FOCUSED ELECTRIFICATION 27/06/2020 09:56:00
Ford has given its Focus family hatch a useful dose of electrification in EcoBoost Hybrid form. Jonathan Crouch takes a look
Ten Second Review
The family hatchback market segment is offering an increasing wide range of electrified models, but there's usually quite a price to pay for the battery tech. Ford offers what it thinks is a more sensible approach with this Focus EcoBoost Hybrid model. The brand's mild hybrid tech gives you some of the benefits of electrification without the priciest parts of this technology.
When it comes to family hatchbacks, electrification is really getting into gear, with full-Hybrid, Plug-in and full-electric options all available to the eco-conscious buyer prepared to pay the price for the technology on offer. But not everyone can stretch to cars like these. Ford says it can offer a more sensible solution and this is it, the Focus EcoBoost Hybrid.
This model adds mild hybrid tech to the company's usual 1.0-litre EcoBoost three cylinder petrol engine to create a small but significant improvement in efficiency. And, at the same time, a perkier feel through the gears. All at very little increase in price over conventional levels. Sounds promising.
Hybrid engines aren't new in this class; Toyota has been offering one in its Auris (now badged the Corolla) since 2010. But they add what for many buyers is an unacceptably large price premium to cars of this kind - the cheapest, most basic Corolla hybrid does, after all, cost well over £24,000. What if a slightly more affordable approach into hybrid tech could be delivered that would be lighter, cheaper and more driver-orientated? Ford says that its 'mHEV' mild hybrid tech does just that. True, it's nothing like as efficient as a full-Hybrid, a plug-in Hybrid or a full-electric model - you'll find all three technologies represented right across this segment: make sure you know what you're buying. But in compensation, 'mHEV' tech boosts driver feel because it's lighter and it adds a slice of extra pulling power just when you need it.
Simplicity's the keynote here, so the 1.0-litre three cylinder EcoBoost petrol powerplant this car features is essentially the same one Ford's been offering since 2011, more recently enhanced with cylinder deactivation tech which cuts down on cylinder use at low-to-medium throttle speeds. In mHEV mild hybrid form though, this unit gets a lower compression ratio and a larger turbo. And it's been embellished by a beefed-up starter/generator driven by a belt at the front of the engine that stores the energy harvested when you brake or decelerate in a tiny 48-volt lithium-ion battery secreted at the back of the car. Which provides a bit of extra zip when you accelerate (Ford says up to 50Nm of extra torque) and delivers a little electric boost from low revs to 'torque-fill' while you're waiting for the turbo to spool up. Most Focus EcoBoost Hybrid buyers will probably choose the 125PS version of this engine which gets to 62mph in 10.3s en route to 123mph. There's also a 155PS version of the same unit which improves those figures to 9.4s and 130mph.
Design and Build
Apart from the badgework, there are no real visual changes to distinguish this mild hybrid Focus variant apart from its conventional range stablemates. As usual, it's offered in both five-door hatch and estate body styles, with both also offered in crossover-style Active form with a slightly raised ride height. This fourth generation Focus has crisp and pleasing lines and it rides on the brand's latest 'C2' platform, which enables the wheelbase to be 53mm longer, freeing up extra cabin space.
You should certainly feel that inside. Rear knee room has increased by 56mm over the old MK3 model and, thanks to a re-profiling of the rear doors, the rear passengers' heads are now adjacent to glass rather than metal, so they'll be able to see out more easily. Up-front, as you'd expect, it all feels of much higher quality. It's certainly difficult to fault the cleaner, sharper ergonomics of this fourth generation design, aided by a massive 50% reduction in button clutter, with as many functions as possible relocated to the prominent SYNC 3 infotainment screen that, in keeping with current automotive fashion, sprouts from the top of the dash. The extra body length has freed up more boot space too and, unlike most full-Hybrids and PHEVs, it's not reduced in size by the electrified tech. the capacity is rated at 341-litres to window level in the hatch or 575-litres with the estate. In the estate version, there's a class-leading 1.14m of width between the wheel arches a useful 1,700mm of overall load length with the rear seats folded. That means 1,650-litres of space.
