Cargiant reviews the Ford Focus
The Ford Focus is a great little hatchback with plenty of space and excellent driving quality. This top of the range car has been around since 1998 and has only improved since, with its only real competitor being the Volkswagen Golf.
With over 40 versions available, this reliable family car comes with both petrol and diesel engines at low running costs. The Ford Focus may not hold its value for resale as much as its rivals but it is often available at big discounts.
As a good all-rounder, the Ford Focus guarantees a pleasant and comfortable drive that offers sharp steering, lots of grip and a more exciting experience than that of a Volkswagen Golf or Vauxhall Astra. Not only this, you can rest assured that the Ford Focus comes equipped with 5 star rated safety technology, making you feel even more secure when you drive.
Driving and Performance:
The Ford Focus has been designed with an emphasis on comfort rather than performance. It has been softened over the years and easily absorbs bumps and holes in the road whilst dampening any sound from the outside.
Having said that, the Ford Focus is still delivers an enjoyable ride. It has quick and accurate steering, steady body control and strong grip, which make turnings easy and rough terrain smooth. Not only that, all engines available offer powerful acceleration which means that while the focus may be on comfort with the Ford Focus, you can still experience a more exciting drive than you would with the Volkswagen Golf.
Equipped with Anti-skid control and electronic power steering, the Ford Focus very good on back roads. However it is also an excellent drive on motorways and larger roads, getting heavier the faster you go. It is also well insulated so wind and road noise are softened sufficiently.
The Ford Focus has been criticised for perhaps prioritising comfort too much and making its new models too soft, making the driver feel disengaged from the road. However the above redeeming qualities, and the fact that it makes for an excellent choice of fun, practical and safe family hatchback means it still sits at the top of the pile.
MPG, Running costs & emissions:
You might think that given the huge variety of cars in the Ford Focus range, there would also be a huge variety when it comes to fuel economy. Not so. Apart from the sporty ST models, none of the Ford Focus cars emit more than 140g/km of CO2.
The 99bhp 1.0 Ecoboost which boasts great acceleration and as it’s name might suggest, has hugely impressive fuel economy is one of the most popular models. Its lightweight body means that it only emits 109g/km of CO2 but still managing 59.9mpg. Even lower and tax-free is the 1.6–litre TDCi which can achieve 83.1mpg and 88g/km CO2 emissions, making it extremely cheap to run.
Due to the popularity of the Ford Focus, the series does not hold its sale value over time compared to other cars. It may put the pressure on rivals like the VW Golf and Vauxhall Astra for initial sale prices but adding the luxury features like self-parking and heated front seats boosts the price further.
On the flip side, the Ford Focus is extremely competitively priced in terms of sale price (which often comes with great discounts), road tax and servicing costs. Due to its popularity, it won’t be hard to find a Ford dealership near you for servicing and buying new or used cars for your very own.
The Ford Focus may not be particularly head turning in regards to its appearance. Although Ford boasts it uses kinetic design with an “aerodynamic shape”, in reality the newer models have been elongated slightly with more angles added and the profile lowered. Not only does this seem a little unimpressive, it has had some impact on height inside.
That said, increasing the Ford Focus’ length has provided a lot more room on the internally, sitting three adults comfortably in the back. The boot is also of a reasonable size and the back seats are easily foldable, adding to the amount of space available. As for the driver, both the seat and steering wheel are easily adjustable ensuring that you find the perfect driving position.
The dashboard has been criticised for being a bit overly crowded, sporting a large amount of buttons making it potentially more difficult to use when you’re driving. However most agree that they are handily laid out, coming partnered with a 3.5 inch coloured display for the standard features like digital radio.
Features such as self-parking systems, heated front seats, blindspot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warnings are also available, depending on the model and the price you are willing to pay.
Overall, while the Ford Focus might compete with others like the SEAT Leon and Vauxhall Astra in appearance and boot space, it remains a reliable and well-designed family hatchback.
Achieving the maximum 5 start rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests, every model of the Ford Focus comes equipped with front, side and curtain airbags and ESP. It tiredness monitors and electronic stability control to help you regain control on slippery surfaces or if you car starts to slide, making it less likely for you to hit any pedestrians. In fact the Ford Focus scored higher than both the Vauxhall Astra and VW Golf.
Unfortunately the Ford Focus has gone up and down in reliability ratings and falls second to the Volkswagen Golf, and scored less in both adult and child protection. However, you can increase the safety of your car by purchasing Ford’s Driver Assistance pack which adds high quality features like lane keeping aid, traffic sign recognition and collision city breaking, giving you the reassurance you need for you and your passengers.