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Look bold and sporty in ST-Line models 

FORD has a wide range of performance cars and their growing appeal delivered a total of 43,800 sales in Europe last year.

Fiesta and Focus ST versions helped the company reach that figure with the hot models popular with moto-rists looking for thrilling, sporty machines.

The extra power comes at a price though and Ford has a line of cars that could save you a lot of money if you want a car with a flash image but don’t need the massive power that comes with it in performance models.

The company introduced a range of ST-inspired models last year called ST-Line, which give you street cred without making as big a dent in your wallet.

You may not get the perfor-mance of the ST models but you get the looks without facing high insurance bills.

Dressed with sporty body kit including a large rear spoiler, a prominent front splitter and special finish alloys, they look the part but cost thousands of pounds less than the performance ver-sions.

The Fiesta ST-Line models are priced from £15,795 with Focus versions starting from £20,845.

Other ST-Line models available are Mondeo and Kuga.

I have just sampled a couple of the ST-Line offerings – a five-door Fiesta powered by Ford’s 1.5-litre TDCI with 95ps on tap and a Focus with the same TDCI unit but with 120ps and they both offer bags of style with great economy.

They perform well too with the Fiesta taking 10.9 seconds to hit 62mph before going on to a top speed of 112mph.

With emissions of just 94g/km it is also capable of a claimed combined figure of 78.5mpg.

It has a five-speed manual gearbox and also comes with sports suspension.

It isn’t as firm as the set-up in the real ST versions so the ride and handling is agile without being too firm.

This model will be quick enough for most buyers, is fun to drive and is packed with equipment.

The starting price for the test car is £17,495 and for that you get sports seats, rock metallic 17-inch alloys, full body styling kit, large rear spoiler, LED signature lights, hill start assist, DAB radio, electrically operated and heated mirrors, leather trimmed steering wheel, sports pedals, quickclear windscreen, air con and trip computer.

The test model had quite a few extras such as heated front seats at £75, a digital audio and satnav system with Bluetooth and a larger colour screen for £400, rear privacy glass at £225, cruise control at £150 and a couple of other extras.

These took it up to the spec of a full ST, increasing the price to £20,090 – still a considerable saving over the real thing.

Inside the cabin is pretty much standard Fiesta, alt-hough there are some sporting touches to help it stand out from its siblings.

It’s much the same story when it comes to the Focus ST-Line – it has all the sporty touches and is also packed with even more standard equipment.

This includes an eight-inch colour touchscreen with DAB and satnav system, emergency brake assist and torque vectoring control.

With 120ps on tap this time, the 1.5 diesel is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and is capable of 120mph with the sprint to 62mph taking 10.5 seconds.

It has stop/start technology, which help it achieve a combined claimed figure of 74.3mpg with CO2 emissions of 99g/km.

The Focus proved nippy enough and ride comfort was good and much more relaxed than the firmer suspension full ST.

This model costs £21,845 with the test car also getting the £550 Appearance Pack 2 which includes rear privacy glass and 18-inch eight-spoke silver finish alloys.

Both models looked good in their cracking red colour and are an alternative worth considering if you want the sporty looks but don’t really need so much power-packed performance that comes with the ST range.