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Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Running costs

4 out of 5 4.0
  • Electric Focus cheapest of all…
  • Econetic diesel best of the rest
  • Rapid RS costly to run

To have real appeal to money-conscious car buyers, running costs for the Ford Focus have been reduced compared with the previous model, but they aren’t as low as some key rivals.

As is the case with the majority of cars, the Focus is unlikely to match the official fuel consumption figures but they’re a useful yardstick when assessing efficiency.

Of the petrol range, the best is the 1.0-litre EcoBoost in 100hp form. Economy is as high as a claimed combined figure of 65.7mpg, with CO2 emissions of 99g/km placing it in one of the lowest VED car tax bands.

The diesels perform even better, all with average fuel consumption better than 60mpg, but it’s the 105hp 1.5-litre TDCi Econetic that’s top of the pile with its 83.1mpg figure, with CO2 emissions of 88g/km.

Cheapest of all to run is the Focus Electric, which produces no CO2 at all (although there is likely to be CO2 output generating the electricity to replenish the batteries) and typically costs around £3 for an overnight recharge. Its low 100-mile maximum range, high asking price and Ford’s lack of marketing activity means you’ll be hard-pressed to find one to buy.

The one to avoid if low running costs are a priority is the Focus RS. Its CO2 output of 175g/km will keep car tax bills reasonably manageable, though most can probably forget running one as a company car because benefit-in-kind tax will still be relatively high. Fuel economy is a claimed 36.7mpg, but this is likely to be far lower in the real world if you drive the RS as it was meant to be driven. We suspect 25mpg isn’t entirely unrealistic.

Tyres are going to be a factor here. The 19-inch Michelins are very expensive to replace, so think carefully before selecting Drift mode too often. If you’ve gone for the optional forged alloy with Cup 2 tyres, it’s worse still because they’re stickier, but will run out of tread sooner.

Estimated fuel cost per year

Fuel type Pence per litre Estimated cost per year *
Unleaded 116p £811 - £1,465 *
Diesel 118p £646 - £1,012 *

* The estimated fuel cost figure is based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles and is a guide to how much this model will cost in fuel each year. It's calculated using the model's average MPG (calculated from both town centre and motorway driving) and the average fuel price from around the country. Actual fuel costs will vary based on driving style and road conditions.

Ongoing running costs

Servicing period Every 12 months or 12,500 miles, whichever is sooner.
Warranty Three years or 60,000 miles, whichever is sooner.
Road tax (12 months) £0 - £220
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 6 - 42
How much is it to insure?

Vehicle excise duty (VED) varies according to the CO2 emissions and the fuel type of the vehicle. For cars registered before 01 March 2001 it is based on engine size. For cars registered on or after 01 March 2001 the VED or road tax is based on the car's CO2 emissions.

Green credentials

4 out of 5 4.0
  • Zero emissions for Focus Electric
  • Econetic diesel ranks at 88g/km
  • RS the dirtiest at 175g/km of CO2

Every turbocharged engine in the Ford Focus range, including that fitted to the RS, includes start/stop, potentially reducing emissions by up to 10 percent compared with when the system’s switched off.

This is part of the reason why the 1.0-litre EcoBoost in 100hp guise emits just 99g/km of CO2.

It’s trumped by the Econetic 1.5-litre TDCi 105hp diesel, with additional technology such as grilles which can open and close depending upon engine temperature and aerodynamic requirements. That’s enough to reduce CO2 to 88g/km.

The Electric version goes better still as the car itself produces no CO2 whatsoever.

At 175g/km of CO2, the Focus RS is the most-polluting of the range, although it’s not a car you’re likely to be buy for its green credentials.

Highest and lowest CO2 emissions

Engine CO2 emissions Road tax (12 months)
Electric g/km (Min) £0
2.3 Ecoboost Petrol 175 g/km (Max) £140 - £220


3 out of 5 3.0
  • No recalls for this generation Focus
  • Tried and tested mechanical parts
  • Few problems reported by owners

Ford Focus reliability is something the company has been working to improve given the previous-generation model was not as good as some of its rivals, such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Auris. This Focus has improved build quality, which bodes well for long-term reliability, so we don’t expect owners to experience many problems.

The previous-generation Focus didn't score particularly well in customer satisfaction surveys and Ford, as a brand, is a more mid-table performer.

Signs are very encouraging, though. In spite of being on sale since 2011 there have been no official recalls according to the VOSA vehicle inspectorate database.

There shouldn’t be much to worry about with the faster ST and RS models, either. Ford has a long history of building performance cars like this, and with the Focus one of the UK’s top-selling cars, any parts shared with other models have been tried and tested at length.

So far, Focus owners have left broadly very positive reviews about this iteration of Ford’s family hatchback, citing only niggling concerns rather than a series of expensive maladies.

Car checklist problem points

Body No problems reported
Engine / gearbox No problems reported
Other No reported

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