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Ford Focus

The independent definitive Ford Focus video review
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    SHARPER FOCUS (some text hidden)

    By Jonathan Crouch

    Much is expected from this fourth generation Ford Focus. Designed from a clean sheet of paper, it looks set to give its rivals plenty to think about. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 69

    The Ford Focus has evolved, this MK4 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 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.

    Backgroundword count: 257

    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.

    Driving Experienceword count: 255

    Our test of this fourth generation Focus confirmed that the sharp driving dynamics that marked out previous models have been retained. That's aided by the standard inclusion of a driving modes system this time round with settings that can alter steering feel, throttle response and, if you've an auto variant, transmission response times. Talking of autos, there's a new 8-speed self-shifter on offer. Otherwise, you'll be swapping cogs with a 6-speed manual. 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.

    To see the full road test text contact us on 0330 0020 227

    Pictures (high res disabled)

    Statistics (subset of data only)

    Min

    Max

    0-62 mph (s):

    5.7

    12

    [ST 280]

    [1.0 ECOBOOST 85]

    Boot capacity min (litres):

    433

    1320

    Combined mpg:

    34.4

    64.2

    CO2 (g/km):

    91

    179

    [TDCI 90]

    [ST 280]

    Height (mm):

    1471

    1502

    Insurance group:

    5

    20

    ... and 7 other stats available

    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Compact Family Cars

    Performance
    80%
    Handling
    90%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    70%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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