Market and Model
Think in terms of a price point of just under £24,000 for the Focus EcoBoost Hybrid in 125PS form; that's with 'Titanium Edition'. 'Titanium X Edition', 'ST-Line', 'ST-Line-X' and 'Vignale' versions are also available along with various 'Active' derivatives if you've more to spend. As usual with the Focus, there's a choice of five-door hatch or estate body styles; most choose the five-door variant of course and if you do that, then you'll also be offered the option of the crossover-style 'Active' model we just referenced, with its slightly raised ride height, SUV styling cues and 'slippery' road drive modes. You can't (yet) have an auto gearbox with the EcoBoost Hybrid engine.
Even base 'Titanium'-spec includes quite a lot. You get 16-inch alloy wheels, heated from seats, dual zone climate control, keyless entry and an auto-dimming rear view mirror. You also get Ford's 'SYNC 3' infotainment technology, which includes 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' smartphone-mirroring and works via a 'floating' an 8.0-inch colour screen mounted on top of the dash. 'Zetec' variants are recognisable by their front fog lights and a smarter chromed finish on the upper door line. There's sophisticated safety too, including a Pedestrian Detection system that can even prevent collisions at night. And the option of 'Active Park Assist' with brake interventions to prevent low-speed collisions when parking hands-free.
Cost of Ownership
We've explained how the mHEV system works in our 'Driving Experience' section but we'll further add here that the belt-driven integrated starter/generator is also able to aid the powerplant's stop/start system in urban traffic, restarting the engine in approximately 300 milliseconds - about the same as the blink of an eye. And the 'BISG' also enables the Focus EcoBoost Hybrid's Auto Start-Stop technology to operate in a wider range of scenarios for even greater fuel savings, including when coasting to a stop below 10mph - and even when the vehicle is in gear with the clutch pedal depressed.
Thanks to all of this, the subsequent reduction in the amount of work required from the petrol engine results, says Ford, in a fuel efficiency improvement of up to 9%. So what does that equate to in terms of stats? Well, let's base this around the Focus EcoBoost Hybrid variant most will choose, the 125PS mHEV 1.0-litre EcoBoost Hybrid manual gearbox variant. This returns 55.4mpg on the WLTP combined cycle and up to 116g/km of WLTP-rated CO2. The 155PS version of the same engine manages the same figures. You'll need some class perspective here; most directly comparable conventionally-engined family hatchback-segment models deliver about 5mpg less and put out about 15-20g/km of CO2 more.
As long as you understand what you're actually getting here - a slightly more efficient combustion engine, not a proper full-Hybrid - there's lots to like about this lightly electrified Focus. That understanding will help put into perspective the fuel and CO2 benefits of Ford's mHEV technology. So you'll be pleased with these efficiency enhancements, rather than disappointed that they're not more Prius-like.
It helps that the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine being used here was already pretty efficient thanks in part to its cylinder deactivation technology. Many of the family hatchback segment models this Focus EcoBoost Hybrid derivative directly competes with on price have nothing like this level of engine sophistication at this price point. Add in this fourth generation Focus model's dynamic virtues and the deal you're likely to get from Britain's market-leading brand and you might well find the overall ownership proposition quite a compelling one.
SHARPER FOCUS 01/06/2018 00:00:00
Much is expected from this fourth generation Ford Focus. Designed from a clean sheet of paper, it looks set to give its rivals plenty to think about. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
Ten Second Review
The Ford Focus has evolved, this MK4 version offering slicker looks, higher interior quality and extra technology. There's also greater efficiency beneath the bonnet thanks to the addition of a hi-tech range of petrol and diesel engines. The best part though, is that this car should still remain as rewarding to drive as it's always been. The Focus might have grown up but it certainly hasn't lost its spark.
It's very difficult to over-state the importance of the Focus family hatch to Ford's European business. To understand its significance, press the rewind button for a moment and shuttle back to 1997. Ford's family hatch contender during this period was the fifth generation Escort, a car so all-encompassingly woeful that the brand was almost embarrassed to sell it. When the time came for a replacement, we all expected something better. What we got in the Focus model first launched in 1998 was something much, much more than that, a car that, at a stroke, offered arguably the biggest step forward in family car design the market has ever seen. Here at last was technology directed firmly at the man in the street who, in this apparently humble family hatchback, could experience a car more entertaining and rewarding to drive than almost anything this side of a sizeable lottery win.
