extra edge out on the road. Hydraulically-activated electronic limited-slip differential and selectable driving modes (including a Track Mode).
Moving on to the most important part: the engine. It’s a 2.3-litre EcoBoost all-aluminium engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger that sits alongside an optimised air intake and exhaust system with a massive 276bhp. This translates to a 0-62mph time of just 5.7 seconds which is bound to offer enough thrills for even the most ardent driver.
Ford Focus ST
The Ford Focus ST may not be as powerful as the latest ST Edition model, but by modern day hot hatch standards, it’s hardly wet behind the ears.
More subtly styled than the ST Edition and RS versions of the Focus, the ST is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. And it’s mostly down to its agility, fun factor and the same 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine as the ST Edition model.
There are also a bunch of key features which still make it fun to drive, though we’d recommend the ST Edition of you want seriously track-focused performance matching the Honda Civic Type R and Toyota GR Yaris. However, we don’t really think that’s necessary if you don’t plan to really push this car to the limit on a circuit.
Ford Focus ST key features
- 19in alloy wheels with Magnetite finish
- Unique ST upper and lower grille with full bodystyling kit
- Unique ST sport suspension
- Selectable driving modes
- B&O premium sound system and Ford Sync 3 Navigation infotainment system
- Recaro partial leather front sports seats
- Red brake calipers
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Ford Focus RS
We share car enthusiasts’ sadness at the news that Ford had decided to axe the Focus RS, with no newer models after the 2018 version.
Since the first generation Focus was introduced in 1998, the brand created the MK1 Focus RS shortly after in 2002. Ever since that point it’s always been the champion performer when it comes to the Focus lineup – an absolute renegade.
The latest version of the RS comes with a 350bhp turbocharged four-cylinder engine, paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. It had features that other Focus models in the lineup didn’t, such as torque-vectoring all-wheel drive that make it a brilliant car all year round.
And it could even function as a daily driver too, with enough space for four adults inside, plus their luggage. What’s not to like?
There’s also the distinct style. Choose between two paint options – Nitrous Blue and Race Red – and on top of that you’ll have standout exterior features that include a gloss black roof and mirror caps, massive rear spoiler and snazzy blue RS logos on the side wings.
Compared to previous RS models before it, the 2018 model gets a limited-slip differential for the front axle too.
Only the Civic Type R could really match the Focus RS for outright acceleration, with the latter doing 0-60mph in a mere 4.7 seconds. The short-shifting gearbox, all-wheel drive and firm clutch make it ferocious off the line.
Which Ford Focus model is the best?
To answer this question, you really have to think about the context in which someone has begun searching for Ford Focus in the first place.
Is it performance, with a mix of practicality and suitability for daily driving? Because in this case, we’d argue that the Ford Fiesta ST is the best.
Or perhaps you just want an efficient daily driver that has all the kit you need onboard to make for a comfortable driving experience? In this scenario we’d say that any of the Ford Focus Standard models are a great option.
For an uber-practical model with an executive feel without the premium price tag, the Ford Focus Estate would be an obvious choice.
Last, but certainly not least, there’s the nutty-fast Focus RS if you like ripping your own car down a track every now and then.
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