The ST is the hottest version of the current model Ford Focus offered to date. It won't ultimately be the most powerful -- a fire-breathing, rear-wheel drive RS will follow, but not until 2014. So, for now, this front-wheel drive racer is the 'performance Ford'.
In a break from tradition, this ST won't be offered as a three-door: only practical five-door and estate models are on sale. Under the bonnet, a turbocharged four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine replaces the previous car's five-cylinder 2.5, but it's been tweaked by Ford to offer more horsepower and torque (pulling power) than before.
With 247bhp and 265lb ft of torque it's capable of hitting 62mph from rest in 6.8 seconds. That's not quite the six seconds flat of a Vauxhall Astra VXR, but the Ford's power delivery is smoother, making it more useable and enjoyable.
Mercedes A-Class - Which? first drive
The new Mercedes-Benz A-class marks a radical departure from the previous
two generations. Gone are the mini-MPV styling and proportions of the
former car, making way for a stylish and sleek five-door hatchback
New 2013 Seat Leon - Which? first drive
The new 2013 Seat Leon has a tough brief: taking on the Ford Focus and
Volkswagen Golf in the medium car class. Following the 2013 Golf and Audi
A3, the Leon is the latest car to use Volkswagen Group's new MQB platform.
So it's essentially a Golf underneath, with the same engines, gearboxes,
suspension, brakes and many other components. Can it beat its sister VW at
its own game? Which? was on the launch in Spain to find out.
New Mazda 2 - Which? Car first drive
It’s not easy to stand out in the crowded supermini sector. Does the 2015
Mazda 2 have what it takes?
The car it replaces was essentially a rebadged Ford Fiesta, but the latest
2 is all Mazda’s own work.
As the smallest car in the Japanese manufacturer’s range, the 2 competes
head-on with popular superminis like the Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and
Mazda’s sharply-sculpted ‘Kodo’ design language translates well to a
compact car. The bold front grille looks striking, while a tapering
roofline lends a sporty stance. The 15-inch alloys of our test car looked
slightly lost inside the bulbous wheelarches, though.
A new 1.5-litre petrol engine comes in three power outputs; 74bhp, 89bhp or
113bhp. The 89bhp version will be the volume seller and is the only Mazda 2
available with an automatic gearbox. Claimed fuel economy is 62.8mpg for
the manual or 58.9mpg for the auto, with CO2 emissions of 105g/km and
There’s also a 104bhp 1.5 diesel that manages an impressive 83.1mpg
(claimed) and 89g/km – making it exempt from annual car tax (VED).Inside,
the Mazda offers space for four adults in a stylish, driver-focused cabin.
Trim levels start at SE, then rise through SE-L, SE-L Nav, Sport and Sport
Nav. With the exception of the 74bhp SE and SE-L, all come with a
seven-inch touchscreen media system with built-in DAB radio.
All apart from those two most basic versions also have lane-departure
warning and automatic emergency braking (the latter effective at speeds up
to 18.5mph). An optional Safety Pack on Sport Nav models adds blind-spot
monitoring, automatic headlight dipping and a head-up display.
Family car buying tips - Which? guide
Buying a family car can be difficult. Instead of looking simply at
reliability and how well a car drives, you need to consider its
practicality for different members of the family.
Children, parents and pets all need to be a part of your car decision, so
there are numerous things to consider. Our top 10 tips for buying a family
car will show you what to look for.
We compare hatchback, saloons and people carriers.
Choose the right car for transporting children.
Find out which features to opt for and those to avoid.