Our cars: Ford Focus - July
Week ending July 20
Driven this week: 633 miles
Ford Focus review
During our year together, one of the Focus's most impressive features has been the turbocharged EcoBoost engine. Its quick response and smoothness gives the Ford a zest that rivals do not have, even if it comes at the expense of fuel economy that has never matched its maker's claims.
But how big a part does a great engine play in our car's overall appeal? To find out, I tested it against a standard 1.6-litre petrol. This offers 103bhp and 111lb ft of pulling power to the EcoBoost's 148bhp and177lb ft. Ford claims that the pair offer almost identical mpg figures, but the Zetec spec 1.6 I tried is a full £2500 cheaper than my car.
My conclusions surprised me, not least because I have enjoyed running the Ecoboost so much. The standard 1.6 did feel significantly slower than our turbo version – to the point where it was quite laborious to drive on faster roads – but equally I was won over by the smoothness and sweet nature of the lesser engine.
Even if it can't offer any fuel consumption benefits, the fact that it offers most of our Ecoboost's virtues for less cash could make the 1.6 Zetec a better option for drivers like me who do most of their motoring in town.
In addition, I recently put our car's loadspace to the test when it played a supporting role in our family house move.
Although access to the rear could be easier, the Focus swallowed a huge load with the seats folded – and, it must be said, the pulling power of the turbo engine meant that the car felt no different with the contents of our bedroom on board than it did unladen.
Adele's video verdict on the Ford Focus 1.6T 150 Ecoboost Titanium
Week ending July 6
Driven this week 70 miles
We have another new arrival in the Donaghie household - no, not another baby, but a new car. My partner has just taken delivery of a Volkswagen Scirocco 1.4 TSi, and it's only served to emphasise the breadth of talents of our long-term Focus.
The Scirocco is ostensibly a more sporty, focused car designed to appeal to people who love driving, yet the Focus runs it surprisingly close for appeal in that department.
The peppy Focus's performance is seriously impressive for a family car, and it almost (but not quite) matches the VW in terms of ride and handling. The VW may just have the edge in terms of fun, but to my mind the Focus is the family hatchback of choice for people who really enjoy their driving.