ACTIVELY DIFFERENT (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
Here's a Ford Focus with a bit of Crossover attitude. Jonathan Crouch takes a look at the Focus Active.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 90
The Focus Active is the car you buy if you like the idea of a mid-sized SUV but can't quite bring yourself to buy one. In this lifestyle-orientated Focus derivative, you get a higher ride height and a bit of fashionable bling but you don't have to join the crossover crowd to get it. In fact, there are hardly any compromises to make in buying this trendy Focus derivative. And of course you get all the design improvements that Ford has painstakingly built into the current version of this design.
Backgroundword count: 135
The rise and rise of the SUV market shows no sign of slowing down. But not everyone is convinced by the idea of the Crossover class of car. Do you really need something with Jeep-like styling to complete the school run or commute through the suburbs to work? Probably not. It's difficult though, not to be attracted by the idea of a car that sits you a little higher than the traffic around you. And one that looks as if it might occasionally venture from the beaten track. The concept of delivering this for customers who don't want to make a complete switch to a fully-fledged SUV is what has driven Ford to create its range of 'Active' Fiesta and Focus models. We're going to check out what the Focus Active has to offer here.
Driving Experienceword count: 211
It's easy to dismiss cars like this as purely marketing packaging exercises - and some of them are. At least with the Focus Active though, Ford has made some sort of effort to provide drive dynamics that, to some extent anyway, deliver on the promises of the 'hatchback with a backpack' styling approach. The Focus Active chassis features unique springs, dampers, stabiliser bars, and front and rear knuckle geometries, alongside a ride height raised 30mm front and 34mm rear over the standard model. The SLA system aims to optimise comfort and response, and features an isolated sub frame that delivers better compliance over larger bumps in the road, for smoother journeys. There's also a selectable drive mode system, with two settings; a 'Slippery' mode which adjusts ESC and traction control settings for increased confidence on surfaces with reduced grip such as mud, snow and ice. And a 'Trail' mode, which helps maintain momentum on soft surfaces such as sand. Engine-wise, there are various options. Petrol people choose between a 125PS 1.0-litre EcoBoost three cylinder engine in standard or mHEV forms - plus there's an mHEV 155PS version of that 1.0T unit. Or a 1.5-litre 150PS EcoBoost engine. Plus there's also a 120PS 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel. An 8-speed auto gearbox is optional.
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Category: Compact Family Cars
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