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Ford Focus Econetic

Date: 04 December 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Ford Focus Econetic
Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £19,890
Key rival: VW Golf

Ford has joined the growing number of car makers who are ahead of the Government's taxation system by bringing out a Ford Focus that's below 100g/km for CO2.

Ford's new Econetic Focus comes in at 99g/km, the same as the latest VW Golf Bluemotion, which means that it's zero rated for road tax, in the lowest benefit-in-kind band for a diesel and in the best capital allowance band. Possibly the most attractive part of this tax-trio is the capital allowance banding. Any car with emissions of 110g/km or below fits in the 100% capital allowance band. The zero VED band only saves £35 a year and the Zetec version of the Focus already fits in the lowest 13% BIK band for diesels.

This is also why Ford is offering a 104g/km version of the Focus Econetic which does away with stop-start technology and saves £500 on the P11D price. Indeed it expects this 104g/km car to be far the better selling Econetic model, simply because of the lower price and minimal tax difference between the two cars.

Once you look at the monthly tax deduction for drivers on each car, you can see why - the higher CO2 car actually costs less in tax.

However, it was the stop-start equipped version we drove and can report that like all good stop-start systems it's simple and easy to use and when the car did stop or start none of the electronic systems, such as stereo or satnav, were interrupted.

Ford also claims the break-even time for how long you need to have the engine off to save fuel over the fuel-cost of a restart is only three seconds, two better than the VW Golf.

Alongside the stop-start system, improved aerodynamics, more efficient gearing and engine management Ford has fitted an extra readout of flowers to show how efficient your driving has been. The system is similar to that in the Honda Insight, in that the more efficiently you drive the more petals appear on your flowers. There are three flowers measuring, gear efficiency, road and traffic anticipation (which looks at throttle and brake nervousness) and overall speed. The system works well and brought out our competitive nature as we tried to get as many petals showing as possible.

These petals led us to a fuel figure of 64.2mpg on our test drive - very similar to figure we achieved in the Golf Bluemotion only a few weeks before.

However, the thing that lets the Focus Econetic down against the Golf is the cost per mile. The Focus's higher P11D price and lower residual value mean the Golf has a hefty 7.6p a mile advantage.

Ford Focus 1.6TDCI 109PS Econetic 5dr manual
P11D price£19,890
Model price range£17,865-£26,995
Fuel consumption74.2mpg
CO2 (tax) 99g/km (13%)
BIK 20/40% per month£43/£86
Service interval12,500mls
Insurancegroup 7*
Boot space (min/max)385/1247 litres
Engine size/power1560cc/109PS
Top speed/0-62mph119mph/10.9secs
On sale February 2010
VerdictLike any other Focus,
only now it’s more efficient
* estimate