Ford’s fresh Focus on looks, quality and technology

11:13 18 December 2014

Ford Focus has been given a smart nip and tuck and is a huge step up in terms of perceived quality and technology.

Ford Focus has been given a smart nip and tuck and is a huge step up in terms of perceived quality and technology.


The Ford Focus is the best-selling car in the world. Matt Kimberley explores a few of the impressive revisions on this new model.

What’s new?

The Focus is the world’s best-selling car, so you could say this update is a bit important to Ford. Feast your eyes on the new grille in all its shiny chrome-effect glory, as well as the neater, tauter light cluster designs. The interior has had something of a renaissance as well, with higher-quality materials and a much better media interface screen.

Under the bonnet you can pick new engine options, too, with 1.5-litre turbo petrol and diesel options fresh from the test bench. Thanks to clever modern technology, the petrol can push out as much as 179bhp, while the economical diesel can potentially nudge 74mpg.

Ford Focus

■ Price: Ford Focus Titanium 2.0 TDCi hatchback, £22,335 (range £13,995 to £26,685)

■ Engine: 2.0-litre, 148bhp, four-cylinder turbo diesel

■ Transmission: Six-speed manual driving the front wheels

■ Performance: 0-62mph 8.8 seconds; top speed 130mph

■ MPG: 70.6 combined

■ CO2 emissions: 105g/km

Looks and image

Aside from the new grille and the shiny bits, which look and feel quite American in the flesh, the Focus has been nipped and tucked to create cleaner lines that better flatter its ubiquitous shape. The hawkish headlights are a highlight, and only get prettier the more you look at them.

As for this car’s image, it clearly doesn’t have any popularity issues among British drivers, despite some middling scores in reliability and ownership satisfaction surveys.

Space and practicality

The boot is straightforward, with a tyre repair kit beneath a single base panel. You don’t get hidden compartments or luggage nets as standard. There’s a surprising amount of room for two adult rear passengers, though, and only people pushing beyond the six-foot mark will feel cramped.

Some might say the front door pockets are little awkwardly shaped, but there are several small cubbyholes for bits and pieces, including one that’s felt-lined to silence any potential rattling.

Behind the wheel

The 2015 Focus is a huge step up in terms of perceived quality and technology. The chunky seats and robust-feeling control points on this high-end trim grade all ooze sturdiness. The eight-inch media screen is sharp and intuitive, too, although it can get a little crowded at times as the interface tries to squeeze too much on at once.

A reputation for being the best ‘driver’s car’ in the segment isn’t entirely justified, with rivals breathing down the Focus’s neck more than ever. The ride is really something to shout about, though. The heavier 2.0-litre diesel model in particular feels particularly composured monk on bumpy roads.

Value for money

While it doesn’t look cheap, Ford dealers can usually chop a bit off the asking price. And, as the ever-advancing march of technology continues, buyers can look to cheaper models to give them all they really need, as previously advanced gadgets filter down the range. Modest trim levels could be the best value.

Who would buy one?

The Focus has such a broad appeal that people from all walks of life own one. Young, old, style-conscious or comfort-biased, the Focus can cover pretty much all bases. It’s a prince among compact family hatchbacks and offers enough space, practicality, economy and affordability to tempt thousands of people to buy.

This car summed up in a single word – confident.


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Andy Russell

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EDP motoring editor, journalist who loves wheels and engines but hates cleaning them.

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