0208 226 3239
WAS £13,000, SAVE £1,000
The Focus went through a significant facelift in 2014, in which it was given a new bonnet, front wings, slimmer headlamps and a complete new interior. This Zetec model features air conditioning with a heated front and rear windscreen, USB connection, hill launch assist, electric front windows and Zetec spec alloy wheels. The car also qualifies for our exclusive RAC backed Warranty4Life*
Petrol 61.4 combined MPG
Location: Ford Wimbledon - Stock At This Dealer
All vehicles can be purchased from your local Motorparks dealer regardless of their physical stock location.
Best part-ex price paid
Ready to test drive
Low Finance Available
Qualifies for Warranty4life
This new shape Focus has done less than 3,000 miles and can hit over 61mpg. It also comes with a touch screen display with a DAB radio, Bluetooth, and air conditioning controls.
CO2: 105 g/km
Emissions and Fuel
* Price does not include road fund license
Service Log Book
'Quickclear' heated windscreen/heated washer jets, Front variable intermittent wipers with electric wash, Heated rear window, Tailgate wash/wipe
ABS+Electronic Brake force Distribution, ESP with traction control + emergency brake assist, Hill start assist, Torque vectoring brake
Front floor mats
Eco mode, PAS
Easy fuel capless refuelling system, Electric boot release
Digital clock, TFT cluster screen, Trip computer
Body colour door mirrors, Electric adjustable heated door mirrors
Aux input, Steering column with mounted audio controls, SYNC 2 DAB radio/CD, 8" colour touch screen, emergency assistance, Bluetooth connection, advanced voice control, USB connection
Exterior Body Features
Body colour bumpers, Body colour door handles, Body colour rear spoiler, Chrome finish on upper door line, Chrome radiator grille and surround
Front fog lights
Air conditioning - CFC-free
3 spoke leather steering wheel, Centre console storage box/armrest, Cloth upholstery, Reach + rake adjustable steering column
Driver airbag, Front inertia reel height adjustable seatbelts with pre-tensioners, Front passenger airbag, Front side airbags, MyKey system, Side curtain airbags, Three rear inertia reel lap/diagonal seatbelts, Tyre pressure monitoring system
60/40 split back and cushion rear seats with 2 height adjustable headrests, Driver's seat manual height adjust, Driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support, Height adjustable front headrests, Isofix child seat preparation, Sports style front seats
Immobiliser-Passive Anti-Theft System (PATS), Remote central double locking, Thatcham Cat.1 alarm
|Badge Engine CC:||1.0|
|Based On ID:||N|
|Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07:||11E|
|Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years:||12|
|Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years:||1|
|NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %:||92|
|NCAP Child Occupant Protection %:||82|
|NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09:||5|
|NCAP Pedestrian Protection %:||72|
|NCAP Safety Assist %:||71|
|Service Interval Frequency - Months:||12|
|Service Interval Mileage:||12500|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage:||60000|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Years:||3|
|Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months:||120|
|Timing Belt Interval Mileage:||150000|
|Vehicle Homologation Class:||M1|
|Noise Level dB(A):||66|
|Standard Euro Emissions:||EURO 6|
|Cylinders - Bore (mm):||71.9|
|Cylinders - Stroke (mm):||82|
|Engine Layout:||FRONT TRANSVERSE|
|Fuel Delivery:||TURBO DIRECT INJECTION|
|Number of Valves:||12|
|EC Combined (mpg):||61.4|
|EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies:||True|
|EC Extra Urban (mpg):||72.4|
|EC Urban (mpg):||49.6|
|0 to 62 mph (secs):||12.5|
|Engine Power - BHP:||100|
|Engine Power - KW:||74|
|Engine Power - PS:||True|
|Engine Power - RPM:||6000|
|Engine Torque - LBS.FT:||125|
|Engine Torque - MKG:||17.3|
|Engine Torque - NM:||170|
|Engine Torque - RPM:||1400|
|Tyre Size Front:||205/55 R16|
|Tyre Size Rear:||205/55 R16|
|Tyre Size Spare:||SPACE SAVER|
|Wheel Style:||5x2 SPOKE|
|Wheel Type:||16" ALLOY|
|Height (including roof rails):||N|
|Width (including mirrors):||2010|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres):||55|
|Gross Vehicle Weight:||1900|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Down):||1215|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Up):||316|
|Max. Loading Weight:||624|
|Max. Roof Load:||75|
|Max. Towing Weight - Braked:||1000|
|Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked:||635|
|No. of Seats:||5|
|Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb:||11|
Ford's massive-selling Focus family hatch has been vastly improved in recent times and now key competitors like the Volkswagen Golf are firmly in its sights. Jonathan Crouch drives it.
