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Ford Focus: Test Drive

Date: 07 December 2007   |   Author:

Filling up on the company
Category: Lower medium
Prices: £11,945-£20,595
Key rival: Vauxhall Astra Estate

Don't let the guys from Ford hear you describe the new Ford Focus as 'just a facelift'.

In fact, according to them, it's a "dynamic new look with 'kinetic design' styling." So now we know.

To be fair, every body panel bar the roof is new, and from some angles the 2008 model is more of a change than when the second-generation Focus replaced the first in 2005. That's especially true of the front, where, with the swept-back headlamps, the car takes on the look of its bigger brother the Mondeo. Adopting the 'family look' is the reason for the Focus' early facelift, coming just three years into the current model's life.

Changes to the side and rear are more subtly but almost as effective, with a 'cut' running down the side and a new tailgate that's distinctively different from its predecessor.

On the inside, cabin quality, never a particular Ford strength prior to the new Mondeo, is much improved, although still not quite at the level of its big brother. New dials and improved materials make the inside a more pleasant place to be, but it's still recognisable as a Focus cabin.

The engine range is virtually identical to before, although Ford will introduce a new Econetic version next spring that achieves 65mpg and 115g/km of CO2. As a result of that car's development, Ford has also managed to get all 1.6-litre diesel Focus models below 120g/km.

We sampled the...