What’s that coming over the hill? Yup, it’s another ST Estate, but this one drinks from the correct fuel pump.
Date acquired November #2016
Total mileage 2231
Mileage this month 1996
Costs this month £0
Mpg this month 27.9
‘It’s not likely to become a wheezing pinprick in the rear-view mirror of more exotic machinery’
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. We may have just said goodbye to a Focus ST Estate, but that hasn’t stopped us welcoming another one onto our fleet. In fact, this will be the third ST Estate we’ve run in recent years (we also ran a prefacelift version in 2013-2014).
It perhaps speaks volumes of the talented Ford that this is the case. Rapid, fun, practical and comfortable, it’s an all-rounder that’s ideally suited to life at evo. As a workhorse, it’s got a lot going for it: it’s spacious but not too big, it’s able to make light work of long journeys, and it’s not likely to become a wheezing pinprick in the rear-view mirror of more exotic machinery when it needs to run in convoy with them. It’s perfect for photographers and videographers, then, who don’t like lagging behind and whose ‘essential’ kit seems to grow with every photoshoot we go on, while the rest of us will want the ST for family holidays or carrying bicycles and dogs and the like.
So what exactly have we got this time? Well, we haven’t replaced like with like. Our outgoing ST was of the diesel variety, meaning 182bhp, 295lbft of torque and 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds. Our new one is petrol-powered, which changes those figures to 247bhp, 265lb ft and 6.5 seconds. As you would expect, the official Combined mpg figure falls from 67.3 to 41.5 (although from past experience we’re anticipating just under 30mpg, compared with the mid-40s we got from the diesel), while the CO2 emissions figure rises, from 110 to 159g/km.
Spec-wise, we’ve gone for a toplevel ST-3 again. This costs £27,900 basic compared with the boggo ST-1’s £24,050 and adds a bunch of kit, including an 8-inch touchscreen DAB system, bi-xenon headlights, red brake calipers, rear parking sensors, eight-way adjustable heated leather Recaro seats, a quick-clearing heated windscreen, electrically heated and folding mirrors, dual-zone climate control, automatic headlights and rain-sensitive wipers.
To this we’ve also added Deep Impact Blue paint (£525), rear privacy glass (£225), 19-inch black alloy wheels (up an inch from standard and adding £575), Ford’s almost hypnotic pop-out door-edge protectors (£85), a rear-view camera (£250), blind-spot warnings (£525), the Driver Assistance Pack (including lane-departure warnings, traffic-sign recognition and auto high-beam, all for £450), and a ‘Premium’ upgrade for the infotainment system, which adds satnav and ten Sony speakers, including a subwoofer (also £450).
Altogether, that takes the price of our ST Estate up to £30,985 – or just £265 shy of a basic Focus RS. ‘Madness!’ you may cry, but in the real world, where a car has to work hard for a living and things such as ride comfort, running costs and the ability to easily carry stepladders, bikes and animals are important, things aren’t quite so black and white. As I’m sure our ST will prove over the coming months.