The Ford Focus has evolved, this improved MK3 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 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines. The best part though, is that this car still remains as rewarding to drive as it's always been. The Focus might have grown up but it certainly hasn't lost its spark.
Every once in a while, a car is launched that instantly makes all of its rivals look stupid and old. Ford pulled that particular trick back in 1998, when it launched the Mk 1 Focus. The way it drove was a revelation. Volkswagen had launched its fourth generation Golf the year before and realised that compared to the lithe Focus, here was a car that rode and handled like a supermarket trolley with a caster on the fritz. Volkswagen promptly hired many of the staff who designed the Focus suspension and put a barely disguised copy under its fifth generation car in 2004. Since then, Ford launched a second generation Focus in 2005 and a third generation car in 2011. Revenge must have felt sweet for Volkswagen when it launched the Golf Mk 7 in 2013, for here was a car that turned the tables on the Ford, offering sharper dynamics and a classier interior. Ford's response? You're looking at it here.
Ford has subtly tweaked the handling of this car, making changes to the suspension to improve the ride and slightly lightening the steering. As a result, it's a better long distance travelling companion, though some may feel tha the car now lacks a little of its earlier sharpness. It's still a much better drive than most of its competitors though. The engine range has also been much revised. Let's start with petrol power. Though at the foot of the range, it's still possible to get the old-tech 1.6-litre Ti-VCT unit in 85, 105 and 125PS guises, the mainstream petrol line-up is these days primarily based around the brand's clever 1.0-litre three cylinder turbo EcoBoost unit, offered with either 100 or 125PS. Above that now sits a 1.5-litre EcoBoost unit, offered with either 150 or 182PS. EcoBoost technology is also used in the hot hatch models, with a 2.0-litre 250PS unit used in the Focus ST and a 2.3-litre 320PS powerplant used in the top Focus RS. Those in search of a diesel have a choice between the old-tech 1.6-litre TDCi units, offering either 95 or 115PS. Or new-tech 1.5-litre TDCi engines offering either 95 or 120PS. Make sure you know what you're getting. Above these, there's an uprated 150PS 2.0-litre TDCi unit, also offered in 185PS guise to Focus ST buyers. Otherwise, the only other option is the intriguing Focus Electric model which uses a combination of a 107KW electric motor and a 23kWh lithium-ion battery to deliver a useful 142PS and 250Nm of torque. Many will baulk at the restricted 100 mile driving range though.
It's only when you put this improved Focus next to the original third generation version that you realise just how much more expensive this model looks. Ford's objective was to take this car closer to its arch-rival Volkswagen's Golf in terms of visual sophistication and make switching into a Focus a little easier for those afflicted with any degree of badge snobbery. The most obvious change is the addition of an Aston Martin-style trapezoidal front grille, there to give the front end a more distinctive look also emphasised by subtle chrome detailing and these slimmer, smarter front headlights and re-styled foglamps. The interior has also been given a serious once-over. The fascia design is more intuitive, that button-strewn centre stack and steering wheel being tidied up considerably. The black satin trim and chrome detailing contribute to a cleaner aesthetic too. Many of the controls are now marshalled by the SYNC 2 high-resolution, 8-inch colour touch screen system. This includes voice control for 'easier' access to audio, navigation, climate control and compatible mobile phones. One thing that's undoubtedly an improvement is practicality. The centre storage console offers more space as well as a new sliding, integrated armrest, accommodating a variety of bottles and cups with the capacity to simultaneously hold a litre water bottle and a 400ml cup.
