Fitted with £2045 worth of optional extras including Openable Panoramic Roof, B+O Premium audio system with 360 degree sound, Ford Performance Blue Exclusive Body Colours, Performance Pack and Recaro Ebony Foundry cloth/leather Upholstery. Standard specification includes Rear view camera, Selectable drive mode, Eco mode, Front and rear parking sensors, Intelligent speed assist, Lane keeping system - lane keeping alert and lane keeping aid, Bluetooth system, Ford SYNC 3 navigation with 8inch TFT touchscreen, and app link Android auto/Apple carplay, 10 speakers, 675 Watts amplifier power & digital sound processor, ST upper and lower grille with full body styling kit, Red brake calipers, Quickclear heated windscreen, Rear privacy glass, LED Lights, Dual zone electronic air temperature control, Heating for Sensico steering wheel, Driver assistance pack with Adaptive Cruise Control - Focus, Heated Front Seats, 19inch 5x2 spoke alloy wheel with magnetite finish, Ford keyfree system with Keyless entry and keyless start/sleep mode key fob, MyKey system, Isofix child seat preparation and much more!
Petrol 34.9 combined MPG (WLTP)
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Equipped with over £2000 worth of extras such as Openable Panoramic Roof, Performance Pack and more. Book your test drive today!
Emissions and Fuel
* Price does not include road fund license
Automatic rain sensing wipers, Electrically operated front and rear windows with one touch opening and closing, Front variable intermittent wipers with electric wash, Heated rear window, Quickclear heated windscreen, Rear privacy glass, Tailgate wash/wipe
ABS+Electronic Brake force Distribution, Auto hold function, Electronic parking brake, Electronic stability control, Hill start assist, Post collision braking, Pre collision assist with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian/cyclist detection, Red brake calipers
Eco mode, Front and rear parking sensors, Intelligent speed assist, Lane keeping system - lane keeping alert and lane keeping aid, PAS, Rear view camera, Selectable drive mode
Easy fuel capless refuelling system
12.3" Digital instrument cluster, Digital clock, Ford SYNC 3 navigation with 8" TFT touchscreen, and app link Android auto/Apple carplay, Head up Display, Trip computer
Auto dimming rear view mirror, Body coloured electrically operated and heated door mirrors with side indicators, Power folding door mirrors with puddle lights
2 USB ports, Aux input, B&O Premium audio system with 360 degree sound, 10 speakers, 675 Watts amplifier power & digital sound processor
Exterior Body Features
Body coloured bumpers, Body coloured door handles, Performance rear spoiler, Polished twin tailpipe, Rear bumper extension, Scuff plates front,polished stainless steel with etched ST logo, ST upper and lower grille with full body styling kit and front and rear ST badge, Unique door and instrument panel inserts
Adaptive full LED headlamps with dynamic LED headlights, LED turn indicators, glare-free high beam, LED rear tail lamps and LED front fog lights, Auto headlamps (on/off), LED daytime running lamp
Dual zone electronic air temperature control
3 spoke flat bottomed Sensico steering wheel with red stitching, Aluminium gear knob, Dark headliner, Heating for Sensico steering wheel, Load through ski hatch, Reach + rake adjustable steering column, Recaro part leather upholstery, Soft console knee pads with red stitching
Driver assistance pack with Adaptive Cruise Control - Focus
3x3 point rear seatbelts, Driver airbag, Front and rear seatbelt reminder, Front inertia reel height adjustable seatbelts with pre-tensioners, Front passenger airbag, Front side airbags, Passenger airbag deactivate switch, Remote/power child rear door locks, Side curtain airbags, Three rear inertia reel lap/diagonal seatbelts, Tyre pressure monitoring system
6 way power adjustable driver seat, Driver's lumbar support, Front passenger seat manual height and lumbar adjust, Heated driver and front passenger seats, Height adjustable front headrests, Isofix child seat preparation, Rear centre headrest
Ford keyfree system with Keyless entry and keyless start/sleep mode key fob, MyKey system, Remote central locking & engine immobiliser, Thatcham category 1 alarm
Electronic limited slip differential
Wheels - Alloy
19" 5x2 spoke alloy wheel with magnetite finish
Wheels - Spare
Mini steel spare wheel
|Badge Engine CC:||2.3|
|Based On ID:||N|
|Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07:||34E|
|Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years:||12|
|Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years:||1|
|NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %:||96|
|NCAP Child Occupant Protection %:||87|
|NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09:||5|
|NCAP Pedestrian Protection %:||72|
|NCAP Safety Assist %:||75|
|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|
|Standard Euro Emissions:||EURO 6|
|WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb:||185|
|WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max:||186|
|WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min:||185|
|Fuel Delivery:||TURBO DIRECT INJECTION|
|EC Combined (mpg):||35.8|
|EC Extra Urban (mpg):||45.6|
|EC Urban (mpg):||26.2|
|WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb:||8.1|
|WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max:||8.1|
|WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min:||8.1|
|WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High:||8|
|WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High:||7.1|
|WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low:||11.8|
|WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium:||8|
|WLTP - MPG - Comb:||34.9|
|WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max:||34.9|
|WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min:||34.9|
|WLTP - MPG - Extra High:||35.3|
|WLTP - MPG - High:||39.8|
|WLTP - MPG - Low:||23.9|
|WLTP - MPG - Medium:||35.3|
|0 to 62 mph (secs):||5.7|
|Engine Power - BHP:||280|
|Engine Power - KW:||206|
|Engine Power - PS:||True|
|Engine Torque - LBS.FT:||310|
|Engine Torque - MKG:||42.8|
|Engine Torque - NM:||420|
|Emissions Test Cycle:||WLTP|
|RDE Certification Level:||RDE 2|
|Tyre Size Front:||235/35 R19|
|Tyre Size Rear:||235/35 R19|
|Tyre Size Spare:||SPACE SAVER|
|Wheel Style:||5x2 SPOKE|
|Wheel Type:||19" ALLOY|
|Width (including mirrors):||1979|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres):||52|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Down):||1250|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Up):||273|
|Max. Roof Load:||75|
|No. of Seats:||5|
|Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb:||10.7|
Ford's Focus ST hot hatch is back, with a mission. Jonathan Crouch drives it.
Ford's fourth generation Focus ST is now smarter, classier and more dynamically adept. In hatch or estate guise, with petrol or diesel power, it's a car that's now easier to get the most from. And a machine you can enjoy to the full on your favourite road without afterwards having to pay for it with the kind of over-firm ride you simply don't want in everyday traffic. Ultimately, so many quick cars can feel.... well, rather irrelevant. Here's one that's anything but....
'ST' is a badge that, when it comes to Ford, stands for 'quick but not concussive', a performance level that sits just above the company's fast-but-family-friendly 'ST-Line' models. But just below their track-spec RS derivatives. A badge applied to the kind of car a red-blooded racer could afford, enjoy and use every day. A car like this - the fourth generation Focus ST. The Focus ST is the kind of car that's always democratised performance, giving you something of the speed of a supercar within the body - and the budget - of something much more ordinary. Other brands promise this kind of thing but in reality, often do little more than bolt a set of spoilers and a turbo onto something more mundane. Ford though, has a different approach, the Blue Oval brand boasting a long history of developing proper performance versions of its mainstream models, designed by enthusiasts to be driven by enthusiasts. That's certainly seems to be what's been delivered with this MK4 Focus ST. Let's take a look.
There are plenty of very significant changes over the previous generation model. We'll start with the fresh engine line-up, which offers 12% more power and 17% more torque than before. There are two units on offer; an entry-level 190PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel and the powerplant you'll probably prefer, a 280PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol unit. Buyers choose between a 6-speed manual gearbox or a new quick-shifting 7-speed auto transmission. Selectable Drive Mode technology is introduced on a Focus St for the first time, enabling drivers to adjust the car's character to suit the kind of drive experience they want. The various settings tweak steering feel, throttle response, stability control thresholds and, on petrol models, suspension response too, courtesy of the 'CCD' 'Continuously Controlled Damping' system that's standard on the EcoBoost models to further improved the sophisticated 'SLA' multi-link suspension set-up. Go for the petrol derivative and you also get an 'e-LSD' Electronic Limited Slip Differential. The system uses hydraulically activated clutches to limit the engine torque delivered to a wheel that has reduced traction on the road surface, and redistributes up to 100 per cent of available torque to the wheel with more traction to counteract wheel spin that can hamper acceleration through, and out of, corners. You'll want to know how fast it is; well, plenty quick enough. Thanks to 420Nm of torque, the EcoBoost petrol version uses the most free-revving Focus ST engine ever and sprints to 62mph in less than six seconds.
