THE Ford Focus ST is a superb all-rounder and ranks as one of the best hot hatches that money can buy.
It is a great package with a lot of standard kit and it also boasts a sweet chassis that helps it to stand out from its competition as it handles superbly.
It also has more power than the competition thanks to its 2.3-litre petrol engine which produces 280ps.
That means it is good for 0-62mph in a blistering 6.0 seconds before going on to a top speed of 155mph. There is also a diesel option which can tackle the sprint in 7.6 seconds and has a top speed of 137mph and is considerably more economical.
The ST offers dramatic sporting lines with side skirts, 19-inch Magnetite alloys, low profile tyres and rear spoiler. In other words it looks the business.
It also comes in some really loud colours if you want to stand out even more but this car was finished in tasteful Fantastic Red at an extra £800 cost.
The sports theme continues inside with comfortable high backed black Recaro sports seats, a chunky, flat-bottomed leather steering wheel and a large central touch screen which controls most features.
You also get a head-up display which helps you keep your eye on the road and all the necessary creature comforts like dual air conditioning, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, heated steering wheel, navigation, reversing camera, privacy glass, rain sensing wipers, power folding mirrors with puddle lights, front and rear parking sensors and a superb B&O sound system with 10 speakers and 675 watts.
The ST also comes with keyless entry and push button start/stop, alloy pedals as well as Ford's brilliant Quickclear heated windscreen.
Other features include red brake calipers, a unique grille, full bodystyling kit, ST badging, sports suspension, Ford SYNC 3 and a driver assistance pack which includes traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control and auto high beam.
The ST is fantastic to drive and handles brilliantly. My car came with the 7-speed automatic box and it combines well with the power plant.
The steering is pin sharp and while the ride is firm it is not uncomfortable. The ST corners as if it is on rails and there is stacks of grip even in very wet conditions.
As you would expect the ST is crammed with all the latest safety equipment and if you wish you can add a Ford Performance Pack which gives you an additional track driving mode, shift indicator, launch control, rev matching and multi-colour ambient light for an additional £800.
A blind spot information system costing £400 is also worth investing in.