It's actually quite hard to know where to start when trying to explain the Focus model range to an unfamiliar buyer. It is, after all, so vast. Still, we'll do our best. The simplest aspect is the availability of just two bodystyles, a five-door hatch or, for a model-for-model premium of around £1,100, a smartly-styled estate option. Most of the mainstream petrol variants offer the option of automatic transmission too. It's the under-the-bonnet issues though, that require Focus buyers to really know the ropes when it comes to the selection process. Let me explain why. Ford's approach with new generation engine technology is to gradually introduce it, keeping older-tech powerplants in the range as price-leading models there to generate showroom footfall. So, even though this improved third generation model was launched to showcase the freshly-developed 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines that have slotted into the range above the sophisticated 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol unit most choose, the old-tech 1.6-litre petrol and diesel powerplants from the previous line-up were still very much a part of this updated Focus range at its launch in late 2014. That approach allows customers to get themselves into this car at list pricing which can begin from as low as around £14,000, provided they can be satisfied with a hatch bodystyle and the feeblest 85PS version of the old 1.6 Ti-VCT petrol engine. You get a choice of hatch or estate if you opt for this unit in pokier 105PS guise, but by that point, you'd be up towards the £17,000 list pricing point that really represents the proper starting point of the range. All the main modern era Focus engine choices sit in the £17,000 to £21,000 bracket where most family hatchback segment sales are made. To be honest, buying this car with anything less is a bit like buying an ultra-high def LED TV and then using it to watch VHS videos on.
It's obviously crucial for Ford to get its cost of ownership sums right, hence the changes made to this updated third generation Focus that see improvements of up to 15% in fuel efficiency and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions across the range. This is down to various fuel-saving technologies. Take the Active Grille Shutter system. At a standstill and at start-off, this keeps the grille vent open to cool the engine but when you pick up speed, the vent automatically closes, improving aerodynamics and helping to save fuel. Then there's Smart Regenerative Charging, which only charges the battery when required, and, whenever possible, avoids doing so when you're pressing the accelerator. Plus as you'd expect, on nearly all models an Auto-Start-Stop system is included that cuts the engine when you don't need it, stuck in traffic or waiting at the lights. As a result of these improvements, the Euro 6-compatible 1.5-litre TDCi engines this improved third generation range showcases are about 10% more frugal than the continuing 1.6-litre TDCi units they effectively replace. To be specific, in both 95 and 120PS guises, a 1.5-litre TDCi Focus will return 74.3mpg on the combined cycle and 98g/km of CO2. All of which means that compared to a 1.6-litre TDCi model, a Focus with this 1.5-litre engine will take you about 7 miles further on every gallon and can reduce emissions by as much as 22g/km. Quite a saving.The bigger 2.0-litre TDCi engine that's traditionally powered pokier diesel Focus models is now also much more efficient too, offering a 15% fuel economy improvement, despite an output increase from 140 to 150PS. That means 70.6mpg on the combined cycle and 105g/km of CO2. On to petrol power. We'd recommend that you side-step the older 1.6-litre Ti-VCT engines and concentrate on the far more modern 1.0-litre EcoBoost powerplant. This can be tuned to put out as little as 99g/km of CO2 and in the standard model we tried, the combined cycle return was rated at 61.4mpg. The 1.5-litre EcoBoost variant delivers 51.4mpg on the combined cycle and 127g/km of CO2.
'Focus' is the world's best selling global nameplate - with good reason. Has any car had more of an impact on modern era motoring than the Ford Focus? With over 12 million global sales on the board, it's hard to argue the point. What I like most about it is that despite the drive towards better efficiency, improved safety, greater practicality and beefier build quality, it remains, underneath it all, the rewarding steer it's always been - an entertainer at heart. 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, these days not only a fine thing to drive but, perhaps more importantly, also now a fine thing to ride in. And to own. And to avoid a crash in. In short, if you can afford the asking prices, you'll find that here's a family hatchback that has its priorities right, a car that's grown up, but one that still knows how to enjoy itself. I wonder just how many owners will ever discover that? Perhaps it doesn't matter. This car after all, 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.
"I think this Focus is going to be a favourite. It's fast and discreet but seems very easy to live with.."
