This is the 2014 Ford Focus, a face-lifted version of the UK’s best-selling family car, which gets new engines and cabin upgrades as well as styling changes.
At the front, a slimmer trapezoid grille sits in front of a more sculpted bonnet. The headlights are also thinner, with daytime running lights that stretch halfway along the lens, while oblong foglights are integrated into the front bumper.
At the rear, the hatchback’s chunky tail-lights have been shrunk slightly. The tailgate has also been redesigned, with a crease that runs across the width of the car.
The Focus will be the first car in Europe to get Ford’s new 1.5-litre Ecoboost petrol engine in place of the current 1.6. It will be offered with either 148bhp or 178bhp.
A new 1.5-litre diesel with 94bhp, 104bhp or 118bhp replaces the 104bhp and 113bhp 1.6 TDCi. The 2.0-litre diesel has also been revised, with a modest drop in power to 148bhp.
The 99bhp 1.0 Ecoboost engine is more efficient, and it will be the first non-hybrid petrol car of its size with CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km. Official fuel economy is 67.5mpg.
The current Focus is already the sweetest-handling car in its class, but Ford says it will be even better in 2014. The chassis is stiffer at the front and the suspension and steering have been tuned to deliver more feel. Refinement should be even more impressive, because there’s improved sound deadening in the engine bay, as well as thicker carpets and window glass.
In the cabin, the cluttered infotainment controls have been ditched. Instead, the Focus gets the new Sync 2 software and eight-inch touch-screen display, with a simple set of audio controls beneath. Sync 2 brings advanced voice control commands. For example, saying ‘I’m hungry’ will cue up a list of local restaurants, and you can then tell the sat-nav to take you to one.
The outgoing Focus was the first Ford to get parallel parking assistance, and the 2014 model will add a self-parking function that can steer the car into bays. Park-Out Assist is also new, which helps with exiting a tight parking space, while Cross Traffic Alert warns drivers of vehicles moving across their reversing line.
While we expect little if any price increase for the face-lifted Focus, the low-volume, base Studio trim may be dropped. That would mean that the 84bhp petrol would be an Edge model, and would likely cost from around £15,500.
Order books open in the summer, and you’ll see the new Focus in dealers towards the end of the year.