It was asking a lot for the MK2 model we saw in 2005 to repeat such a seismic step forward but that second generation Focus was still quite good enough to remain acclaimed as the driver's choice against rival Astras and Golfs that made up for their dynamic failings with a better ride and a more luxurious big car feel. These were attributes the Focus also needed and when it came to developing the MK3 version, launched early in 2011, Ford tried to provide them without compromising the car's class-leading handling. That's also been the goal with this more sophisticated MK4 model, announced in the Spring of 2018.
Our test of this fourth generation Focus confirmed that the sharp driving dynamics that marked out previous models have been retained. That's aided by the standard inclusion of a driving modes system this time round with settings that can alter steering feel, throttle response and, if you've an auto variant, transmission response times. Talking of autos, there's a new 8-speed self-shifter on offer. Otherwise, you'll be swapping cogs with a 6-speed manual.
The engine range initially looks familiar, but closer inspection reveals that it's been heavily revised. As before, the range primarily hinges around Ford's familiar three cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol unit, which gets a new turbocharger and cylinder head and is available in standard 125PS guise, plus it can also be had in mHEV mild hybrid form in 125 and 155PS forms. There's also a 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with 150 or 182PS. Plus a fresh 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel with 95 and 120PS. And a 2.0-litre EcoBlue unit with 150PS. As for the suspension, well a little disappointingly, Ford has followed Volkswagen's lead in equipping lower-powered 1.0-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel Hatch variants with a cruder twist-beam set-up. If you want the more sophisticated independent rear double wishbone suspension system that's supposed to improve ride comfort, you'll need an estate, the 'Active' crossover version, top-spec 'Vignale' trim or a hatch with 1.5-litre petrol or 2.0-litre diesel power. The top 'ST' high performance version gets stiffer, lowered suspension and a choice of either 280PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol power or a 190PS version of the 2.0 EcoBlue diesel engine.
Design and Build
There's nothing particularly striking about the way this fourth generation Focus looks but the lines are crisp and pleasing, whether you opt for the five-door hatch body style or the alternative small estate. The overall length is 18mm longer than before and the car rides 15mm lower. Or at least it does in standard guise. The SUV-style 'Active' variant has a slightly higher ride height; the sporty 'ST-Line' model rides slightly lower than normal versions. As ever though, what's more important is the stuff you can't see: this Focus rides on the brand's latest 'C2' platform, which enables the wheelbase to be 53mm longer, freeing up extra cabin space.
You should certainly feel that inside. Rear knee room has increased by 56mm and, thanks to a re-profiling of the rear doors, the rear passengers' heads are now adjacent to glass rather than metal, so they'll be able to see out more easily. Up-front, as you'd expect, it all feels of much higher quality - the fascia now has half the number of buttons that were there before. And shoulder room is class-leading. The extra body length has freed up more boot space too. In the estate version, there's now a class-leading 1.14m of width between the wheel arches and overall load length with the rear seats folded (1,700mm) is up by 134mm. That means 1,650-litres of carriage capacity.
Market and Model
The Focus range kicks off with the base 'Zetec Edition' variant priced at around £22,000, before progressing through 'ST-Line Edition', 'ST-Line X Edition', 'Titanium Edition', 'Titanium X Edition' and 'Vignale' variants. An SUV-style 'Active Edition' version (with an 'X'-spec option) and an 'ST' hot hatch are also available. Equipment levels reflect the fact that most customers will be paying upwards of £20,000 for this once very affordable family hatch. Even the base Focus 'Zetec' comes as standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, along with an 8-inch SYNC3 touchscreen incorporating a DAB digital radio with Bluetooth and Emergency Assist. Plus there's an electronic parking brake, autonomous emergency braking, tyre pressure monitoring, Hill Start Assist and a Lane-Keeping Aid.
If you prioritise luxury and you've a healthy budget, you'll like the top 'Vignale' variant, which gets a unique front grille and body styling with 18in wheels, full LED lighting, leather upholstery, a head-up display, a rear view camera, a heated steering wheel and the 675-watt 10-speaker B&O Play Premium Audio System. For sporty drivers, the 'ST-Line' variant offers unique body styling, including unique upper and lower grille, rear spoiler and polished twin tailpipes. Inside there's a flat-bottomed steering wheel, black headlining, an aluminium gear knob, alloy finish pedals and red stitching. Sophisticated features available across the range include a head-up display, radar-operated cruise control, a more advanced Park Assist system and a wi-fi network that will connect up to 10 devices.