The Ford Focus is an easy car to take for granted. We just expect it to be a permanent fixture at the top of the sales charts for family hatchbacks, blithely accepting the fact that it'll always sell more than Golfs, Astras, 308s and Meganes. It's just the way things work. There's a natural order to these things. A colleague of mine is a big Ford fan and collects all kinds of weird and wonderful vehicles. He rang us a few weeks back to let us know of his latest acquisition. It was a last of the line Ford Escort and it had a mere 5,000 miles on the clock. Keen for me to drive this survivor car that looked as if it had just rolled off the production line, we met, I had a go and it was absolutely awful. Really, deeply terrible. It seemed that Ford had made a superhuman effort to make this car as ghastly as possible, which takes a certain commitment in itself. When I got out after the mercifully short drive, I viewed the Focus in a new light and vowed to understand just how and why it was so good. So here we are with a new Focus long termer outside the office. It's a decent specification too; a 1.5T five-door hatch in Titanium X specification. Okay, so a 1.5-litre petrol engine sounds a bit weedy but this one's forced induction means it really does punch above its weight. Let's compare it for a moment to the first generation Focus ST 170 hot hatch. That car made 170PS and generated 195Nm of torque. This one makes no real external sporting proclamations, but that little engine is good for 182PS and ladles out 240PS of torque. Yes, this car is a good deal bigger and heavier than the ST170, but don't underestimate the 1.5-litre lump. In standard specification, this model's going to run you just over £23,500, but our one had a few boxes ticked when it was originally specified, which is something we really do take into account when making an assessment of the vehicle. To whit, it has Lunar Sky metallic paint, the Appearance Pack 2, which includes 18-inch alloys and tinted rear glass, a heated steering wheel, the BLIS blind spot detection system, door edge protectors, keyless go, the SYNC2 DAB Navigation system and a Driver Assistance Pack which consists of lane departure warning, lane keeping aid, traffic sign recognition, driver alert and auto high beam. That little lot bumps the asking price up to just over £26,000.
If I'm honest, I'd probably just have sprung the £250 for the SYNC2 system and left the rest. The auto high beam is nice to have but I can't see myself paying £450 for that and I find the lane keep/departure stuff an annoyance. I've managed for thirty years without it and I don't find it adds too much to the driving experience. First impressions of the Focus are extremely promising. The Aston Martin-look front grille works on this car a bit better than it does on the Fiesta and this paint finish even looks like an appropriately sleek V8 Vantage colour scheme. The interior has also been given a serious once-over. The fascia design is more intuitive, that button-strewn centre stack and steering wheel being tidied up considerably. The black satin trim and chrome detailing contribute to a cleaner aesthetic too. Many of the controls are now marshalled by that SYNC2 high-resolution, 8-inch colour touch screen system. This includes voice control for 'easier' access to audio, navigation, climate control and compatible mobile phones. We'll reserve judgment on that one. One thing that's undoubtedly an improvement is practicality. The centre storage console offers more space as well as a new sliding, integrated armrest, accommodating a variety of bottles and cups with the capacity to simultaneously hold a litre water bottle and a 400ml cup. I think this Focus is going to be a favourite. It's fast and discreet but seems very easy to live with. Keep checking back as we get to know this one a lot better.
One of the things we like most about our long term Ford Focus test car is its SYNC2 infotainment system. Dave King takes a closer look at the technology behind this set-up We're now pretty used to infotainment systems in modern cars, complete with colour touchscreens that reduce the dashboard button clutter that used to complicate the fascia. Not all of them are the same though, something we've been noticing as we've tested a wide range of models this year, then compared their technology in this respect to that on offer in our current Ford Focus long term test car. Ford has developed its own SYNC infotainment set-up in order to satisfy customer demand for this kind of system. The company introduced the original package in the USA back in 2007, the key focus being the democratisation of sophisticated in-car technology at an affordable price. Right from inception, the approach adopted by Ford's technical team was to ensure that motorists weren't distracted from their driving, enabling them to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes safely on the road ahead. Powered by Microsoft Windows, Ford's original voice-activated SYNC in-car connectivity system took the integration of mobile devices, voice control and convenience to a new level through offering extensive device compatibility and voice command. Certainly when launched, the system was the most advanced system of its type. Competitors quickly caught up though, hence the need for the second generation SYNC 2 system we've been trying in our long term Focus. SYNC 2 allows drivers to control their vehicle's satellite navigation system, music and the interior temperature through voice control or by the use of optimised built-in apps through a synced Bluetooth smartphone. The technology incorporates an optimised interface entitled APPLINK compatible with both Android and iOS devices. AppLink operates infotainment features including Spotify music streaming via voice control.
