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Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5
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Performance

4 out of 5 4.0

The Focus saloon comes with a similar engine line up to the hatchback and estate, but drops the 1.4-litre petrol. That's no real loss as the engines that are left are some of the best that Ford has to offer. The petrols are a 1.6-litre with 100bhp or 115bhp and a 2.0-litre with 130bhp. The range of diesels is outstanding and gives buyers a choice of economy and performance.

The entry unit is the 110bhp 1.6 TDCi, which returns 58mpg, followed by a 115bhp 1.8 TDCi that's capable of 53mpg. The range-topping engine is the excellent 135bhp 2.0-litre TDCi will give 49mpg in everyday driving. All models come with a five-speed gearbox except the 2.0 TDCi, which is a six-speeder.

Handling

4.5 out of 5 4.5

There's no difference between the Focus saloon and hatchback, so even models with modest powerplants offer an enjoyable driving experience thanks to responsive steering and nimble yet surefooted behaviour through bends. Rivals have sought to catch up in this area, but few can match the Focus. Ride quality also benefits from the sophisticated suspension which provides a settled and composed ride at all times, even in sportier models.

Behind the wheel

4.5 out of 5 4.5

Ford has worked hard to raise quality in an attempt to take the fight to the Volkswagen Golf and the interior is well finished with soft touch materials. The appearance of the interior is much improved on facelifted cars and shows more attention to detail - particularly around the instruments. The driving position offers plenty of adjustment, especially if the car has electrically adjustable seats while the variable assistance power steering makes for easy parking and plenty of feedback on the move.

Comfort

4 out of 5 4.0

The cabin of the Focus saloon feels spacious and comfortable and there is easily room enough for five adults with good head and legroom - even in the rear. It's a refined environment in which to travel, especially on long journeys with limited engine and road noise. The seats are very comfortable too plus a DAB digital radio is available as an optional extra for even more channels on the move.

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