Ford Focus: Test Drive (continued...)
07 December 2007
Filling up on the company
|Category:|| Lower medium|
|Key rival:|| Vauxhall Astra Estate|
We sampled the business heartland 136PS 2.0-litre TDCI in top-spec Titanium trim that's becoming increasingly popular on S-max and Mondeo variants. Ford hasn't tampered with the power unit, which means it's adequate - without ever feeling like anything other than a workhorse - and noisier than average. Emissions and economy figures are on a par with rivals, though.
Dynamically unaltered from the 2005 launch car, the Focus is still class leader in terms of handling, and the ride soaks up bumps impressively, even if there is more suspension noise than expected.
Prices have risen by £250 over the equivalent outgoing model. However, ESP is now standard instead of a £250 option, and the Ghia trim level has been removed so the range now reads Studio, Style, Zetec, Titanium. Ford has also fitted as standard its much-vaunted Easyfuel system that prevents diesel cars being mis-fuelled, while costs compare well to its main rivals - although the VW Golf does have particularly impressive residual values.
This isn't a massive shift in the attraction or desirability of Ford's Focus, but it is a well-executed mid-life refresh that looks different enough to leave drivers in no doubt that they've got the latest version.