Ford Focus ST Wagon lange termijn test, deel 1

Testrijden van een dag of meerdere dagen kunnen nogal wat verschil maken in het eindoordeel. Daarom is er ooit een ‘lange termijn test’ in het leven geroepen. Zo heeft AutoExpress uit de UK heeft de komende maanden een Ford Focus ST Wagon ter beschikking om deze te onderwerpen aan diverse tests.

Hieronder deel 1:

Ford Focus ST Estate long-term test first review

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First Report: We do the maths and our sporty Ford Focus ST Estate all adds up so far

I’m not a smoker, but I am partial to the odd bit of back-of-a-fag-packet maths. And getting the keys to our new Ford Focus ST Estate had me scurrying for the spec sheets, tape measure and calculator.

The Focus is a relatively rare thing in the hot hatchback class in being offered not only as a conventional five-door but also as a wagon. And that got me thinking: where does our latest arrival stand when it comes to offering the optimum blend of a huge load capacity, a high top speed and a rapid 0-62mph dash – for sensible money?

Ford Focus ST Estate long-term test first review

The figures in question, in the case of the Focus ST, are pretty impressive. This £33,095 car has a 276bhp, 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine, potent enough to take it from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. And this in a vehicle whose standard boot capacity of 541 litres can be extended to a very handy 1,576 litres by folding down the rear seats.

Ford Focus ST Estate long-term test first review

Using a ratio based on maximum luggage capacity multiplied by top speed, and then placing this figure over list price multiplied by the 0-62mph time, the ST does indeed make a strong case for itself. It comes out with a figure of 1.273, which means nothing until you start comparing it with other fast offerings. Mercedes’ cavernous AMG E 63 S, for example, trumps the Focus on load capacity and hammers it on performance, but its list price of almost £100,000 holds it back to a final figure of just 0.999.

Ford Focus ST Estate long-term test first review

Equally, BMW’s X5 M beats even the Mercedes on loadbay, but a limited top speed and an eye-watering £110k price drag it down to 0.690.

And at the other end of the scale, Honda’s Civic Type R GT, our favourite hot hatchback overall, smashes through the Focus’s top speed and has it matched on price, but its boot capacity is a meagre 1,209 litres, keeping it down to final score of 1.12.

Ford Focus ST Estate long-term test first review

The closest rival that I could find, in fact, is the soon-to-be-replaced Skoda Octavia vRS Challenge estate, which has an even bigger boot than the Focus and can almost match the Ford’s performance speeds. But it’s similarly priced and in the end, a slower 0-62mph time keeps it just shy of our car’s final tally, at 1.217.

Ford Focus ST Estate long-term test first review

Beyond these (sketchy) numbers, the Focus is already making a compelling case for itself. It’s already found itself subjected to a couple of runs to the local tip, not to mention the annual last-minute dash to get a Christmas tree, and the wide, flat boot floor makes it easy to slide larger items in.

Ford Focus ST Estate long-term test first review

The cabin is big enough to cope with my son’s car seat and, in the most part, the fit and finish are hard to fault, with squidgy plastics in all of the right places. The infotainment system seems snappy, too, and our car’s options – the orange paint, a panoramic sunroof, the head-up display and the hands-free tailgate – all seem like boxes that are worth ticking.

Ford Focus ST Estate long-term test first review

More than the cabin, though, it’s the dynamics that are really impressing me. This is a 155mph hot hatchback on 19-inch wheels, but the Focus’s chassis has enough compliance to dial out the worst road imperfections that my daily commute through west London can throw at it. The low-speed ride is surprisingly supple.

This helps to make the ST a really effective fast cruiser, too; not only is it comfortable enough, it’s also surprisingly refined once you crank it up to a steady 70mph. The engine is particularly polite, dropping back to the point where a bit of wind noise from around the side mirrors and door seals drowns it out. And what racket there is is comfortably surpassed by the B&O stereo.

Push harder and yes, there’s a bit of judder under hard acceleration off the line – a reminder of the torque and power going through only the front wheels.

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