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Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
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PROS

  • Excellent ride and handling
  • Spacious
  • Strong petrol and diesels

CONS

  • Poor steering feedback
  • Counter-intuitive Powershift
  • Seats lack lateral support

Verdict

The Ford Focus is the perfect all-round car, especially for a young family. It’s nice to drive, practical, cheap to run as well as affordable, and is well equipped with safety kit so it is no surprise it is a popular seller.

Five-door only

The new 2011 Ford Focus looks very different from the previous version; it’s longer, sits lower to the ground and only comes with five doors. The Ford Focus has been around since 1998 though it doesn’t have the best record for reliability – other makes, such as the Honda Civic, have a better reputation for build quality and reliability. However, Ford has been improving the build quality of its latest cars and the new Ford Focus is no exception and this bodes well for improved reliability.

Active safety features

The latest Ford Focus hatchback also comes with new technology to improve driver safety and ownership experience such as a blind spot indicator, parking assistance (helps steer the car safely into a parking spot) and a slow-speed anti-collision system designed to prevent accidents happening in town traffic. Some of these accessories are available as options only while others, depending on the trim level you choose, can come as standard.

There are six trim levels available from the entry-level Studio that comes with alloy wheels but not an alarm as standard, to the top range Titanium X that comes with leather, electric-adjustable and heated front seats, and parking sensors as standard.

Frugal EcoBoost engines

You get the same engine choice as before but Ford has added two more fuel-efficient petrol engines, a 1.0-litre and 1.6-litre. These engines are called ‘EcoBoost’ and each is available with two different power outputs.

The 1.0-litre in the lower power guise of 99bhp is the cheapest petrol engine to buy and run thanks to free road tax in its first year and has the best fuel efficiency figures of more than 58mpg.

Two diesel engines remain on offer with the 1.6-litre available with two power outputs and the 2.0-litre diesel available with three. Buyers looking to cut diesel costs should aim for the lower power motors fitted with manual gearboxes.

Overhaul in 2014

The Focus range was given a significant facelift for 2014 with a new bonnet, bumpers (the front one incorporating a stylish new chrome grille) and slimmer headlamps. At the back, LEDs feature in the reshaped lights and there’s a new tailgate design too.

Climb inside and the materials have been upgraded with many models featuring an eight-inch touchscreen at the top of the dashboard for ‘Sync2’, with all benefiting from new instruments and redesigned switchgear.

Under the bonnet a 99g/km edition of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost became available, as did a new range of 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines.

Further improvements were also made to the Focus’ self-parking and active safety systems.

Read the full Ford Focus review to find out more.

What owners say about this car

Good size boot, very comfortable drive. Gadgets are all logical and intuitive to operate so a... Read owner review

The space. It isn’t that much bigger than my fiesta but I have loads more legroom, more legroom in... Read owner review

Very solid. Feels "safe". Good size boot with grab handles to pull the boot lid back down. Car feel... Read owner review

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