ST Line Focus
You know the way it is when you grab a bar of chocolate you haven't eaten for a long time and suddenly, you are reminded of just how good it tastes. Like, it's been there all along, but you just simply haven't bought one for a long time. And then, Eureka, its fabulous once again.
Well, it was a bit like that when The Tipperary Star took possession of a new ST Line Ford Focus from Barlo Motors, Racecourse Road, Thurles this week. The Focus has been around for ages and our last review of the car was some time ago. But, a quick glance at the ST Line and after just a short journey, we were smitten all over again.
This particular 1.5 litre diesel manual transmission version was black and looked totally cool. "It looks all Darth Vader," said excited sales executive Colin Gilsenan at the handover. And you know, it was hard to argue with him. The darkened rear windows, the slinky exterior and the lower profile certainly made the ST Line look futuristic. And, driving it proved out of this world.
Not only do you get a warehouse full of technology on-board - voice recognition, touchscreen controls, a fabulous sound system - the list goes on and on, but you also get pretty straight forward operational instructions. You don't necessarily require a degree in physics or mathematics to work out this beast - a simple degree in common sense will suffice, thank you very much. Some cars are now so complicated that drivers are afraid to use half of the technology - and that's only the half they know about!!
As with most cars, it's comfort and drive which really count. The St Line scores very high in both departments. The seating is multi-adjustable, firm and very easy to shape to suit your own profile, while the drive is, well, superb actually.
Road holding is as good as anything you will come across - the 17 inch alloy wheels certainly help in this department - while pickup and zip is top class, even with a few passangers in the back seat. This vehicle comfortably seated three children in the back, although to be honest it is more likely to attract the singletons or those who are more into their image, than the family customer.
The St Line Focus starts at €28,600 and considering the price range of many of its competitors, it is very keenly and sensibly priced. Ford has been criticised for the pricing of the Ford Edge, but that's not a criticism that can be levelled at the company for the St Line Focus, that's for sure.
The sales team in Barlo Motors are excited about the prospects of this car and it's hard to blame them. Not only is it a very attractive looking sporty vehicle, it has the credentials to back up its boasts.
Incidentally, Barlo Motors has made it into a prestigious list of the top car dealers compiled by the Auto Express magazine which surveyed Ireland the UK. Considering their state-of-the-art dealerships in Thurles, Clonmel and Kilkenny it's hardly a big surprise, but certainly worthy of mention and congratulations.
As for the ST Line Focus - if you are in the market, why not give it a whirl. Unfortunately though, like us, you will be required to return the car from test drive at some stage.