[b]FORD FOCUS ST TAKE CLASS HONOURS AT THE 2006 AUTO EXPRESS AWARDS
Ford has scooped two major awards at the annual Auto Express New Car Honours 2006.
The Ford Focus ST won the "Best Hot Hatch" category and Auto Express acknowledges it as a "sensational" car, but says the best news of all is cost, with Focus ST starting at just £17,510: "Focus ST's irresistible combination of looks, performance, dynamics and price have helped it race to the top of its class"
With UK sales of 3,600, Focus ST outsells its nearest rival by a factor of three to one, with the most popular choice the well-specified ST2 in blue.
This latest award follows the news that the first Focus ST cars to be auctioned achieved residuals of over 90 per cent, scoring an average of 112.5 per cent of their projected CAP value.
The new Ford Galaxy won the "Best MPV" category. The traditional MPV simply could not be beaten for sheer cost-effectiveness and versatility, according to Auto Express – and the all-new Ford Galaxy was best of the bunch on both counts.
Auto Express says: "Excellent TDCi diesels make for low running costs, and the Galaxy is attractively priced," and adds: "No other MPV is as car-like to drive or easier to get on with."
Available in LX, Zetec and Ghia variants, Galaxy shares the latest technology with the all-new Ford S-MAX including new safety systems with optional Interactive Vehicle Dynamics Control (IVDC) and an optional active suspension system.
The new Galaxy has 30 per cent more luggage space than the previous model, and features the innovative Ford FoldFlatSystem (FFS), with easily adjustable and individually folding second and third row seats, giving 32 possible configurations. All seats remain on board, but can be folded down to form a flat and even load floor 2.0 metres by 1.15 metres.