One area where the previous third generation Focus ST clearly regressed was stance. Ask any petrolhead and they'll tell you that the way a car sits on its wheels is a pretty fundamental part of its visual appeal. Some cars look squat, muscular and purposeful. The third generation ST never really managed that. There was just too much air under its wheel arches and the front end looked high and gawky. Remedial work has very much been conducted with this latest model. The body kit gives it a lower, wider stance, the bonnet is more aggressively sculpted. A larger, more steeply angled rear roof spoiler increases downforce to support the Focus ST's driving dynamics. A twin exit tailpipe configuration borders the aggressively styled rear diffuser element, and improves practicality by delivering the towing capability that was prevented by the centre-exit tailpipes of the previous generation Focus ST. The cabin is well trimmed, featuring a great set of Ebony coloured part-leather-trimmed Recaro sports seats with cushion tilt and length adjustment. Other neat touches include a grippy sports steering wheel, an ST-embossed aluminium gear knob and scuff plates, alloy pedals, metallic hexagonal and satin silver decorative elements, plus metal grey stitching for the seats, door inserts and centre console.
Focus ST pricing starts at around £30,000, so it's no longer the bargain it once was, though Ford points out that this is explained to some extent by the fact that stripped-out entry-level trim packages are no longer offered. There's just a single spec this time round, though you do get the choice of either five-door hatch or Estate body styles, the latter requiring an £1,100 premium. Either way, there's the choice of either a 190PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine or, for around £2,500 more, the 280PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol unit that most will want. If you think that premium sounds quite high, bear in mind that it gets you not only a more powerful engine but also adaptive 'CCD' damping and an 'e-LSD' Electronic Limited Slip Differential. All variants come well equipped with 19-inch 5x2-spoke alloy wheels, Adaptive LED headlamps, LED tail lights and a full body kit including a large rear spoiler, plus there's unique ST Sport suspension. Inside, you'll find part-leather Recaro seats, a 675-watt 10-speaker B&O audio system, alloy pedals, polished stainless steel scuff plates, a heated steering wheel, keyless entry and adaptive cruise control.
Though the petrol version of this model uses a higher-capacity engine this time round, a lot of work's gone in to try and make sure that overall efficiency won't be affected. The EcoBoost powerplant uses a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger, which scavenges exhaust gas energy more effectively than the old 2.0-litre unit, using separated channels to minimise interference between gas pulses. An electronically actuated waste-gate allows closer control of boost pressures for optimised engine performance. In addition, a unique exhaust system that reduces back pressure, bespoke air intake system and optimised intercooler further improve breathing. Let's get to the figures. The 2.3-litre petrol version manages up to 34.4mpg on the WLTP combined cycle and 179g/km of NEDC-rated CO2. For the 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel, the figures are 50.4mpg and 125g/km. What else? Well we'll tell you about servicing. Two pre-paid servicing plans are available and maintenance bookings can be done online through the 'My Ford' portal. This is part of the 'Ford BlueService' scheme that wraps up all of the care and maintenance of your car into one bundle that includes a free 30-point 'eCheck' of vital parts and highlights any work required with a red, amber and green traffic light warning to rank items that need attention in order of importance.
Let's be clear: the previous MK3 model Focus ST was a very good car indeed. But it wasn't as involving and rewarding as its little Fiesta ST stablemate. It wasn't the car it could have been: now it is. This fourth generation Focus ST is now the very definition of what a car of this kind should be, a guilt-free fast hatch with near-supercar performance and technology that's relatively affordable and perfectly practical. We're promised here a class-leading ride and handling balance, there's estate versatility if you want it and you get the option of low diesel running costs if that's needed. All without compromise in a car that deserves to be remembered fondly in a fine tradition of fast Fords.
