Best sports car under $50k - Ford Focus ST

RACV RoyalAuto magazine

Focus ST takes a blunt approach to the hot hatch genre with straight-out power-plant muscle – 184kW and 360Nm in fact, which is no laughing matter when putting this through a front-wheel-drive axle. It’s always been the ST’s Achilles heel about how to deliver that power to the ground comfortably. So Ford has worked hard to address this with an upgrade in 2015 that saw improvements to front suspension, steering and driver input signals to complement the stability control system.

The refresh does not stop there. There’s a more intuitive and user-friendly interior layout including an eight-inch touch-screen that incorporates sat-nav, plus Ford’s smart SYNC 2 emergency response system and the MyKey driver profile feature.

Fuel economy is not important to buyers of sports cars, but a stop/start fuel-saving system on Focus is nonetheless a welcome advance, although its fuel economy score is still bettered by more than half the field.

The sports persona of the Focus ST is apparent as you slide into best-in-class front sports seats. Various exterior upgrades and treatments have also been applied to round off the overall sporting package.