The SYNC 2 system incorporates a radio/CD player with DAB, a high resolution touchscreen, and an extended integrated control pane. There's also Ford's SYNC Bluetooth hands-free phone functionality with voice control, plus the Ford Emergency Assistance service that will summon emergency help if the airbags go off in an accident. Other system features include a USB connectivity port with iPod functionality, an external AUX connection for music devices, remote audio controls and six speakers for the audio system, four in the front and two in the rear of the car. We like the fact that SYNC 2 can also read aloud incoming SMS text messages from compatible mobile phones, plus it's useful that it works with a variety of digital music players, including iPod and USB flash drives. The system automatically updates phonebook entries, while audio files can be browsed by genre, artist, album, song and playlist using simple voice commands. The USB port also enables the implementation of software upgrades for future enhancements and features. So does it all work? Well yes, very well indeed is the answer, though we've preferred to master the voice functionality as the buttons on the display can be rather fiddly to use. Once you're au fait with this, you can issue simple 'one shot' commands, like 'play song' to play a track from a CD or even 'I'm hungry' to bring up a list of local restaurants on the split-screen satellite navigation system. Our particular Focus model is a high-spec variant and includes SYNC2 as standard, but the system is optional on lower trim levels and is well worth specifying as without it, you're provided only with a much smaller 4.2" display operable only with more conventional button-orientated functionality. Ford's Supervisor of Connectivity Application on the SYNC project, Jan Schroll, told us that this second generation system has been well received by customers. 'It's been overwhelmingly popular. We've even received letters and emails not only praising and thanking us for the creation of SYNC, but also making suggestions on how the system could be improved. People particularly liked the free Emergency Assistance feature - a potential life-saver'. The SYNC 2 system is currently available on most models in the Ford range including the Fiesta, the Focus, the B-MAX and the brand's latest C-MAX, S-MAX and Galaxy MPVs, plus the Kuga SUV and the Transit Custom.
By Andy Enright
Although a litre might seem quite a lot when you spill that much Coke in your lap at the cinema, when it comes to the cubic capacity of a car's engine, it's pretty small beer. Received wisdom stated that you could run a tiny citycar with one-litre of swept capacity in your cylinders but anything much bigger than that and it would have less pulling power than John Prescott in an Ibiza nightclub. Fiat's 899cc TwinAir engine was the first to hint that there was more to a sub-litre petrol engine than met the eye, but it was Ford who really picked up the ball and ran with it, with its 1.0-litre EcoBoost powerplant. It's been fitted to a wide range of Ford models and now one in every five petrol-powered Fords sold across Europe has the 1.0-litre engine installed under its bonnet. Here we take a look at how this engine shapes up when fitted to the Focus, sold between 2012 and 2014.
5dr hatchback (1.0 petrol [Edge, Style, Zetec, Zetec-S, Titanium, Titanium X])
This third generation Focus, was launched back in March of 2011 but it wasn't until 2012 that Ford started offering the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, It was sold in two power outputs, 100 and 125PS, and was offered with a wide selection of trim levels. At the end of 2013, Ford announced Ford has announced an ultra-efficient version of the Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost that was the first petrol-powered family car in Europe to offer 99 g/km CO2 emissions. Due to a specially calibrated version of the 100PS engine, the Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost returned 67.5mpg, aided by ultra-low rolling resistance tyres, unique aerodynamics under the car and revised gearing to help deliver the company's most fuel-efficient ever petrol-powered family car. The fourth generation Focus was announced in summer 2014, debuting in early 2015.
All Focus models get a front end that looks a good deal more aggressive than its rather low-key predecessor, with gaping triangular front air intakes that look as if they should grace an RS model. Closer inspection reveals them to be mere plastic blanking plates but between them is what Ford dubs its dynamic shutter grille which can close at speed to improve aerodynamics. The rear lights are an intricate design that integrate with the fuel filler cap on the right side of the car. These also contrast with the less extrovert rear window treatment. The estate version is extremely well proportioned, with a mini-Mondeo silhouette. The interior is a massive step forward in terms of materials quality and fit and finish from its already solid predecessor. Some commentators have claimed that the Focus has targeted the Volkswagen Golf, but the interior is a far more extrovert design than you'll find in any Wolfsburg vehicle. The centre console looks busy but it's fairly easy to figure everything out quickly and the Sony stereo is a very classy touch. The estate is well worth hunting down. The load bay measures 476 litres to the parcel shelf and if you drop the rear seats you get up to 1502 litres of available space. Unlike in the hatchback version, there's no full-size spare wheel option available, Ford offering only a slim space saver spare for estate buyers.
Refer to Car & Driving for an exact up-to-date valuation section. Click here and we will email it to you.
