Our cars: Ford Focus - February 2012

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Ford Focus 1.6T Ecoboost Titanium

Week ending February 10
Mileage 6700
Driven this week: 220 miles


Ford Focus review

Office conversation occasionally drifts away from football long enough to discuss which is the best car in the world, pound-for-pound. Every time, then, the conversation includes the Focus, and having driven some 200 miles in our Focus this week, I can vouch for that the fact that it's certainly in the running for such a title.

I was attending the UK launch of Fiat's new Panda in Wiltshire, so getting there and back demanded a round trip that involved every sort of road: from the urban sprawl of south-west London, along the M4 and then across country to the venue. Yet, in every situation, the Focus proved supremely capable: easy to thread through city streets, sure-footed along the motorway and a blast down the B-roads.

It was never less than a joy to drive, and to my mind at least, it remains the benchmark car in its class in that respect.

My only reservations centre on the in-car entertainment: despite repeated efforts, I wasn't able to tune to the DAB radio to my beloved Planet Rock. However, the car did regain some brownie points as I was able to plug in my iPod and use the awesome "Sing to God" album by Cardiacs as the soundtrack to my journey.

Andy.Pringle

Week ending February 10
Mileage 6030
Driven this week: 151 miles


After a few days in our long-term Nissan Qashqai, it was a real pleasure to reclaim the keys to my Focus.

For all the Nissan’s talents – practicality, space and raised driving position – the Ford feels like a step up in class, something that I had begun to take for granted in daily use. But after the rather plain and plasticky interior of the Qashqai, you can't help but be impressed by the Focus’s soft-touch surfaces, well-weighted switchgear and doors that close with a pleasing clunk.

In terms of delivering a premium-car feel, the Focus is an impressive achievement for a sub-£20k car. That said, Ford fell below the industry average in last year’s JD Power survey, so the key question is whether perceived quality translates into reliability in years to come.

Adele.Donaghie@whatcar.com

Our cars: Ford Focus - January 2012

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