Review Of Ford Focus ST Diesel - Is a hot hatch really a hot hatch if its got a diesel engine? Well, Ford certainly thinks so because, as well as fully updating the 247-horsepower petrol-powered Focus ST, it's introduced this - a diesel-powered alternative. The 2.0-litre TDCi engine produces 182 horsepower, 400Nm of torque and covers 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds. More significantly, it returns 67.3mpg and emits 110g/km of CO2. By comparison, the petrol model returns 41.5mpg and 159g/km. The diesel is clean, but is it any fun? The previous Focus ST was one of the sharpest handling hot hatches you could buy, so it's no surprise to find out that this thing isn't bad at all. In fact, they've actually quickened up the steering ratio, they've added new springs at the front and firmer dampers front and rear, so if anything it's a little but more agile than its predecessor, but you need to keep your wits about you. Because you've got a few more kilos under the bonnet with a diesel engine instead of a petrol engine, if you pile into a corner with a little bit too much speed, perhaps you've got the traction control off and you get on the gas a little bit early, then the nose will push wide.
Other than that, though, the body control is amazing and the steering feel is superb. So, what about this new powertrain? Well, it's only available with a six-speed manual and that's absolutely fine by me especially when the gear changes are as crisp and snappy as this one. Acceleration? 2Well, it's really punchy in-gear as you'd expect from a diesel, but let's just be clear here from the outset, this performance is quite a way off the petrol model. Thing is, though, does that matter? Especially on horrible wet, greasy conditions like this, it means the whole package feels a lot more manageable so you're on top of the car, you're driving it rather than it driving you. It's also got a few tricks up its sleeve. If I put my foot down, you've got some clever sound simulation technology which means it does a very good impression of sounding like the petrol version. The best way of thinking about this car is probably as a Focus ST-lite. And for that reason, it's going to have a much wider appeal.
You shouldn't get bored of the way the ST looks, either. With the new wide-mouth grille, new bonnet, slimmer headlights and a chunkier bodykit. On the inside, there's a less cluttered and more logical layout, flat-bottomed steering wheel and, on top-spec ST3 models, an 8-inch touchscreen with Ford's Sync 2 system. So, is this diesel more fun to drive than the petrol? No. It doesn't accelerate as hard, it doesn't sound as hard, it doesn't rev as hard. But, it's got other things going for it. Namely fuel economy, the way it looks and the flexibility of the in-gear acceleration and then there's the price. It starts from just £22,195 which is exactly the same as the petrol model. Personally, well I'd go for the more powerful petrol, but there's absolutely no shame in going for the diesel. But may I suggest if you do, that you spend an extra £1,000 and go for the estate version. Then, you'll have yourself the perfect fast, fun family transport. Thanks for read Review Of Ford Focus ST Diesel.