The Focus has forged an excellent reputation for reliability with only the odd glitch preventing it from reaching top honours. Test clutches to make sure they're not at the end of their travel and ensure that all belt servicing has been performed on the nose. The 1.0-litre engien has proven extremely reliable to date although it might be worth having a chat with the previous keeper to find out what sort of fuel economy figures they were getting. The gap between the published figures and the real world numbers can be huge.
(approx prices based on a 2012 Focus 1.0 125PS Zetec) An exchange starter motor retails at around £225 while a windscreen will set you back around £320. Expect to pay £400 for an exchange alternator while front brake pads cost £85. An entire headlamp pod will relieve you of £400.
There's bags of torque and you end up driving the car almost as if it has a diesel engine. There's little to be gained by throwing a bootful of revs at it and it just rows along serenely between 1,700 and 2,200rpm. It's not what you'd call eager, but it's got enough torque to ensure that you're not constantly working the gearbox to make respectable progress. Start it up, and there's a chirrup from the starter motor, but then an almost silent idle. There's none of the warble that you'd expect from a three-cylinder engine. Of course, you could save up a bit more and go for a diesel and if you were a long distance driver, we'd certainly recommend this course of action. Having said that, it's hard not to love the fact that the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine weighs around 40kg less than an equivalent diesel and you'll notice that when it comes to ride and handling. Put simply, a light engine improves the way the car turns into a corner, it means the brakes have a whole lot less work to do, and the suspension can deal with the issue of isolating the car from the road imperfections rather than struggling to contain the weight of a hefty hunk of iron in the nose. A clever torque vectoring system lightly brakes the inside front wheel through tight corners, sharpening turn-in and ensuring that as much power as possible gets onto the tarmac. No, it's not got the purity of a mechanical differential but it's lighter and surprisingly effective. The 100PS model gets to 62mph in 12.5 seconds and runs onto 115mph, and the 125PS version covers the sprint in 11.2 seconds and tops out at 120mph.
If you plan to cover modest mileages in your Focus, then the 1.0-litre engine might just be the best choice you can make. It's clean, inexpensive, good to drive and posts some low carbon-dioxide figures. If you're planning to cover bigger mileages, a 1.6-litre TDCi diesel is a far better buy. Why? Because the fact remains that this 1.0-litre engine isn't anything like as economical as its maker claims. We ran one and averaged just over 35mpg versus the claimed 56.5mpg figure. We enjoyed running the car and it was universally popular just so long as you took the published fuel figures with a bucketload of salt. As long as you know that before buying, there aren't any other areas of this car's repertoire that ought to come as a rude shock.
By Andy Enright
The problem with setting a benchmark is that it's a tough trick to repeat. Jaguar could never quite reach the heights it achieved with the E-Type, Audi had the same problem trying to reprise the Quattro and Peugeot must have resigned itself to the fact that every hot hatch it ever built would be judged to be some way short of its 205 GTi. Ford's unassailable high is probably the first generation Focus. Yes, it was a genuinely great car, but its achievements were helped in many ways by the sheer ineptitude of stiffs like the Vauxhall Astra and the Nissan Almera that it was tasked to knock over. As its rivals closed on it, each successive generation of Focuses has become more talented yet, rather cruelly, not as highly regarded. The third generation car is a case in point. It's a genuinely talented all-rounder but no longer is it the default pick in its class. It's nevertheless a quite brilliant used choice. Read on to find out why.
5dr hatchback, 5 door estate (1.0, 1.6, 2.0 petrol, 1.6, 2.0 diesel [Studio, Edge, Zetec, Zetec-S, ECOnetic, Titanium, Titanium X, ST])
The Focus was originally launched way back in 1998, revolutionising the way the family hatches drove, making itself a fixture at the top of the UK sales charts in the process. The second generation version arrived in 2004, upping the quality, offering more space and toning down the wacky interior styling that had dated quite badly. After seeing Ford through the credit crunch, this model made way for version three, which hit dealers in March of 2011. Upon launch, the range comprised five door hatches and estates. The engine line-up opened with the 105SP 1.6 Ti-VCT petrol engine, with a punchier 125PS version also offered. The 150PS 1.6-litre EcoBoost powerplant was the quickest petrol engine you could initially get. Diesel units comprised the 95 and 115PS versions of the 1.6-litre TDCi and 140 or 163PS versions of the 2.0-litre TDCi lump. The latter was the only model to be offered with the option of the 2.0-litre PowerShift twin clutch transmission. The range quickly filled out with a clever three cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol variant, then with the hot hatch 250PS 2.0-litre ST model which arrived in March 2012, quickly followed by an estate version. A Zetec S trim level arrived at the end of 2012 and by the start of 2014, Ford announced one million sales of the third generation Focus in Europe alone. The Focus ST was Europe's best-selling hot hatch and the Focus badge had become the biggest selling nameplate around the world. The updated facelift version of this car was announced in summer 2014.
