This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Ford Focus Saloon (05-09) review.

Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

1.6 is peppy and offers a good mix of performance and frugality. 1.8 is quick, while the 2.0 makes for a refined cruiser – it’s the range-topping petrol unit. Avoid early TDi diesels, unless fuel consumption is an overriding issue. They’re old fashioned, noisy and rough. Later TDCis are gutsy, sip fuel and are much better.

As good to drive as the hatchback and only bettered by recent offerings by Volkswagen and Vauxhall (among others) with their latest models. This is achieved through a rigid bodyshell, all-independent suspension and well-tuned chassis. Good grip makes for confident cruising, while there’s still a supple ride. CL and LX models are more softly sprung and roll around a bit even in gentle corners.

Zetec and Ghia models are much more composed. 2.0 ST170 has a harsher ride. Competent cruiser on the motorway.