Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

The Parkers Verdict Should you buy a Ford Focus?

The Ford Focus is better than ever. It’s the real deal, buoyed by a new platform, lots of clever tech, excellent practicality and an on-road performance that most of its rivals can only dream about. A lack of any hybrid or electric versions may harm its outright score, but make no mistake – this is damn near every bit as good as Volkswagen’s benchmark Golf hatchback. It's cheaper to buy, too, which just about makes it the class champion.

For the cheapest Ford Focus, a base-spec Zetec with the 100hp 1.0-litre engine is your best bet. This strikes the right balance between fuel economy, CO2 and performance. Equipment levels are generous on Zetec cars too.

‘Ford has never made a bad Focus and it’s continued the trend with this latest version. Although the competition has never been tougher, this is still a superb all-round family hatchback that I’d happily recommend without a moment’s hesitation.'

– James Dennison

Company car drivers should head for the 95hp or 120hp 1.5-litre EcoBlue versions for the lowest CO2; they come in at 96 and 98g/km of CO2 respectively. Avoid the automatic gearbox option, though, as this increases emissions and claimed fuel consumption. Performance fans should head for the ST, or wait for the RS version to come along. If the ST is a bit too much, though, the 182hp 1.5-litre EcoBoost is zippy enough – and, thanks to the Focus’ excellent chassis, fun to drive.

Also note that Ford dealers are known for their willingness to offer discounts on new cars, so you should always try to pay less than the list price for any of its models. If not, there’s countless outlets that will always have a healthy supply of new or nearly new cars ready to drive away the same day.

Ford regularly offers 0% APR deals on the Focus - this means you won't have to pay any interest when you take out a finance deal.

Options worth going for include the head-up display, parking sensors (they’re not standard on the first three trim levels), Driver Assistance Pack (featuring adaptive cruise control) and the Convenience Pack (including Active Park Assist automatic parking and a reversing camera).

Further reading