Review: Ford Focus

The Ford Focus jostles with its sibling, the Ford Fiesta, for the title of the best selling car in Britain, and has a reputation as a reliable and accessible vehicle. The latest model tries not to compromise this reputation (or these sales figures!) by not making any dramatic changes.

Ford have made subtle adjustments to the car’s body, making it appear more streamlined and elegant. The bonnet and tailgate have been made to look neater and the grille is sharper, which all come together to make for a sophisticated look. As for the interior, the centre console—an area where the previous model had been criticised—has been upgraded to a modern device with the introduction of the highly competent “Sync 2” voice control system, allowing for a reduction in dashboard buttons. It’s plain that Ford have invested more money into the materials used in the interior, and it shows. It not only looks better, it’s more comfortable, too. Sadly they didn’t find a way increase boot-size. The legroom also remains the same, but that was never a problem with the previous model.

Changes to the chassis allow for new damper settings and firmer suspension bushes and overall improved suspension, and this is an improvement that you really notice as you steer around bends with a heavy load or on bumpy roads. The driving experience seems more lively and yet no less stable.

There is a wide range of engines; combining them with different gear-boxes and power outputs, customers have as many as nineteen options to choose from. If customers can afford an £18-19,000 price tag (depending on other features chosen) they could go for the new 1.0 litre, three-cylinder, Ecoboost petrol engine, which can have 100bhp or 125bhp power output and 5- speed or 6-speed manual transmission. This will be a popular option and is the first non-hybrid, petrol engine in Europe to go below 100g/ km in CO2 emissions. The 1.5 litre, four-cylinder, Ecoboost turbo petrol engine is more of a powerhouse, with 148bhp or 180bhp options, which provide generous torque (240nm) while also feeling balanced when changing gears. The new fourcylinder, TDCi diesel engine has low fuel consumption, ranging from 65-90mpg, depending on which option you choose. These engines can also be made to go below 100g/ km in CO2 emissions—one of the 1.5 litre engines reportedly does 88g/ km.

While it now has steeper competition, such as the Vauxhall Astra or Mazda 3, the new Focus has endured positive tweaks while keeping what made it a market leader.

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