Ford has significantly improved the fourth generation version of its Focus. With smarter looks and extra technology, it'll still give its rivals plenty to think about, thinks Jonathan Crouch.
The Ford Focus has evolved, this improved version of the MK4 model offering slicker looks, a much improved 'SYNC4' infotainment system and extra technology. There's also impressive efficiency beneath the bonnet thanks to the 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, then updated three years on to create the car we're going to look at here.
There's one thing you always know about a Focus: which is that'll usually be a great steer. And of course nothing's changed in that regard with this updated model. As before, the ride isn't overly firm, but body control through the bends is still exemplary, allowing you at the wheel to make the most of the stiff C2 platform, the feelsome power steering and the torque vectoring control system that helps you get the power down through the bends. It all combines to create a car that really can still reward at the wheel, even in its most affordable forms: there's still nothing else in this segment that feels quite the same. Yet it still does the sensible stuff well too, being decently refined, with confident braking and a lovely tactile gearshift. The engine range was significantly updated as recently as 2020 with Ford's latest Mild Hybrid technology and of course that's carried forward, with electrified MHEV 125 and 155PS versions of Ford's 1.0-litre three cylinder EcoBoost petrol unit. You can now though, get this 48-volt powerplant with the option of a 7-speed Powershift auto gearbox. For entry-level customers, this three cylinder EcoBoost engine also continues to be offered in non-electrified 125PS form. Higher mileage drivers will be pleased to see that the 1.5-litre 120PS EcoBlue diesel engine's been retained in the range - you can have that with 8-speed auto transmission. And at the top of the line-up, the ST hot hatch continues on with the 280PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol unit. One change we'd like to have seen relates to suspension. A little disappointingly, Ford continues to equip the lower-powered 1.0-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel Hatch variants that most customers choose with a cruder twist-beam damping set-up. If you want the more sophisticated independent rear double wishbone suspension system that improves ride comfort, you'll need an estate, the 'Active' crossover version or a more powerful hatch variant. The top 'ST' high performance version for instance, which gets stiffer, lowered suspension.
Both hatch and estate versions of this improved Focus are marked out by smarter LED headlamps with built-in foglights. plus the brand badge has been moved from the bonnet to the front grille. And the darker rear tail lamps have a smarter 'loop light' illuminating signature. As before, there are separate styling details to mark out the different trim levels, with varying front grille designs for 'Titanium', 'ST-Line', 'Active' and 'ST' versions. The 'Active' model, as before, gets SUV-style visual changes, including extra lower body cladding, larger side vents and a higher ride height. Bigger changes are reserved for the cabin, which now features a larger 13.2-inch 'SYNC4' central touchscreen. In a controversial move, Ford has decided that this monitor should now incorporate the ventilation controls, giving the dashboard a cleaner, less cluttered look. We're not sure that this is actually a step forward but the infotainment system's ability to now accept over-the-air updates certainly is; as a result, you'll get into your Focus one morning and find it able to do something it couldn't do the day before - which is rather cool. As before, rear seat space isn't exemplary, but there's decent room for a couple of adults. Luggage space still isn't particularly noteworthy either; there's 341-litres of capacity if you load to window level - or 375-litres with a tyre repair kit fitted. A typically-specified Estate model fitted with a mini-spare offers up to 575-litres. Fold down the 60:40-split rear backrest and between 1,250 and 1,320-litres of space can be freed up in the hatch model, depending on the size of spare wheel you decide upon. An Estate version will give you up to 1,653-litres. The Estate's load area also now features a wet zone, with a load-floor liner inserted into the space to provide water resistance against items such as wet suits and umbrellas.
