The launch of the all-new Focus is a particularly important one. Since its launch back in the late nineties, the Focus has been one of the major blueprints in the hatchback revolution and a yardstick within the genre. And being one of the best-selling cars on the market, this is going to impact a lot of people, with interest from drivers and rival manufacturers who will likely all be worried about it. This means expectations are high.
If rival manufacturers were anxious to see what the Focus is like, then rightly so, the all new models is an absolute beauty.
By virtue of its versatility is a far-reaching target audience which includes families and business people, as well as car enthusiasts. Therefore, the Focus must adhere to those demands of practicality and comfort; reliability, fuel efficiency and cost; alongside shining as an exciting and rewarding car to please loyal Ford petrol-heads.
It is a roomy and comfortable car. The cabin has been completely revamped and is now much more contemporary and user-friendly than the outgoing version. I found the driving position to be just right and the room was remarkable for a hatch. Modern hatches can feel quite cramped as extra equipment and safety demands compromise on cabin space – the Focus however manages to provide uncompromised, spacious cabin space. The pragmatic character pervades through every inch extending to features like the advanced driver assistance technologies such as adaptive cruise and adaptive park assist (auto models only) which means the car identifies suitable parking spaces and will takeover and park for you.
Externally, Ford has played it safe(ish) with the looks, despite everything being aesthetically changed, it has been done softly. It doesn’t feel like it’s deviated too far from predecessors, looking distinctly Focus, just a more modern, more sharply sculpted version – perfect!
The Focus offers a choice of refined and efficient petrol or diesel engines, designed to deliver brilliant fuel economy and coupled with low emissions- all of which helped by the ultra-aero design. The 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol has in fact won multiple awards and is available in guises of up to 125 PS.
Saving the best until last is the way in which the Focus drives. Refinement is excellent and one of the best in the class, but the star of the show is the drive itself – it’s simply one of the best driving vehicles I’ve ever had the pleasure of piloting. This is down to having a wonderfully balanced and sharp-as-a-razor chassis married with a set-up that allows you as a driver to feel in total control – giving more confidence, feedback and engagement than ever. The model I tested was an ST-line which is the model best set-up for driver experience and despite being modestly powered by a 1.5 litre 120ps diesel I was still able to thoroughly enjoy country roads, which the Focus lapped up in its stride. I cannot overplay how well the Focus drives.
In summary I think the all-new Focus has delivered on every aspect and will please the breath of target audience. On a car enthusiast note, based on the drive of the ST-line, the new (hybrid) RS, which is expected in 2020, should be fantastic.
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