Our cars: Ford Focus - April 2012
Week ending April 20
Driven this week: 173 miles
Ford Focus review
Having received a rap on the knuckles following the recent Econo Check report from my local Ford dealer, I decided to put its advice into practice this week.
The Econo Check analyses your driving style in a bid to help you drive more efficiently. It suggested that I could save more fuel with better anticipation of situations where I needed to speed up or slow down, and to lighten up the use of my right foot. So, on a 140-mile return trip from London to Bicester in Oxfordshire I put theory into practice.
I avoided unnecessary overtaking, and followed the car's gearshift indicator religiously. The result was a 38.6mpg high for the motorway stretch of the journey, and a 36.8 average – an improvement of 3mpg on what I usually record, even if the mythical 47mpg Ford claims as an average is still proving elusive. However, the improvement was hard-won concentrating on checking the dash gearshift meant that I actually felt quite tired by the end of the journey. Saving money on fuel meant that I spent a lot of my own energy.
Week ending April 13
Driven this week 194 miles
Ford Focus review
A great car is about to get even better. We've tested a super-efficient 1.0-litre turbocharged engine for the Focus, which combines a 123bhp power output with fuel economy of almost 57mpg.
This could answer my only serious criticism of our long-term Focus after nine months of ownership. For my kind of driving - mostly family-ferrying around town - I would happily sacrifice the extra 25bhp of our 1.6-litre EcoBoost for better economy and fewer visits to the fuel station.
There's also a 99bhp version of the new 1.0-litre engine that emits 109g/km of CO2, which puts it into the 12% company car tax band and will no doubt galvanise the Focus’s standing as Britain’s favourite fleet choice. I’m sure the keys will be in demand when the 1.0T joins the What Car? fleet this summer
Week ending April 6
The Focus was a true family hauler this week, transporting two octagenarian relatives and their carer on an 80-mile round trip to see Junior.
In the past I have voiced concerns about the ease of access to the rear of the car, as the ‘cut’ of the doors means that I sometimes struggle to extract my son’s child seat.
On this occasion, however, there was nothing to worry about: even frail Auntie manage to manoeuvre herself in and out easily enough, and the boot was deep enough to swallow a heavy-duty wheelchair too. Job done.