Holy Hot Hatch! Ford Focus ST

It has long been the argument that there should be a broader choice of car on the Scheme, perhaps a few sporty cars for those fortunate to be able to enjoy the firmest of suspension and the neatness of a sports seat, well you can stop holding your breath because as with busses – two have come along at once.

Ford Focus ST motability cars

Ford Focus ST

Of course there is a compromise, the 247hp petrol engine ST is not on the scheme but the two litre diesel with 182 hp offering 0-62 in 8.1 seconds and a claimed economy of 67.3 miles per gallon as both a hatchback or the super looking estate may just be the best all round car on the Scheme, it can carry all your shopping, is a comfortable runaround and even the grumpiest of teenager would be happy to see you roll up at the school gate in a Focus ST.

 

Ford Focus ST motability carTo drive the ST is a treat, it is as balanced a car as it is engaging, the firm suspension is not uncomfortable but feels necessary, there is plenty of power from the diesel and mid range torque is excellent, the engine sounds fantastic too due to a sound symposia that has been fitted to enhance the engine note. This delivers a purposeful, growling soundtrack that will no doubt please fast Ford enthusiasts.

 

Ford Focus ST motability car dashThe sporty theme is continued on the inside of the Focus ST, too. Every car is kitted out with a wide range of standard kit including front Recaro sports seats, contrast piping, carbon fibre trim, extra gauges on the dash, a sports steering wheel, metal pedals, a metal gear lever and a generous distribution of ST badges throughout the cabin. Further up the range, Ford gives the Focus ST-2 half leather trim, dual climate control and a heated windscreen, the ST3 adds Bi-xenon headlights, cruise control and metallic alloy wheels with red painted brake callipers.

The ST is now available as a six speed manual or a Powershift automatic. Q3 Summer 2017 Prices start at £1195 (£141 wpms) for the ST2 (with nav) Hatchback or £1795 (£741 wpms) for the ST3 (with nav).  The Estate version is a £100 extra on the Advance payment but only now in ST2. The Automatic ST2 or ST3 is £500 extra.

 

Fiat Abarth 500 Motability car595 Abarth

The 595 Abarth has a 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine producing 145 bhp as a five speed manual or robotised sequential automatic with steering wheel mounted paddles. You’ll hit 62mph in 7.8 seconds while still return 47.1 miles per gallon and the top speed of 127 mph can be reached without too much of a struggle. The engine revs quite freely, which makes it a fun car to drive – and fun, rather than outright performance is the key to understanding the Abarth.

 

Fiat Abarth 500 Motability car dash

Internally there is no doubt that you are in an Abarth, while the layout remains the same as the standard 500, the bucket seats and turbo boost gauge give the game away. These larger bucket seats do eat into the rear legroom so what were small rear seats in the standard car are now even smaller.  There are luxuries such as bluetooth, manual air conditioning, electric windows and super stylish 8 spoke 16″Alloys but the Abarth is all about putting a smile on your face with a free revving engine and go kart handling.

 

Fiat Abarth 500 cc Motability car

The 500C Abarth is a soft top version and nothing is lost from the handling or feel of the car, it even retains a ‘butchness’ you would not expect from a topless small car.

Prices are refreshingly realistic, the tin top car 595 has 145bhp (automatic or manual) at Nil Advance Payment (£59.29 wpms).  The rag top 595C is Price reduced from previous quarter price£199 (£60.62 wpms) as an auto or £50 less as a manual.

 

Vauxhall Adam S motability car front Vauxhall Adam S motability car interior Vauxhall Adam S motability car

Vauxhall Adam S

Even with 150 bhp from the 1.4 litre petrol engine the Adam S can’t out sprint the Abarth, 0-62 miles per hour takes 8.5 seconds and the top speed is down too. The Adam certainly looks the part but there is something special about the Abarth. Priced at £599 (£63.29 wpms) Advance Payment