The Ford Focus has muscled its way into the position of being the UK’s second bestselling car – behind only Ford’s own Fiesta supermini – and it’s easy to see why it’s proved so popular, thanks to the wide range of models available, the strong value it offers and its entertaining drive.

Prices start at £13,995 and rise to £26,685 – more expensive than Vauxhall’s Astra range, though what keeps the Ford performing better in the sales charts are its punchy and frugal engines, long list of standard kit and impressive roadholding on twisty roads.

What may prove more problematic are the more than 70 Focus variations to choose from, including nine trim levels and 15 engines. We’ve trawled through the Focus range to establish which models offer the best value and most frugal options for many different drivers.

Affordable Ford Focus: 1.0 EcoBoost 100 Style – £17,295

This may not be the cheapest Focus you can get, but it is the least expensive model that gives you an economical but sufficiently powerful engine for lugging your family and a little luggage around. Just over £17,000 buys you a turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol car that offers strong claimed fuel economy of 61.4mpg. Meanwhile, emissions are low enough to warrant £20 annual car tax.

As for on-road performance, the engine may be small, but with 99bhp, it transports the Focus to 62mph in 12.5 seconds – adequate for most drivers. Style trim includes essentials such as air conditioning, a digital radio, trip computer, electric, heated wing mirrors, a hill start assist system and a full complement of airbags.

Top value Ford Focus: 1.5 TDCi 120 Zetec – £19,495

Spend a little more, however, and a punchier engine, improved economy and equipment could be yours for well under £20,000. The new 1.5 TDCi 120 engine offers impressive official fuel economy of 74.3mpg, meaning that fuel bills should be low, along with free car tax. Acceleration from the 1.5-litre diesel motor is equally good, with the Focus requiring 10.5 seconds to hit the 62mph benchmark.

Zetec trim includes additional kit over the Style model above including a heated front windscreen, 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, a driver’s armrest and supportive sports seats. Those who don’t cover many miles may be better off with the 1.0 EcoBoost 125 Zetec, however. This model weighs in at £700 less than the 1.5-litre diesel, meaning that the average driver covering around 10,000 miles a year would need to own the car for five years before making back the price premium in lower fuel and car tax costs. The diesel motor is a little more sprightly, though, and offers more pulling power for lugging heavy loads, so some drivers may prefer the diesel, despite the extra initial outlay.

Well-equipped Ford Focus: 1.5 EcoBoost 150 Titanium – £20,795

Though range-topping Titanium X Focus models can seem expensive, opt for Titanium trim and you can save yourself £2,000, while only losing a few toys in the process. Titanium models still include handy rear parking sensors, automatic headlights and wipers, dual-zone climate control, a touchscreen eight-inch media system, cruise control and electric rear windows.

Thanks to the 148bhp on tap this Focus can spring to 62mph in a nippy 8.9 seconds, though combined fuel economy stands at a strong 51.4mpg. CO2 emissions are also relatively low, warranting car tax of £110. This may not be the most expensive Focus, but unless you have to have the top specification model or need an automatic gearbox, there is no need to dig into your wallet any further.

Picture: Ford