Ford’s Focus is still a fine balance of ride and handling writes Suzanne Keane
What is it? The new Ford Focus has been given a fresh new interior and sleek exterior look with a new bold front end.
Who is it aimed at? The Focus will appeal to a wide range of consumers from lovers of sporty hatchbacks to those looking for a practical and economical family car.
Styling? Our test car was a Cobalt Blue Zetec with sports suspension, 17” alloys (€200) and an optional body kit (€2,100) so with honeycomb grilles and chunky side skirts it certainly looked like a hot hatch!
Under the Bonnet? Despite its sporty looks the test car was powered by an economical 1.6 TDCi turbo diesel engine with 115bhp.
What about inside? Inside the cabin there’s plenty of space and the boot will swallow luggage for a weekend effortlessly. The seats are comfortable and the driving position is ideal.
On the Road? One of the selling points of a focus is that it’s a “driver’s car” and while it’s smooth and comfortable on a long journey once you take it out on a windy road it’s agility and precision becomes evident. Suspension wise this generation of Focus has undergone many adjustments to improve the driving experience including thicker engine bay brackets, upgraded shock absorbers, stiffer bushes and stronger welds. Despite the improvements to the structure of the front end it doesn’t feel too rough on back roads. Cabin noise has also been reduced through improved sound deadening in the wheel arches, mirror hinges, door trims, tailgate and carpet. It’s also nimble and easy to manoeuvre around town and our test car also came with an Automated Parking System (€660) which worked perfectly for parallel parking and for pulling out of spaces but was very hit and miss with perpendicular parking.
And Safety? This is where the optional extras really come in. Cross Traffic Alert will recognise oncoming vehicles in a 40m range when pulling out of a parking space and Active City Stop will prevent a slow speed collision. Enhanced Transitional Stability technology intervenes with moderate stabilisation braking when it senses an avoidance manoeuvre.
Options? The entry level model comes with ESP, MyKey Gen 2 and a tyre pressure monitoring system. Upgrade to Style and you’ll get A/C, SYNC and 16” Alloys whereas Zetec will give you front fog lights, sports suspension, armrest and sports style front seats. Top of the range Titanium comes with Keyless start, cruise control and Dual Zone A/C.
Will it break the bank? The 1.6L Diesel engine consumes 4.2L/100km on a combined cycle and will cost €200/year on road tax.
Verdict? The Focus has always been a popular choice in its segment and this new model doesn’t fail to disappoint.
Why you’ll buy one? Driving ability and looks
Why you won’t? 1.6 Engine feels a little low on power
Ford Focus Zetec 1.6TDCi
Engine: 1560cc 4 cylinder Turbo Diesel
Max speed: 195 km/h
0-100 kph: 10.8 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax): 109 g/km (€200)
Model price range: €20,295– €30,490 (Test car €28,755)
No of Doors: 5 doors
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.2 litres per 100km
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 277l
Car Seats: 2 isofix in the rear.
10th July, 2015