Australia’s best cars 2016: Best Sports Car under $50,000
Winner: Ford Focus ST
With the demise of Aussie muscle cars going the way of the local industry generally, the four-cylinder turbo models that dominate this class will be a lot more popular.
Ford Focus ST offers the best bang for your buck. It’s a clear winner in design and function, helped, in part, by the best seats in the class which are well bolstered for good comfort and support. Ford’s clever Sync2 system, combined with the eight-inch touch-screen that incorporates sat-nav, makes it class leader for ergonomics.
It was equal class-leading for performance and braking – not surprising given it pumps out 184kW and up to 360Nm of torque. Performance enthusiasts rejoice as the ST comes with a six-speed manual transmission.
Ford has upgraded the ST’s dynamics which improves front suspension, steering and handling but it can’t match the other finalists for point-to-point precision.
The ST gets lots of other go-fast bits such as sports-tuned suspension, Recaro sports seats, body kit, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights and dual centre exhaust. Overall, it’s a standard features list that leaves daylight between it and most others in this class.