Our cars: Ford Focus 1.0T Ecoboost - May
Week ending May 31
Current mileage 12,542
Driven this week 256 miles
Ford Focus review
The Focus has just had its first service, due at only 12,500 miles, and it was an entirely pleasant experience.
Two Ford dealers within 10 miles of our office in Middlesex quoted £195 all in, while one was £156. The fourth, G Kinsbury in Hampton (020 8481 8020), quoted an amazingly cheap £92 and was the nearest, so it wasn’t a difficult decision where to take the car.
It turns out that the price was artificially low (the computer system hadn’t quoted the price of the oil), but the dealership called me the day before the service to apologise and knocked £18 off the price, so the total was £113. That included a courtesy car, so was still excellent value.
I dropped off the Focus at 8:30, the friendly staff kept me informed of progress and everything was done by 11:30. True, the car wasn't cleaned, but when the service cost £43 less than the next cheapest, I'll happily settle for that.
Week ending May 24
Current mileage 12,286
Driven this week 212 miles
I’m not convinced about the look of the Focus’s tail-lights. They’re an interesting shape, sure, and because the lamp curves round onto the side of the car, the lights are visible from a wide angle. Rear lights and reflectors are designed to be seen, so this is a good thing.
It’s the size of the lights that I’m not keen on. They’re a bit too Fisher Price for my liking; it’s almost as if they’ve been designed for a much larger car, so to me look out of place on the Focus.
Week ending May 17
Current mileage 12,074
Driven this week 181 miles
If you caught last week's update, you’ll know that I'm a fan of the Focus's steering. It's light enough to make town driving easy, yet direct and confidence inspiring on faster roads. All in, it's great, except for one thing: the turning circle is huge.
This is annoying when I'm trying to reverse the Focus into a tight space, or when my man-nav fails and I take a wrong turn. Turning the Focus in a narrow road isn't the work of a moment, so the expected three-point turn often becomes a five-pointer.
The old-shape Focus had the same issue, so it's a shame Ford didn’t find a solution.
Week ending May 10
Current mileage 11,893
Driven this week 43 miles
Often give a second thought to your car's steering? Chances are, unless it's really bad (too heavy or light, or vague) or good (precise, nicely weighted and neither too quick nor too slow), you probably don't.
Every time I drive the Focus, its excellent steering is at the forefront of my mind. Whether it's a quick trip to the shops, a cross-country drive or a long motorway schlep, the Focus's steering is spot-on.
No matter what you buy a car for or where you drive it, you have to use the steering wheel. Unlike in many rivals, the set-up in the Focus is one you’ll genuinely enjoy using.
Week ending May 3
Current mileage 11,850
Driven this week 407 miles
To quote a line from the film Smokey and the Bandit, this week I had a long way to go, and a short time to get there. So, my decision to drive there in a small family hatch with a 1.0-litre engine may seem like a particularly unwise one.
Not with our Focus though. It, obviously, easily dealt with the urban part of my journey, and it was able to keep up with everyone else on the motorway. That said, you do have to change down at least one and sometimes two gears if you want to overtake anyone. The Focus doesn’t so much accelerate as gain speed gradually.
It came alive on the backroads near the end of my trip though, when I was able to rev the engine properly and the sharp steering and brilliant body control made every bend a laugh.
In fact, there’s only one slight downside. I averaged 35.1mpg, which isn’t great in such an economy-oriented motor. I averaged 35.6mpg in a 1.6-litre Ford Fiesta Zetec S four years ago, so where’s the advance?