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What Car? says

5 out of 5 stars

For Nothing else in this class can match the Ford Focus for handling. It’s well equipped across the range, and used cars can be found at an attractive price.

Against Rear legroom isn’t as generous as rivals' and some of the interior plastics feel cheap.

Verdict This version of the Ford Focus continues the model's tradition as one of the best used-buys on the market. It’s now classier and comes with more kit, but is just as good to drive.

Go for… 1.6T 148bhp

Avoid… 2.0-litre diesel 161bhp

Ford Focus Hatchback
  • 1. Nothing else in this class can match the Ford Focus for handling. It’s well equipped across the range, and used cars can be found at an attractive price.
  • 2. Rear legroom isn’t as generous as rivals' and some of the interior plastics feel cheap.
  • 3. Standard equipment is impressive. DAB radio and Bluetooth is standard across the range.
  • 4. The best blend of economy and performance is the 148bhp engine, which averages 47.1mpg, with CO2 emissions of 139g/km.
  • 5. Insurance won’t be a huge concern, because none of the range ascends beyond group 19, with the bulk between groups 11 and 14.
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Ford Focus Hatchback full review with expert trade views

Ford has a reputation for making great-handling cars and this Focus continues that good name. There’s plenty of grip, and a decent suspension set up means you’ll experience little body roll. The ride isn’t quite as good as a VW Golf's, but it is hard to fault its smoothness.

The car’s interior is modern, yet functional, with a fantastic driving position and decent front- and rear headroom. Rear legroom isn't so great, but will be perfectly adequate for most adults.

This version of the Focus is narrower and longer than the previous car, but the boot is still a decent size, easy to access, and offers a useful 316 litres of space with the rear seats up.

Standard equipment is impressive. DAB radio and Bluetooth is standard across the range, while Titanium and Titanium X trims add such kit as an upgraded stereo, dual-zone climate control, cruise control and hill-start assist.

Trade view

It’s great to drive when cruising on the motorway, or pushing on through a twisty rural section of road. It also comes with superb standard kit inside.

Rory White
Used car writer

All the Focus’s petrol engines come in 1.6 form, but with varying power outputs. Entry-level cars have 84bhp, but 103-, 123-, 148- and 178bhp versions are also available. The best blend of economy and performance is the 148bhp engine, which averages 47.1mpg, with CO2 emissions of 139g/km. This equates to annual road tax of £115.

The diesel options include 94bhp and 114bhp 1.6-litre engines, and 138bp or 161bhp 2.0-litre units. All but the most basic engine perform extremely well, with decent shove and respectable economy. However, for the best overall value, we’d still recommend the 148bhp 1.6 turbocharged petrol version.

There are multiple trims to choose from, but we'd recommend Zetec or Titanium – depending on budget. Zetec brings DAB, Bluetooth, front foglamps and heated door mirrors. Our favourite 148bhp petrol isn’t available in this trim, though. Titanium trim upgrades the stereo, includes a start button and comes with auto-wipers and cruise control as standard.

Trade view

The MK2 focus remains as one of the most popular used cars amongst our readers. Ford needed to get the latest generation right and they did.

Rory White
Used car writer

Running a Focus isn’t a costly business, whichever engine you choose. Our favourite 1.6T will average more than 47mpg if driven carefully, but while it represents the best overall package, it isn’t the most fuel efficient of the range.

Choose a diesel, and you’re looking at 60+mpg, as well as cheap road tax. In particular, the 115bhp 1.6 TDCI with engine start-stop has average economy of 67mpg and emits just 109g/km CO2.

Insurance won’t be a huge concern either, because none of the range ascends beyond group 19, with the bulk between groups 11 and 14. Combine this with Ford’s good reliability record and low service costs, and the Focus starts to look like excellent value.

Trade view

It’s great to drive when cruising on the motorway, or pushing on through a twisty rural section of road. It also comes with superb standard kit inside.

Rory White
Used car writer

It’s early days, but there have been reports of interior trim coming away and of white smudges forming on exterior chrome trim. Scuffed trim is also a problem.

Trade view

The MK2 focus remains as one of the most popular used cars amongst our readers. Ford needed to get the latest generation right and they did.

Rory White
Used car writer
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