All MK3 Focus models get a front end that looks a good deal more aggressive than its rather low-key MK2 predecessor, with gaping triangular front air intakes that look as if they should grace an RS model. Closer inspection reveals them to be mere plastic blanking plates but between them is what Ford dubs its dynamic shutter grille which can close at speed to improve aerodynamics. The rear lights are an intricate design that integrate with the fuel filler cap on the right side of the car. These also contrast with the less extrovert rear window treatment. The estate version is extremely well proportioned, with a mini-Mondeo silhouette. The interior is a massive step forward in terms of materials quality and fit and finish from its already solid predecessor. Some commentators have claimed that the Focus has targeted the Volkswagen Golf, but the interior is a far more extrovert design than you'll find in any Wolfsburg vehicle. The centre console looks busy but it's fairly easy to figure everything out quickly and the Sony stereo is a very classy touch. The estate is well worth hunting down. The load bay measures 476-litres to the parcel shelf and if you drop the rear seats you get up to 1502-litres of available space. Unlike in the hatchback version, there's no full-size spare wheel option available, Ford offering only a slim space saver spare for estate buyers.
Refer to Car & Driving for an exact up-to-date valuation section. Click here and we will email it to you.
The Focus has forged an excellent reputation for reliability with only the odd glitch preventing it from reaching top honours. Test clutches to make sure they're not at the end of their travel and ensure that all belt servicing has been performed on the nose. The ST will require a bit more of a once over. Check for cremated front tyres, accident damage and performance modifications that could invalidate the warranty.
(approx prices based on a 2012 Focus ST 2.0-litre) An exchange starter motor retails at around £225 while a windscreen will set you back around £320. Expect to pay £400 for an exchange alternator while front brake pads cost £125. An entire headlamp pod will relieve you of £400.
Comfort and refinement were the key criteria when designing this chassis and the engineers have certainly succeeded in that task. Drop into the driver's seat and you'll initially notice that it's lower set than the previous car, while the sharply-raked windscreen pillars are bulkier than is ideal. One thing all engine choices have in common is a 'torque vectoring' system. This works by nipping at the brake of the inside front wheel as you turn into a corner, helping to reduce understeer. You might well notice it drag the car into the apex on wet roads if you're pressing hard. The electric power steering system is very quick and accurate, if trading a little something in ultimate feedback. Ride quality and refinement are massively improved over its predecessor. The ST is a real gem. The headline figure is that peak power has been raised from the old ST's 222bhp figure to a rather beefier 247bhp. You'll probably expect the torque from a 2.0-litre turbo four to be inferior to that of a 2.5-litre turbo five but where the old car made 320Nm, the EcoBoost engine can muster 360Nm. Less weight, more power and better aerodynamics inevitably translate into better performance and the 2.0-litre ST will launch to 60mph in less than six seconds. What's perhaps more interesting than the raw figures is the work that's gone into making this four-cylinder engine sound just as exciting as the old five pot unit.
The third-generation Ford Focus is a car that rewards a little research beforehand. The diesels are uniformly good, and get better the more power they develop. The ST is a class act in the GTi sector but buy with care. The 1.0-litre petrol engine is a technical wonder that's somewhat marred by so-so real world economy. Our pick would be 2.0-litre diesel hatches and estates, or the Zetec-S and ST sports models. There's a lot of used stock available, so you can afford to be picky and brutal when negotiating on price. Go hard or go home.
Mrs Helen Samways - 17/07/2017, owner of a Ford Focus 5dr Titanium 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS S6
User rating: 5/5
Mrs Brenda Harris - 24/07/2017, owner of a Ford Focus 5Dr Zetec Edition 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS S6
User rating: 4.5/5
Mrs Sioban Sandford - 13/06/2017, owner of a Ford Focus 5 Dr Titanium 1.0T EcoBoost 125PS S6 6 Spd Auto
User rating: 5/5
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