Cost of Ownership
Ford has re-fettled its engines in pursuit of greater efficiency. The 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol unit gets a higher compression ratio and increased injection pressure to facilitate this. In mHEV mild hybrid form, this unit gets a lower compression ratio and a larger turbo. And the mHEV version has been embellished by a beefed-up starter/generator driven by a belt at the front of the engine that stores the energy harvested when you brake or decelerate in a tiny 48-volt lithium-ion battery secreted at the back of the car.
Across the range, it'll also help that this MK4 model Focus can be up to 88kg lighter than its predecessor. Around 33kgs of that comes from the new C2 platform, which uses a higher proportion of high-strength steel. A further 17kg of weight has been taken out of the interior, the powertrain is around 6kgs lighter and the electrical system loses 7kgs of weight too. A standard 'Active Grille Shutter' closes a flap in the front gill to reduce drag at speed. Plus there's clever 'Air Curtain' technology that guides airflow across the front wheels in a way that reduces turbulence.
The result of all this effort is, according to Ford, a 10% improvement in running cost efficiency across the board. Specifically, on the volume 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol models, that means a CO2 emissions figure which can be as low as 116g/km, regardless of your choice between 100 or 125PS versions of this powerplant. Combined cycle fuel economy for the 125PS 1.0T petrol unit it 55.4mpg. The 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol unit can put out as little as 142g/km. As for the 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel, well in 95PS form, this unit produces 119g/km of CO2. Choose the 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel unit and the CO2 figure is 125g/km.
Has any car had more of an impact on modern era motoring than the Ford Focus? With over 16 million global sales on the board, it's hard to argue the point. Other manufacturers can better this car in some regards, but they still can't make their family hatchback contenders drive like a Focus.
True, this car is still far from perfect. There are cheaper rivals - and there are certainly more spacious ones. As an overall package though, it remains hard to beat. This car no longer depends solely on handling supremacy to justify its position at the top of the sales charts. Smarter and more sensible, it is, more than ever, number one for a reason.
ACTIVELY DIFFERENT 01/02/2019 00:00:00
Here's a Ford Focus with a bit of Crossover attitude. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at the Focus Active.
Ten Second Review
The Focus Active is the car you buy if you like the idea of a mid-sized SUV but can't quite bring yourself to buy one. In this lifestyle-orientated Focus derivative, you get a higher ride height and a bit of fashionable bling but you don't have to join the crossover crowd to get it. In fact, there are hardly any compromises to make in buying this trendy Focus derivative. And of course you get all the design improvements that Ford has painstakingly built into the current version of this design.
The rise and rise of the SUV market shows no sign of slowing down. But not everyone is convinced by the idea of the Crossover class of car. Do you really need something with Jeep-like styling to complete the school run or commute through the suburbs to work? Probably not. It's difficult though, not to be attracted by the idea of a car that sits you a little higher than the traffic around you. And one that looks as if it might occasionally venture from the beaten track.
The concept of delivering this for customers who don't want to make a complete switch to a fully-fledged SUV is what has driven Ford to create its range of 'Active' Fiesta and Focus models. We're going to check out what the Focus Active has to offer here.
It's easy to dismiss cars like this as purely marketing packaging exercises - and some of them are. At least with the Focus Active though, Ford has made some sort of effort to provide drive dynamics that, to some extent anyway, deliver on the promises of the 'hatchback with a backpack' styling approach. The Focus Active chassis features unique springs, dampers, stabiliser bars, and front and rear knuckle geometries, alongside a ride height raised 30mm front and 34mm rear over the standard model.
The SLA system aims to optimise comfort and response, and features an isolated sub frame that delivers better compliance over larger bumps in the road, for smoother journeys. There's also a selectable drive mode system, with two settings; a 'Slippery' mode which adjusts ESC and traction control settings for increased confidence on surfaces with reduced grip such as mud, snow and ice. And a 'Trail' mode, which helps maintain momentum on soft surfaces such as sand. Engine-wise, there are various options. Petrol people choose between a 125PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost three cylinder engine in standard or mHEV forms - plus there's an mHEV 155PS version of that 1.0T unit. Or a 1.5-litre 150PS EcoBoost engine. Plus there's also a 120PS 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel. An 8-speed auto gearbox is optional.
