We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The Focus is the best in its class to drive, and comes at good prices

Against The low-speed ride is firm; the saloon is less practical than the hatch, and less easy to find

Verdict The Focus saloon pretty much does it all - if you don't need a hatch

Go for… 1.6 16v (113bhp) Ghia

Avoid… 2.0 TDCi Titanium

Ford Focus Saloon
  • 1. Only one recall has affected the vehicle so far, concerning the fuel return pipe, which could degrade and cause fuel leakage
  • 2. Some find the low-speed ride firm, so have a thorought drive before you buy
  • 3. The driving position is excellent, and pretty much anyone should be able to get comfy
  • 4. The boot is well shaped and generous, but a hatchback will be more practical
  • 5. There's no need to look beyond the excellent 1.6-litre petrol engine
advertisement

Ford Focus Saloon full review with expert trade views

There's more than enough room inside the airy cabin for four six-foot adults, while the boot is well shaped and generous. However, by its very nature, this saloon is less practical than the hatchback version.

Height adjustment on the driver's seat, along with reach and rake adjustment on the steering wheel, means drivers of all shapes and sizes should find an excellent driving position, while the dash is a lesson to other manufacturers for its clarity and ease of use. It's all put together with a quality to rival the very best in the class.

However, it's the way the Focus drives that really sets it apart - think sports car rather than small family car. It has a wonderful blend of sharp handling, generally smooth ride and excellent composure through the bends, all topped off by fine refinement at motorway speeds.

If there is a slight complaint, it's that the price you pay for the sharp handling is a firm low-speed ride

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Not as popular used buy as previous model yet - 1.8 TDCi Zetec holds value best

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There's a wide range of engines, but there's no need to look beyond the 113bhp 1.6 petrol. It gives the car a respectable turn of speed and 40mpg fuel economy.

It's certainly worth paying more for this rather than one of the less powerful engines. Equally, it makes the 2.0-litre engine look a pointless expense.

The diesel engines have a fine blend of flexibility and fuel economy, but they're expensive, and, unless you do high mileages, not worth the extra.

The saloon range is smaller than the hatchback's, and concentrated on the more luxurious trims, so all models have very good equipment levels. Remote central locking, split-fold rear seats and electric front windows are standard across the range.

Ghia emphasises comfort, while the more expensive Titanium makes the car a little sportier. For our money, Ghia makes the most sensible buy.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Great reliability. Low failure rates and low repair bills, but watch suspension

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

The beauty of the Focus is that, because of the numbers sold new and the relatively undesirable badge, its stiff depreciation makes it a bargain used buy.

It's also easy to shop around and find a good price - although Focus saloons are less easy to find than hatches. Best of all, once it's more than a year old, it has already suffered the biggest hit, so any future loss in value will be no worse than on its rivals.

Other running costs will be no problem, either. You should see at least 40mpg from any of the petrol engines - our favourite 113bhp 1.6 returns 43.8 mpg on the combined cycle - and 50mpg from the diesels.

Service and repair costs are good, too, and figures from Warranty Direct show that, in the independent sector, Ford maintenance rates are among the lowest.

Similarly, insurance costs are perfectly acceptable, and on a par with those for the Focus's rivals.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Not as popular used buy as previous model yet - 1.8 TDCi Zetec holds value best

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The previous-generation Focus has long been renowned as a very tough car; Warranty Direct gives it an exceptionally good Reliability Index, while the 2005 JD Power survey rated it as the best Ford. We see no reason why this model should not follow in its predecessor's wheeltracks, especially as there has been a noticeable step up in quality.

Certainly, initial reports from owners are predominantly positive. Most love the way the car drives, and are impressed with the car's quality. The only problem to appear with any frequency was a complaint of a nasty, 'rotten egg' smell apparently coming from the clutch.

The only recall to affect the vehicle so far concerns the fuel return pipe, which could degrade and cause fuel leakage. Only cars built up to the end of February 2005 were affected.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Great reliability. Low failure rates and low repair bills, but watch suspension

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014