A revvy delight: the new Ford Focus
A revvy delight: the new Ford Focus

Ford Focus, motoring review: Less is more for this ubiquitous car. But you knew that

 

Jamie Merrill
Thursday 12 February 2015 01:00
Comments

Price £23,520
Engine capacity 1.5-litre petrol
Power output (bhp@rpm) 182@6,000
Top speed (mph) 138
Fuel economy (mpg) 51.4
Co2 emissions (g/km) 127

Despite its challengers – and there are many – the Ford Focus is still ubiquitous on British roads today. Look back 20 years and that automotive honour was held by its big brother, the Ford Mondeo, which was made famous by Tony Blair, Mondeo Man and some ideas about Middle England that now seem slightly misguided.

By the end of the Blair era, however, the Mondeo's sales figures were dropping, as Britain opted for imported crossovers instead of traditional saloons.

Quietly, though, the Focus (along with its smaller sister, the Fiesta) has continued to put Ford at the top of new-car sales charts. And, not content to rest on its laurels, Ford has just released its latest model. The formula is much the same as with previous revamps, with streamlined yet familiar looks, and a selection of increasingly efficient engines, plus a few technological advancements, including some self-parking wizardry and lane-departure warning (radar to cover your blindspot) in the more expensive models.

My test model was the top-of-the-range Titanium X model, the most powerful petrol model, with alloy wheels, LED running lights, heated seats, a touchscreen display with DAB and (fiddly) satellite navigation. It's fairly standard practice for car companies to load journalists' test cars with goodies, too, so mine also got metallic paint, privacy glass, key-free entry, the lane-departure warning and even a heated steering wheel. This pushed the price up to a £26,100 – which seems a lot for a Ford Focus.

That said, the pokey 1.5l petrol engine is a revvy delight, especially when combined with Ford's chassis set-up and suspension. Frankly, there are few modern family cars that are as composed as the Focus in a straight line or as nimble in the corners. Sure, Hyundai and Skoda make cars with marginally better infotainment systems and arguably plusher entry-level cabins, but they don't drive like a Ford.

As if to prove this, a week after driving my test model I came across a basic model at a hire-car counter (bonus points to the hire company for getting it so quickly). The truth is, I preferred its simplicity, lack of expensive gadgets and keen price. When it comes to the Focus, less is more. But judging by Ford's sales figures, you knew that already.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in