Design and Build
Buyers choose between five-door hatch or estate body styles. Either way, you'll recognise this Active model by its 30mm raised ride height. And maybe also by its black painted finish for the roof and mirror caps. Black roof rails are standard and the base models get 17-inch 5-spoke 'Foundry Black' painted alloy wheels. Plusher 'Active X' derivatives swap these for 18-inch 5x2-spoke 'Absolute Black' painted rims. Rear privacy glass, along with unique skid plates and side rocker mouldings also feature as do twin exhaust pipes. So there's plenty of pavement theatre to suggest an active lifestyle.
Inside, there are fewer changes with these Active variants, though you do get blue-stitched upholstery and branded door scuff plates. Otherwise, you'll appreciate the higher quality interior delivered by this much improved Focus design. Up-front, it all feels of really decent quality and shoulder room is impressive. There's plenty of space in the back too and little touches help; the rear doors for instance have been specially profiled so that back passengers can see out more easily. There's very reasonable levels of boot space too. In the estate version, there's a class-leading 1.14m of width between the wheel arches and 1,700mm of load length with the rear seats folded. That means 1,650-litres of carriage capacity.
Market and Model
'Active' versions of this Focus are priced at the same level as the sporty 'ST-Line' derivatives, which means that prices start from around £24,000. That's for the five-door hatch version: as usual with Ford, there's an £1,100 premium to pay if you want an estate. And you can have an 8-speed auto gearbox for £1,450 more with the non-hybrid engines.
As well as all the features we've mentioned in our 'Design & Build' section, standard 'Active' variants get LED front fog lamps, selectable drive modes with 'Slippery' and 'Trail' settings and a navigation system built into the 'SYNC3' centre-dash infotainment screen. Anything that can't tell you will probably be covered off by the 4.2-inch colour screen provided in the instrument cluster. There's also keyless start and all-round parking sensors are an affordable option. To this tally, the plusher 'Active X' models add a panorama glass roof, power-folding mirrors, all-round parking sensors, keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers. Inside, there's partial-leather upholstery, an auto-dipping rear view mirror, dual zone climate control, heated front seats and power adjustment for the driver's chair.
Cost of Ownership
Ford has managed to create the Active package in a way that has very little effect on running cost efficiency. So the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in this car manages up to 55.4mpg on the combined cycle and 116g/km of CO2 in manual form. The 150PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol unit manages 44.8mpg and 142g/km as a manual. And the 1.5-litre EcoBlue 120PS diesel variant manages 62.8mpg and 119g/km in manual form. All the stats we've just given you are based on a five-door hatch standard-spec variant (you'll do marginally worse with the estate). And are WLTP-cycle figures.
The relatively light platform this generation Focus rides upon helps these stats. As does the standard 'Active Grille Shutter' system that closes a flap in the front gill to reduce drag at speed. Plus there's clever 'Air Curtain' technology that guides airflow across the front wheels in a way that reduces turbulence. What else? Well we'll tell you about servicing, which on all engines is required every two years or 18,000 miles - whichever comes first. Two pre-paid servicing plans are available; one that costs £340 and covers you for two years and two services; and another that costs £550, is transferrable to future owners and covers three years and three services. Maintenance bookings can be done online through the 'My Ford' portal.
If what you really want is an SUV, you'll dismiss the Focus Active as a piece of marketing frippery. But if you're looking for a family hatch, but you'd actually like a slightly more adventurous-looking one, it may be right up your street. OK, so you don't get 4WD - but then hardly any small or mid-sized SUV provides that either. The same could be said of a requirement for a raised driving position - though this car's 30mm ride height increase does provide a little of what you might look for in that regard.
Overall, it depends what you want. If what you really want is a Focus, this is one that'll give you a bit of extra peace of mind the next time a snowy or icy snap strikes, thanks to the extra traction afforded by its 'Slippery' and 'Trail' driving modes. And it'll fit in nicely on the school run too.
FOCUS ON QUALITY 01/06/2018 17:31:00
June Neary tries out the latest version of Britain's best seller, Ford's Focus
The Ford Focus has always been regarded as a sensible set of wheels, with the added bonus of being rather good to drive. You'd certainly know that Ford's current MK4 Focus is, well, a Focus. The styling is familiar and this is a car that I've always liked. This latest evolution has sharpened the whole package visually.
