I picked up the 2014 Ford Focus ST Manual Transmission from the Universal Ford dealership in Calgary to test drive it under highway and city driving conditions.
And she was a babe! Actually I refer to it now as the BABE.
I always imagined the Focus as the small car they gave for Economy size vehicles at car rentals and was the vehicle that you always had to pass when driving on the highway. Not for checking out its looks, but for its tepid speed in front of you. But that was an eon ago.
The model has undergone extensive re-design, to say the least. The Turbocharged, 252-horsepower direct-injection 2.0L EcoBoost®engine was just smokin’.
Despite that the length 14 feet long and height is just 4.8 inches, it accommodate an average size person (5′ 11″ and 170 lbs) quite well without having that “cramped” feel of the small vehicles within its class.
The all leather interior and slick vinyl makes you feel you sat in a premium segment vehicle. But the best part of the experience is the snuggest feel I have ever had in any vehicle.
The Recaro seats are ergonomically designed to adapt to the contours of the body and does not need cumbersome adjustments of knobs and dials (remember those! yuck)
Rear seating remains a tight spot for daddy-long-legs, but good enough to fit the kids or your pet/s.
The muscular, high-performance exhaust system features a central dual-pipe design equipped with a sound symposer box, designed to enrich the natural sounds of the vehicle.
These 18-inch aluminum wheels with unique Y-spoke design will turn heads. I just couldn’t get over the wheels.
I had the vehicle for one week and drove on both City and Highway roads. The performance was really good but that is expected given the overall size of the vehicle in comparison to the powerful engine. The car feels sturdy and strong (unlike older models of the Focus) and there was not much under-steer when making tight corners. Those who have driven the Mini Cooper will appreciate the chutzpah of this small vehicle.
I did not experience any difference in driving performance in ‘Sport’ mode to be honest. All it is really is the traction control turned off. Also the reversing using the stick takes some getting used to as it is not designed intuitively – one has to lift up a knob at the top of the lever and push the stick in first gear. As you can see, this is not intuitive and can be potentially dangerous. I encountered at least three occasions where I intended to reverse, but did not press the lift-up knob hard enough, and almost ended up with front collision.
As much as I enjoyed driving the Ford Focus ST, I would personally prefer the smoother ride of a sedan, such as the Ford Fusion [my readers know just how much I am in love with it so, Yes!, I am biased] or maybe even the Ford Focus 4-door model. The Focus ST is not trying to be a blend of compact and sporty by any means – the BABE is clearly in the class of a true sports car.
Check out this 3-minute video showcasing the smoothness of the ST’s voice activated command system.
Disclaimer: This review is made voluntarily and I was not compensated in any form by Ford Canada or its affiliates. All opinion here are my own.
The Bunny in a Ford will return soon in a new Ford vehicle coming to this neighborhood soon.