Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Seven engines on offer
  • None are hybrids or pure electric
  • Excellent six-speed manual, seven or eight-speed auto optional

Petrol engines

With four different versions of the 1.0-litre petrol engine spread across the range, there’s plenty to think about for potential customers. Those named 'mHEV' come with a mild hybrid system to electrically assist the engine.

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The 125hp engine is the most popular in the range, delivering a healthy amount of real-world performance, refinement and low running costs for such a small engine. Performance isn't exactly sparkling, but its turbocharged nature means it doesn't need working so hard just to get up to speed - especially when compared to its larger-engined predecessors that produced a similar amount of power.

The 155hp version is faster but is not as responsive as the 125hp version so there can be a delay before you actually build momentum.  As a result, you need to work the gearbox to keep the engine spinning higher, while refinement also takes a hit. This can still be fun choice, but there are a couple of small compromises to be had.

Diesel engines

If you want a diesel-powered Ford Focus then there are two different engine variants to choose from. They're not as sweet to drive as the petrols, but a little more relaxing if you let the torque do the work for you. Plus, the additional muscle is ideal for those who regularly carry passengers and cargo.

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The 2.0-litre diesel is responsive at low revs, meaning you can pull away in a hurry with minimal fuss, but some may find it runs out of puff when worked hard and performance to be a little underwhelming - those with a heavy foot may find themselves constantly pinning the accelerator - even if there’s more than enough to get the Focus up to speed in a timely fashion.

What's it like to drive?

  • Superb handling and driveability
  • Easy to drive around town
  • Ride quality is very impressive

Superb handling has always been a hallmark of the Ford Focus and with this current model, it’s certainly no different. There are two rear suspension set-ups to choose from, with a basic setup on the majority of the models and an upgraded multi-link one fitted to all 2.0-litre diesel, Vignale and ST models.

The standard set-up is excellent. There’s a beautifully judged balance between composure and stiffness in the chassis, meaning even the bumpiest of Britain’s B-roads won’t be able to unsettle the Focus during an enthusiastic drive. The steering is well weighted and it’s sharp and accurate, too.

The upgraded set-up makes the Focus one of the best-handling cars in the medium-sized hatchback class. But you get a little more body control and ride quality. The steering on all models is well weighted and it’s sharp and accurate, too. You don’t feel an exceptional amount of what’s going on at the wheels through the steering wheel, but it’s no worse than in its rivals.

All Ford Focus models come fitted with a drive mode with three different settings – Normal, Sport and Eco (plus Comfort and Comfort Eco for cars fitted with adaptive dampers). Each mode tweaks the accelerator sensitivity, steering weighting, gearbox (automatic only) and adaptive cruise control (when fitted) settings.