Ford says the design makes the car look as if it's moving, even when it's standing still. Judge for yourself, but I think it's clear that while this is a volume product, it's far from bland and an even more interesting car to look than the previous model. As before, there's a body style choice between the five-door hatchback models and a smart estate. In all, it's a package that has the looks and the features to suit me.
Will It Suit Me?
I remember the original Focus as suiting drivers of all sizes with wider opening doors and more headroom than the class norm. The latest model expands on this theme, offering an optional electrically adjustable pedal set. The multi-adjustable steering column helps in ensuring a comfortable driving position and Ford have integrated a number of practical aspects from the C-MAX mini-MPV including a glove box big enough to house a 1.5-litre bottle, a sunglasses holder, a dash-top cubby and class-leading luggage space.
The elephant in the room when it comes to the Focus is always its bootspace. You get around 341-litres, which is better than used to be the case with a Focus but is still significantly less than some competitors. Fortunately, most potential owners don't seem to mind and I certainly had no issues during the families duties undertaken in my time with the car. Buggies, shopping and one expensive IKEA trip all were dealt with in untroubled fashion. For the flat-pack stuff, I had to fold the rear bench, which freed up a 1,320-litre space.
For passengers, the curved rear roofline suggests that headroom might be a little compromised in the rear where you sit high-ishly positioned for a good view of the road ahead. In fact though, the extra length and a longer wheelbase of this design have enabled the designers to pull a rabbit out of the hat and create perfectly acceptable levels of head and legroom, even for taller folk. Provided, of course, there are only two of them. As usual in this class of car, three large adults are going to need to be very friendly to share rear seat space together.
When it comes to gadgets, I just can't get enough of them. After all, they really do increase the 'feel good factor' when you spend so much of your day behind the wheel. The plush variant I tested had features such as a heated windscreen, keyless start, hill start assist, a premium stereo, 17-inch alloys, active park assist and heated leather seats. Some of the options offered on the Focus are the sort of thing only seen on flagship super saloons not so long ago. The park assist system, which guides you into a parking space, is one and then there are five systems that use a set of inbuilt cameras. These comprise Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, Driver Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition and Auto High Beam.
Behind the Wheel
Behind the wheel, the quality really is quite impressive and there's a driver-orientated positioning of seat and controls. The engine range initially looks familiar, but closer inspection reveals that it's been heavily revised. As before, the range primarily hinges around Ford's familiar three cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol unit, which gets a new turbocharger and cylinder head and is available in 100 and 125PS guises, plus it can also be had in mHEV mild hybrid form. There's also a new 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with 150 or 182PS. Plus a fresh 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel with 95 and 120PS. And a 2.0-litre EcoBlue unit with 150PS.
As for the suspension, well a little disappointingly, Ford has followed Volkswagen's lead in equipping lower-powered 1.0-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel Hatch variants with a cruder twist-beam set-up. If you want the more sophisticated independent rear double wishbone suspension system that's supposed to improve ride comfort, you'll need an estate, the 'Active' crossover version, top-spec 'Vignale' trim or a hatch with 1.5-litre petrol or 2.0-litre diesel power. The top 'ST' high performance version gets stiffer, lowered suspension and a choice of either 280PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol power or a 190PS version of the 2.0 EcoBlue diesel engine.
Value For Money
Prices start at around £21,000 with a trim line-up starting with 'Zetec', before progressing through 'ST-Line', 'ST-Line X', 'Titanium', 'Titanium X' and 'Vignale' variants. An SUV-style 'Active' version and an 'ST' hot hatch are also available. Equipment levels reflect the fact that most customers will be paying getting on for £25,000 for this once very affordable family hatch.
Even the base Focus 'Zetec' comes as standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, alomng with an 8-inch SYNC3 touchscreen incorporating a DAB digital radio with Bluetooth and Emergency Assist. Plus there's an electronic parking brake, autonomous emergency braking, tyre pressure monitoring, Hill Start Assist and a Lane-Keeping Aid. Whatever your budget, you'll find the Focus cheap to run: there are major components throughout the vehicle, which are designed to require minimal or even no maintenance.
Could I Live With One?
If I needed reminding just how good the Focus still is, this fourth generation model does just that. The smart styling is attractive and distinctive and the cabin now feels a more appealing place to be. There's no doubt the new Focus is brilliantly adapted to the cut and thrust of daily life.