The 2017 Ford Focus is one of Ford’s most versatile vehicles, offering bare bones necessity all the way up to top of the line technology. Choose from a gas, electric or performance engine and sedan or hatchback configuration. With pricing ranging from $15,647 up to $48,418 there’s a 2017 Ford Focus for all types of drivers. This review will focus on the Titanium and ST models which are the top of the line gas engine and performance model respectively.
Compact, performance-oriented hatchbacks are few and far between in the North American market. The top two choices are the Ford Focus ST and the Volkswagen Golf GTI. While the 2017 GTI makes a compelling argument for itself, we reckon the 2017 Focus ST is still the best all-round choice. Performance can even be taken one step further with Ford’s offering of the 2017 Focus RS and VW’s offering of the 2017 Golf R.
Visually, the 2017 Ford Focus ST is a mix between the Focus Titanium and the extreme performance Focus RS. The front fascia was thoroughly refreshed in 2015, boasting longer, narrower headlights and a more muscular hood hinting at the car’s true nature. The entire lower apron has been restyled as well, now boasting one big central intake and two smaller side DLR housings.
Round the back we find similar upgrades. The taillights have shrunk in size compared to the last ST’s units and they also boast a different pattern. The hatch is different to the one found in the base Focus, showcasing its larger roof spoiler and black insert in the bumper. The bespoke 18-inch Rado Gray wheels are the only thing giving away the fact that it’s the latest-generation Focus ST.
While the 2017 Ford Focus Titanium has a less performance inspired exterior design, it’s still elegantly trimmed and put together in a handsome overall appearance.
Ford has done an amazing job updating the Focus’ interior and making it feel more modern. This goes for the entire 2017 Ford Focus range, not just the ST, and it’s a huge improvement over the last generation of Focus cars. With much improved ergonomics, everything is exactly where you’d expect it to be.
The 2017 Focus ST’s three-spoke steering wheel is brand-new, replacing the dated four-spoke unit in the last ST. The flat bottom is nice, but the rack is so short you almost never have to take your hands off of the 9 and 3 wheel positions when cornering. Keeping in tradition with STs of old, Ford left the additional gauges intact. They now display turbo boost pressure, oil temp and oil pressure. The Recaro seats offer amazing side and leg support without being too harsh or uncomfortable for longer journeys.
The top of the line 2017 Ford Focus Titanium includes all the non-performance related options and features and results in a very nicely appointed cabin with all the latest technology. The touch screen infotainment controls most features and helps to reduce the clutter of buttons on the dash, resulting in a sleek, minimalist look.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
The 2017 Ford Focus Titanium comes equipped with a 2.0L four cylinder engine outputting 160hp and paired to a six speed automatic transmission. While the horsepower might seem low on paper, the actual result is a zippy acceleration with a quick response time and a surprisingly quiet engine.
Only with a full load going uphill, did the lower powered engine seem to struggle. However, this was a small sacrifice to make that only really appears in rare situations, compared to the fuel consumption benefit of having a lower powered engine. The 2017 Focus Titanium achieves 9.2 L/100km in the city and 6.6 L/100km on the highway. Our 150km combined test drive resulted with an 8.8 L/100km fuel consumption.
Step up the performance and you have the 2017 Ford Focus ST, equipped with a 2.0L EcoBoost four cylinder engine outputting 252hp thanks to a rather large turbocharger. Peak torque of 270lb.ft. arrives at just 2,500 rpm, but you have to rev it past 5,500 rpm to get the full 252hp. This gives you a choice of either pushing the power and having fun in the upper region of the rev range, or surfing a mountain of torque easily accessible in any gear.
Speaking of gears, the only transmission available for the 2017 Focus ST is the six-speed manual with exclusive gear ratios. The sprint to 60 mph takes just 5.9 seconds, and given a long enough stretch of tarmac the ST will eventually hit 154 mph. While, not the most impressive thing performance-wise, it’s definitely one of the quickest hatchbacks around.
The Focus ST’s handling really makes the driver fall in love with it. You won’t find such a neutral chassis in any other front-wheel drive hatchback on sale today. The ST’s grip levels are out of this world, allowing you to tackle sharp corners at ridiculous speeds. The front bites and bites, with no signs of letting go even at the limit. If anything, the rear starts to step out in a lovely, controlled lift-off oversteer at a ten tenths pace.
10 different models of the 2017 Ford Focus ensure there’s the right feature, performance and style combination for most drivers. Go for the fully equipped Focus Titanium to take advantage of the full range features and technology offered in the 2017 Focus. If you’re looking for a bit more adrenaline in your drive, then step it up to the Focus ST for racing inspired design and performance. Take the 2017 Ford Focus for a test drive and then determine exactly which Focus model is best suited for your lifestyle!