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Ford Focus Econetic: Test Drive Review

Date: 20 January 2014   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

Ford's best-selling Focus has dropped to a new emissions low in conventional, diesel-engined guise.

The brand's lower medium model can now be had with emissions of 88g/km and official fuel economy of 83.1mpg from the 1.6 TDCi Econetic engine.

The 88g/km model is only available with the lowest-spec Edge trim level, so standard equipment is sparse. That aside, the lowest-emitting Focus (if you don't count the electric version) has all the best bits about the regular car.

It's about as good to drive as conventional lower medium cars get, with responsive steering, great handling and a comfortable ride. The Mazda 3 and the pricier BMW 1-series are arguably the only competitors that really come close for driver appeal.

Cabin quality is impressive too, but the 316-litre boot trails the sector's average, and it's easy enough to find a rival with a capacity of 350 litres or more.

Either way, the Ford's sub-£19,000 price tag, tried-and-tested status and rock-bottom running costs from a conventional engine will be a big draw to the business car community.

It will come as no surprise, though, that the Ford's biggest stumbling block is its chief competitor, the Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion. At £21,215, the VW is £2825 more expensive on P11D alone, but in terms of cost per mile there's less than a half a penny between the two, the Focus with 41.9ppm and the Golf at 42.3ppm.

There isn't a big enough gap between emissions or economy on either car to make a significant difference, but the Volkswagen has a near 10% residual value advantage at 38.3% versus the Ford's comparatively meagre 29.6%. It's also better specced, with key fleet kit such as Bluetooth and DAB radio standard.

That's not to say that the Focus is a bad car - it's exceptionally clean and frugal and an extremely competent all-rounder - but the simple fact is, the Golf is the better fleet option.

Ford Focus Econetic
P11D price £18,390
Model price range £13,815-£25,265
Residual value 29.6%
Depreciation £12,956
Fuel £4540
Service, Maintenance and Repair £1597
Vehicle Excise Duty £0
National Insurance £1091
Cost per mile 41.9p
Fuel consumption 83.1mpg
CO2 (tax) 88g/km (13%)
BIK 20/40% per month £40/£80
Service interval 12,500mls
Insurance (1-50) group 14
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space min/max 316/1101 litres
Engine size/power 1560cc/105hp
Top speed/0-62mph 116mph/11.8secs


Low spec only, but as clean and frugal as Ford's best-seller gets