Tim Tests a Trio of Fords
By motoring editor, Tim Barnes-Clay. Follow Tim on Instagram @tbarnesclay
Ford’s fresh Fiesta ST is a fearless hot hatch with a 200ps slab of power under the bonnet. It also wears a self-assured body kit and has a flashy interior with a sporty, flat-bottomed steering wheel.
The ST’s seats are very supportive, the view all-around is first-rate, and the eight-inch touchscreen is stress-free to use.
The Fiesta ST-2 three-door variant, in the spotlight here, has enough room in the back for two adults – meaning there’s a lot of space for younger children. The load area is also bigger compared with the retreating Fiesta model. At 292-litres it will just about swallow a week’s worth of shopping.
As you would anticipate, the regular Fiesta’s body has been jazzed up for the ST, and it’s now 14 per cent stiffer due to some additional bracing on the Ford’s underside. At the rear, there’s a new stiff twist-beam torsion bar, and there’s an entirely new steering rack at the front. These are the most radical parts of their type ever installed into an on-road performance Ford. The steering is also 14 per cent quicker than the withdrawing Fiesta ST200.
The Blue Oval’s fierce little beast fires from 0-62mph in a mere 6.5 seconds and has a maximum speed of 144mph.
Certainly, the Ford Fiesta ST is a talented hot-hatch that represents top value performance for daily amusement.
Offering generous space for five passengers and ample luggage, the KA+ Active is available with technologies including Ford’s SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps.
The KA+ Active also delivers a choice of petrol and diesel powertrains. This includes Ford’s new refined and fuel-efficient 1.2-litre, three-cylinder Ti-VCT (Twin independent Variable Camshaft Timing) petrol engine offering 70PS or 85PS, and Ford’s 95PS 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine designed to meet the needs of higher-mileage drivers.
The KA+ Active features a ride height raised by 23mm and exterior styling enhanced with additional rocker and wheel-arch mouldings, a unique black finish for the upper and lower front grilles and roof rails for carrying bikes and sports equipment. Further exclusive specification for the KA+ Active includes unique 15-inch alloy wheels and Canyon Ridge bronze metallic exterior paint colour.
The KA+ Active cabin is enhanced with Active-embossed scuff plates and a unique to Active leather steering wheel design incorporating cruise control switches and featuring Sienna Hazel stitching. Front and rear seats feature unique fabric designs with Sienna Hazel stripes and matching stitching, and all-weather mats for both the cabin and cargo area will protect the interior from muddy shoes and boots.
All KA+ Active models offer a comprehensive standard specification including power front windows and door mirrors, remote central locking, Hill Start Assist, Speed Limiter, and Ford Easy Fuel. The engine now starts with the push of a button, and the boot space is easy to access with a tailgate-mounted switch for easy opening, in addition to the interior release accessible from the driver’s seat.
A spacious interior allows a 6.5ft tall passenger to sit behind a driver of a similar height comfortably. Further practicality is offered with rear seats that split 60/40 to fit larger loads. What’s more, six airbags, Electronic Stability Control and a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System protect occupants.
Ford Focus Titanium X 1.0-litre Ecoboost
The 1.0-litre three-cylinder 125ps Ecoboost engine is the most popular selling Focus in the UK.
The powerplant pulls with a determination that calls into question its diminutive size, and the six-speed manual gearbox shifts sweetly.
Undeniably, there was never much amiss with the way the old model drove, but extra effort has been made to give this new Focus more of a high-class feel.
There’s good space for both rear and front occupants, and in Titanium X guise, the Focus brings lots of stock kit. Furthermore, the latest Sync 3 infotainment system covers all the fundamentals comprehensively and is used via an 8.0-inch touchscreen.
There’s no doubt that the new Focus is a top car – it’s just not a motor you’d buy if you want to stand out from the crowd. Some would say that’s a good thing, though.