Focus ST Diesel Review – One Year As A Daily – Boost And Camber

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OK so a lot of you don’t know but my daily driver is a Focus ST diesel ST-3 in deep impact blue. I don’t daily drive a slammed car, or a race car or anything like that, I drive quite a lot and need something a bit more comfortable with a sporty feel.

I also have a small family and need the boot space and 5 doors, so I really wanted something that ticked a lot of boxes.

Being a Ford fan, I decided to look into buying an ST, I really liked the mk3 Mondeo diesels, but I had read quite a bit about them having EGR problems and injector issues. So I decided to look into a newer car to eliminate the wear and tear issues.

In this post I will go over the main points of what I was looking for in my new car and which boxes it ticked.

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What’s It Like On Fuel?

I drive a lot. I like to drive. Our family likes driving holidays to the Isle of Wight every year and the traveling can be quite a distance, so I decided I needed a car that would return a good MPG, which meant a sporty petrol was out of the question, which I wasn’t happy about at the time.

I decided to look into diesel sports models with a bit of poke. I looked at the Golf GTD, the Seat Leon FR, Audi A3’s, Mercedes A220’s. Nothing really stood out for me.

Then I saw the Focus had a diesel ST option which would return 50mpg. Now 50 mpg might not sound like a lot, but when I wanted to run a focus ST 2.5 petrol, it was a big difference when I run thousands of miles a month.

I would say I have picked a good middle ground of economy vs power, it’s definitely great on fuel, so long as you don’t have a lead foot.

Is The Power Good?

The next point my car needed was mo powah baby!! Although this is something I feel like it lacks a little. It isn’t sluggish, it does have a lot of torque and will sit you back in your seat.

With its 185 bhp and 300 ft/lbs, it isn’t quite a hot hatch for me. A stage one remap would definitely take it into that bracket, giving it an edge over most petrol competitors. But standard, it just feels like a fast ish diesel.

The great thing about diesels is they are great to tune and although mine isn’t mapped, it will definitely be getting one in the future, just to give it a bit more of a sporty feel.

The power delivery on the other hand is for me hands down one of the best I’ve driven. The power between gears is smooth in its delivery and when you are going at speed, it doesn’t feel as fast as it is. It is deceiving.

It’s power in a straight line might not be it’s best aspect, for me, it’s really how it powers through the corners, that’s where this car excels.

How Does It Handle?

The chassis on this car is phenomenal, although they say the mk4 has a better build, I haven’t tried a mk4 yet. But the chassis and handling of the mk3 outweighs most of its competitors.

Having driven a lot of cars, this feels very engaging when hitting corners at speed, it sticks to the road and has no problem powering out of the tight bends.

Although in the wet it is a bit of a wet flannel and can’t lay the power down quick enough because of the torque, traction control will set you right if your steady on the powah.

I do find you get a bit of torque steer when laying down the revs, but I kind of like that, makes it feel like it has power. It doesn’t take long to correct itself and there are mods to lessen the effects of torque steer.

The suspension on the car is firm but it is forgiving. The damping is set just right I’m my opinion. Hitting a bump isn’t too cringy and cornering isn’t sloppy, it does feel level through even the hardest corners.

Although it is a heavy car for what it is, weighing in at around 2 tonne, it doesn’t feel like it, it still stays quite agile and fun to throw around, which is unusual for a heavier car. It does feel light on its feet.

In my opinion, this is its best asset and if you get chance throw one round some twisties, you’ll see what I mean.

Is It Worth The Money?

Yes, short answer, a simple yes. Having bought mine coming the end of 2018, being 2 year old, I payed around £15,000 including an extended warranty, which I highly suggest (parts can get pricey).

£15k got me the full monty. I got:

  • Sat Nav
  • Bluetooth
  • USB / Aux / DAB
  • Full leather, heated electric seats
  • 19” wheels
  • Cruise control
  • Automatic lights and wipers
  • Folding mirrors
  • Keyless entry and drive

There are loads of other things, but I’ll be listing all day long, it is just a great specification for what you pay. For the same money you might be a base model Mercedes with cloth interior. I know what I’d rather chose.

So yes, personally, I got everything I need and will ever need from a car and it is payed for and it will be staying with me for a long time as a daily driver.


Fantastic car, great bang for buck, with enough power for your economy, making this a great all around car, whilst still looking good Andrew standing out from the crowd.

Probably my favorite daily driver out of all the cars I have owned and driven, even after having company cars and cars I’ve driven to and from jobs. Brilliant car and would recommend one to anyone thinking of getting one. Just keep in mind a remap wouldn’t go a miss.

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Diesel Power!


Founder of Boost And Camber

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