1.5 EcoBlue 95 Zetec 5dr
£18,540 - £31,970
5.7 - 13.5 seconds
110 - 155 mph
85 - 280 bhp
91 - 179 g/km
Fuel Economy (Combined)
35.8 - 80.7 mpg
Good handling; good range of strong, economical engines.
Uninspiring design; lack of feedback from electronic steering
Reformed and refined, the Ford Focus delivers a less exciting - but more appealing - range of cars than its predecessors to the market. Its main rivals – the VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra for example, will be wary of the competition but probably not losing sleep over it. The Focus, a five-door hatchback, is essentially a family car without too much attitude. A good, reliable choice whatever your regular routes may be, but probably not one for anyone looking for thrills!
The petrol engines available in the Focus are 1.0 Ecoboost with outputs of 99 bhp and 124 bhp; a 1.6 with outputs of 104, 123; and a 1.6 Ecoboost with outputs of 147 and 180 bhp. The 148 and 180 bhp models are Ford’s fuel-efficient Ecoboost engines and rather more perky than their other petrol peers (0-62 mph in 7.9 seconds for the 180bhp). Diesel engines on offer comprise 1.6 litre (94 and 113 bhp) and 2 litre (138 and 160 bhp). The smaller of these accelerates from 0-62 mph in 12.5 and 10.9 seconds, and the larger ones a more speedy 8.9 and 8.6 seconds. The Ecoboost petrol engine can boast 47 mpg, 1.6 litre diesel models have a stated fuel consumption of 67mpg and the 2.0 diesel an average 56 mpg.
The Ford Focus is a lovely car to drive in town, on the motorways or out in the country. It has electric power steering, which is light but beautifully precise. Its optional low speed collision avoidance (Active City Stop) is worth considering, enabling, as it does, the car to do an emergency stop if you are heading for a double decker bus or other solid object and fail to react. The car corners well with little body lean and, thanks to its ‘torque vectoring’ system it has good grip; all in all, a positive, if not exciting, driving experience is assured.
You probably won’t love the look of the Focus, but neither are you likely to hate it. Ford have played safe with this model; it is longer and lower than the previous Focus, but a sleek outline and alloy wheels make for a pleasing appearance. The rather bulky nature of the wraparound headlamps and heavy bumper combine to make the overall design somewhat uninspiring; the overall impression is a sensible look for this family car.
The Ford Focus designers have got the interior of this third generation model bang up to date, with a dazzling array of well laid out instrumentation. A rather imposing centre console does not leave much elbow- room in the front – but in all other respects there is plenty of space for legs, heads and other bodily parts. There are 316 litres of boot space on offer, more when the rear seats are folded flat (this is done effortlessly). This is a remarkably comfortable car, with supportive seats and suspension which absorbs all but the most severe bumps; and even the most restless passenger should find little need to complain; drivers, too, whatever their shape or size, can adjust the height and reach steering to suit.
The Focus comes in five levels, starting with the Studio through Edge, Zetec, Titanium to the top of the range Titanium X. All models come with, as standard, electric power steering, remote central locking, ABS, front, side and curtain airbags, capless refuelling system, air-con, electric door mirrors, rake and reach steering column, electric windows and Bluetooth connectivity. Move up through the ranks to benefit from a range of added extras including 16 inch alloys, heated front windscreen, heated door mirrors, leather covered steering wheel, cruise control, rain-sensitive wipers, dual-zone climate control, rear LED lamps, automatic headlight control – culminating with the Titanium X’s power-folding door mirrors, active park assist, 17 inch alloys, heated front seats, bi-xenon headlamps and ambient lights.
The Focus has received five stars in the NCAP ratings – not least because of its many airbags (front, side and curtain). It gained maximum points available for the protection of the 3 year old child in the frontal and side impact tests, and lost only a fraction of a point on the 18 month child testing. Electronic stability control comes as standard. Another plus in the Focus’ safety credentials is a lane departure warning and its ‘Active City Stop’.
The Ford Focus is without doubt a safe option for anyone wanting an efficient, reliable family car; not the cheapest of its kind on the market, but very good value nevertheless. The most economical to drive are the 1.6 litre TDCi and the 1.0 petrol Ecoboost engines. As with all Ford models, a good servicing package will be available from Ford dealerships keeping running costs at a reasonable level. Road tax will vary depending on CO2 emissions – the good news is that all models have a figure under 140g/km, with the 1.0 litre Ecoboost in the road tax exempt bracket. The Focus remains one of the most popular cars on the market and selling on the second hand market, when the time comes, should not be problematic.
Reviewed by cars2buy
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