Many talents of family-friendly Ford in Focus

Ford Focus is good to drive, easy on the eye and there are plenty of choose from.

Ford Focus is good to drive, easy on the eye and there are plenty of choose from. - Credit: PA

Good to drive, easy to live with and running costs that won't break the bank – the second-generation Ford Focus (2005-11) will be a welcome addition to your family

Engines – While it's easy to think this particular Ford Focus has been around for a long time, and in reality it has, engine development never stood still. This generation of Focus boasts some of Ford's finest engines, with the quiet and refined petrol motors perfectly complementing the more frugal diesel units.

Exterior – Despite the many styling updates over the years, from the outside this car remains unmistakably a Focus. Although a little chunkier around the edges than previously, this Focus has lost none of the original's charm.

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Interior – In contrast to the minimalist interior of the original Focus, this model presents a more welcoming interior to its occupants. Build and material quality levels are also improved, and there's no shortage of space for passengers fore and aft.

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Driving – For all the many cosmetic changes, this Focus remains the same engaging and enjoyable car to drive. These qualities that set the Focus apart from its many rivals. And even if you're not a super-keen driver, the Focus is capable of delivering an easy-going, refined experience for those long motorway journeys.

Ownership – Easy to drive and own and boasting the support of a huge dealer network, this is one of those rare, vice and quirk-free cars that will bring a smile to your face. There's plenty of space for a growing family and running a Focus is unlikely to break the bank.

What to look for – There's no shortage of choice and, crucially, condition to choose from. For something this new there's no excuse for a missing service history. If it was a company car it might be a detailed printout, but at least it's a credible record. Parking dents and kerbed wheels are a fact of life, but they could also be hiding more serious damage. Likewise, cabin trim should be spotless – tears, cracks and cigarette burns should have you walking away.

Model history – 2005, Ford introduces second-generation Focus hatchback with a wide choice of both petrol and diesel engines. Three and five-door bodystyles available plus a good selection of standard and optional equipment. 2006 saw ST performance and CC convertible variants launched. Hot RS variant appeared in 2009.

Reasons to buy – Choice, a proven performer, extensive dealer support, good to drive, easy on the eye.

Reasons to beware – Used-and-abused cars, everyone's got one.

Pick of the range – Focus 1.6 Titanium five-door.

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