With Ford readying the Focus for a fresh new look, and bargains to be had on the current model, we take a look at the popular 1.0-litre EcoBoost model to see if it's worthy of your consideration.
What is it?
Ford’s family favourite, the Focus, fitted with its award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. Currently Britain’s second best-selling car behind the Fiesta, the Focus has more than proved its worth over the years, and arguably still looks fresh – even if a facelift is just around the corner.
What’s it like to drive?
As good as it ever was, really. It’s not the revelation that the first generation was when it arrived back in 1998, but today’s Focus is still one of the best cars in its segment to drive. Opt for the smaller alloy wheels and you’ll be treated to an impressively smooth ride, too.
The 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder fitted to our car is certainly worth a look, too. For drivers used to humdrum four-cylinders it takes a bit of getting used to, but there’s oodles of torque and more than enough pace for most drivers. It’s impressively refined on the motorway too, even towards the top of the rev range, and whispers out CO2 at a rate of 114g/km. If you really hate paying road tax, a lower powered version is also available with emissions of under 100g/km.
What’s it like inside?
The Focus’s interior design has attracted some mixed reviews over the years, but in reality it’s hard to fault in terms of layout and build quality. Material quality is spot on in this Titanium-spec model, and although the steering wheel is littered with buttons everything is easy to get to grips with.
There’s plenty of kit on offer too. Most models get Ford’s SYNC in-car wizardry, which comes with Bluetooth, clever voice activation, and a nice (if slightly small) colour screen to control it all. Go for Titanium or above and you’ll get a cool, if ultimately pointless, multi-colour mood lighting system thrown in too.
Is it practical?
Our top-of-the-range test car starts at £22,395£80,000.
It’s easy to get comfortable in either the front or the back, and there’s a decent-sized boot too – helped further by rear seats that fold almost completely flat. There’s a bit of a lip to lift things over, but serial load-luggers can go for the cavernous estate version where this isn’t the case.
This generation Focus is one of the easiest to drive too – though there’s the option of adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning system, a reversing camera and even automatic self-parking if the thought of parallel spaces sends shivers down your spine.
Should I buy one?
If you want a practical, reasonably priced hatchback with a flexible range of engines, we say yes – and if sales figures are anything to go by, the rest of Britain seems to agree. You’ll find rivals with more comprehensive warranties, lower list prices or more badge appeal, but as a great all-rounder the Focus is a no-brainer. Exercise caution with the price and options list, however – you’ll soon find yourself ticking boxes that can take the Ford into BMW 1 Series territory.
Don’t want to buy new? Browse through our used selection of Ford Focuses here.
Ford Focus 1.0 125 Titanium X Navigator
List price: £22,395
Engine: 1.0-litre, turbocharged petrol
Top speed: 120mph
0-62mph: 11.3 seconds
Fuel economy: 44.8mpg (urban), 67.3mpg (extra-urban), 56.5mpg (combined)
Emissions: 114g/km CO2
Euro NCAP: Five stars