When Ford introduced their ST line of cars last year to celebrate 100 years in Ireland, there was anecdotal evidence that some insurance companies were charging extra for cover as the letters ST are normally associated with ‘Sports Touring.’
But that’s not the case as Ford introduced the ST-Line to celebrate the history and currency of Ford’s sporting endeavours. At present the ST range consists of the Fiesta, Mondeo, Kuga and Focus, which I drove last week.
My test model came in Frozen White, which was very appropriate as the week I drove the car everybody seemed to struggling with snow and the imminent arrival of Storm Emma.
At the launch of the ST-Line Ford’s Irish MD Ciaran McMahon said: ‘‘With the ST-Line you get the sporty looks and the dynamics, but you don’t get the running costs. At Ford, Vignale stands for premium, luxury and style, while the ST-Line is aimed at a different customer. We think we will be more successful with the ST-Line than we have been with the Vignale range.’’
The ST-Line delivers the stylish practicality of the Focus with all the eye catching aesthetics of a performance-line vehicle. There are so many goodies inside and on the outside of the car in the ST-Line that you will be spoiled.
My daughter drives a three-year old Focus with 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, so I am well acquainted with cars that carry the famous blue oval logo. One of the big differences in the ST-Line was that I didn’t need a key to start the engine, this was done by pressing a button on the dash.
The ST-Line offers a full body styling kit, which included items like 17-inch rock metallic alloys, rear bumper with integrated body coloured diffuser, front scuff plates sports pedals and flat bottom steering wheel.
Then there were lots of extras like cruise control (€150), reversing camera (€240) and large rear spoiler (€300). I could probably manage without all of those goodies, but the reversing camera is always appreciated. The boot is a decent size and the good news is that you get a mini spare wheel.
The Focus is a very solid motor and one of the best selling cars in the country. But like many other drivers who struggled in the snow, I found that the ST-Line wasn’t brilliant in the white stuff, where often smaller cars work better. I parked in the Red Cow Luas car park and had difficulty reversing. Only for two young Polish boys, who gave me a push, I would have been in trouble.
Prices for the ST-Line start at €251,175 for 1.0-litre Eco Boost, while the 1.5-litre diesel version I drove starts at €26,220. Then if you opt for all those extras the price rises to €28,065. But as I always say, only buy what you can afford.
It was gorgeous, but at my age I think I could simply enjoy the Focus and survive without all those extras.
Apparently those extras are one of the reasons why we have seen a huge rise in the number of imported second hand cars from the UK. Motorists don’t pay as much tax when buying new in the UK and it’s probably not as expensive to opt for higher-speced car as it is in Ireland.