Pricing hasn't changed much, kicking off from around £22,500 and running up to around £34,000 for the top ST hot hatch. The Focus range kicks off with the base 'Zetec Edition' variant, before progressing through 'Titanium Edition' and 'Titanium X Edition' - or 'ST-Line Edition' and 'ST-Line X Edition' variants. An SUV-style 'Active Edition' version (with an 'X'-spec option) and an 'ST' hot hatch (with an 'ST EDition' option) are also available. Equipment levels reflect the fact that typical customers will probably be paying somewhere in the £25,000 bracket for this once very affordable family hatch. Even the base Focus 'Zetec Edition' comes as standard with 16-inch alloy wheels and air conditioning, along with the 'SYNC4' 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. 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. If you prioritise luxury and you've a healthy budget, you'll want to consider the optional premium 'Vignale' pack, now available on more models and offering five new alloy wheel designs. New safety systems added across the range include 'Blind Spot assist', 'Intersection assist' and 'Local Hazard Information' (which can warn drivers of hazardous situations on the road ahead). Plus there's 'Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go', 'Speed Sign Recognition' and 'Lane Centring' (which helps to ease the strain of driving in stop-start traffic). 'Pre-Collision Assist with Active Braking' helps drivers avoid or mitigate the effects of collisions with vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, while 'Active Park Assist' operates gear selection, acceleration and braking to enable fully automated parking manoeuvres simply by holding down a button.
Ford has re-fettled its engines in recent times pursuit of greater efficiency. The biggest change has been the introduction, back in 2020, of 48-volt MHEV mild hybrid technology for the brand's core 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol unit. With a manual gearbox, this returns combined cycle fuel efficiency from 51.4mpg and CO2 emissions from 116g/km. With the 7-speed Powershift automatic gearbox fitted to the 1.0-litre MHEV engine, up to 47.9mpg and up to 119g/km of CO2 is possible. The MHEV system uses 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. The non-electrified 1.0-litre EcoBoost 125PS manual entry-level model manages up to 47.1mpg and 121g/km of CO2. For higher mileage drivers, the 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel will suit, this unit delivering up to 56.5mpg and 120g/km with 8-speed auto transmission. As before, this Focus features selectable Drive Mode technology, enabling drivers to choose an 'Eco' mode for extra efficiency, this setting, like the alternative 'Normal' and 'Sport' modes, adjusting the responses of the throttle pedal, the steering and (if fitted) the auto gearbox. 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. As for the warranty, well like all Fords, this one comes with a 36-month 60,000-mile package that also includes one year of Europe-wide breakdown assistance. On top of that, there's an anti-corrosion guarantee for 12 years. Ford also offers the chance to extend this cover - to either four years and 80,000 miles or five years and 100,000 miles.
Has any car had more of an impact on modern era motoring than the Ford Focus? Other manufacturers can better this car in some regards, but they still can't make their family hatchback contenders drive like a Focus. It's true that there are some caveats in that regard. The lower-powered models with their more basic torsion beam suspension set-up don't have quite as fluid a feel as those further up the range that feature the 'control blade' multi-link rear damping system. Even in its most basic form though, this Focus remains an entertainer at heart, a car you'll feel at one with thanks to its progressive body control and steering precision. As a result, it's still a default pick amongst family hatchbacks if you like your driving. But not everyone does. Many family hatchback folk are buying a car of this kind simply because it ticks the right boxes for safety, practicality and running costs and I've a suspicion that it's these people who'll have their perceptions most changed by this much improved version of the MK4 model. They may, like us, wonder why it couldn't have been just a touch more visually interesting. And wish for a slightly more classy cabin. But they'll certainly like the responsively frugal new-generation engines, the higher safety standards and the much improved 'SYNC4' infotainment system. In short, if you can afford the asking prices, you'll find that here's a family hatchback that now has its priorities right, a car that's grown up, but one that still knows how to enjoy itself. Smarter and more sensible, it is, more than ever, number one for a reason.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Mr J Norton - 13/04/20, owner of a Ford Focus
User rating: 4.5/5
Mr L Linford-Smith - 24/04/20, owner of a Ford Focus St-Line X Tdci
User rating: 5/5
Mr D Birchall - 23/03/20, owner of a Ford Focus ST X
User rating: 5/5
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