Parkers overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 4.2

Should you buy a Ford Focus Active?

There’s actually very little to discredit the Focus Active for, especially when it improves on some key areas over the regular Focus (that already impresses us). In fact, that car is our favourite small family car.

How good the Active is depends on what you compare it with. If you’re just looking for a regular hatchback, it’s hard to justify its higher price over the standard Focus, even if there are improvements in the comfort. However, if you just want the SUV styling add-ons without actually buying an SUV, it’s got very few rivals. The problem is the similar Kia XCeed looks and feels a bit more interesting and a bit more of a premium product inside, while a regular SUV offers that desirable lift in ride height.

If you're still set on the Focus and you want a petrol - and the budget stretches - the 1.5-litre EcoBoost is well worth it over the 1.0. It’s punchier and more refined, and makes longer journeys just that little bit easier. Regular Active trim will suit most, but a few convenience features offered by the Active X could be worth stretching to. One option box we’d tick is for the LED lights – the standard halogen items are quite dim. Stick to a manual unless you really need an automatic – it’s slick and easy to operate, and offers favourable fuel economy figures as well.