So common has the Focus become that we’re in danger of forgetting what an excellent car it is, which is a shame because there’s a lot to like about Ford’s hatchback.
Although it’s nearing the end of its life – with a new Focus on the way for 2011 – the Ford hatchback still leads the sales charts for the sector and remains an excellent car.
Despite its age the Focus is heavy on gadgetry, with an electronic stability control, and plenty of airbags – all as standard.
Other new features to be found on the Focus models include Ford’s innovative Easy Fuel capless refuelling system that stops the driver putting diesel fuel in a petrol model, or vise versa – one of the most expensive mistakes a driver can make.
On top of this, standard equipment on the Focus includes ABS anti-lock braking, four airbags, electric front windows, CD player, central locking, height adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40 split folding rear seat and curtain airbags.
There are four specification levels on the Focus, but plenty of personalisation options. Higher-level Zetec trim should cater for most tastes, while the Titanium spec features just about everything you’d ever want in a car.
This includes privacy glass, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rear view mirror, Sony CD sound system, electric rear windows, cooled glovebox, aluminium scuff plates and footwell lighting.
Inside, new soft-touch plastics now cover the instrument panel, adding to the feeling of quality in the Focus. The dashboard is simple and clear and the instrument panel is easy to use and well laid out.
As a family car, space is important and there’s ample space for passengers and luggage inside the Ford Focus. The boot in particular is built for practicality with a simple square shape ideal for suitcases and bags.
The Ford PowerShift transmission and Ecoboost engine pairing can now be found in the Focus – meaning a great blend of fuel economy and performance. Diesel engines will tilt the balance further towards greater fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.
At the ‘green’ end of the diesel range lie Ford’s ECOnetic models. These significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the Focus, making it eligible for just £35 road tax per year – one of the best performing models in the segment.
Ford’s Focus ECOnetic models start at £16,050 and feature low-rolling resistance tyres, improved aerodynamics and modified front bumper skirt to improve fuel consumption.
On the road, the Focus was a breakthrough in handling and steering when it first arrived, and despite its age, arguably no other car has since caught up.
The ride is comfortable enough even on UK roads, and the Focus is composed enough to take on the motorway without a hitch – helped along by the capable range of engines.
The sharp handling and grip makes the Focus extremely fun to drive, and matched with the practicality of a family hatchback, and the lower emissions courtesy of some frugal and efficient engines, its role as the consummate all-rounder is undiminished with time.
It even has a five-star EuroNCAP safety rating – the highest possible score for a car in the industry-standard crash tests.
But why should you consider an old Focus with the new one just around the corner? The Focus has aged well, and the huge discounts now available for this generation ensure it is one of the best value cars on the market today.
The Focus may be getting long in the tooth, but it still looks good, drives and well and makes for a superb all-round family car. Expect an even better Focus very soon.
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