The Focus’s CO2 emissions are competitive; the 1.5-litre diesel version in particular is a good-value choice for company car drivers. Ford routinely offers good finance deals, too, so those private buyers after a low monthly payment won’t be disappointed. You’ll be able to get generous discounts even if you’re buying outright, too.
The achievable economy is good on the diesel models; the 1.5 TDCi 120 managed 58.5mpg in our real-world True MPG economy tests. Petrols aren’t so strong, though, and the 1.0-litre Ecoboost 100 managed only 38.9mpg when we tested it.
Fixed-price servicing is available at reasonable cost, and can be split into monthly payments.
Ford Focus equipment
The entry-level Focus hatchback, called Style, looks like good value because it’s the cheapest trim and yet it still comes with air-con, DAB and a USB input. However, it’s the only trim that doesn’t get alloy wheels and the big colour touchscreen in the dash, so we’d avoid it.
Zetec is our pick of the range, because it gets more supportive front seats, heated windscreen and door mirrors, an 8.0in colour touchscreen, alloy wheels, foglights and leather-trimmed steering wheel, and will hold its value better than the less desirable Studio trim.
Titanium and Titanium X are expensive, so you’ll be getting better value by going for Zetec and being selective about adding a few bits of key equipment.
The Red and Black Edition models are based on the Zetec S chassis and are only available with the more potent engines in the range, as a sort of halfway-house between the everyday models and the faster, more focussed ST hot hatch. However, you’re paying a lot for the extravagant styling of the Red or Black Edition, and you don’t get much else - you're best sticking with the Zetec S models.
Of the ST sports models, ST-2 is the best bet because it gets all the kit you could want, including dual-zone climate control and part-leather upholstery.
Ford Focus reliability
Our latest ownership surveys show that the Focus’s reliability is slightly below average. Faulty windscreen wipers, a heater that doesn’t warm up quickly enough, squeaky brakes and battery problems are among the most common complaints.
The Focus’s warranty is a run-of-the-mill three-year/60,000-mile affair. It’s respectable, then, but not a patch on the five- and seven-year deals offered by Hyundai and Kia respectively.
You can extend the Focus’s warranty to four years and 80,000 miles, or five years and 100,000 miles, for a reasonable extra cost, although you must purchase the extended warranty before the car is registered.
Ford Focus safety & security
Every Focus model comes with seven airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, plus electronic stability control and hill-start assist.
This generation of Focus was last crash tested by Euro NCAP back in 2012; it scored the maximum five stars, and its ratings for adult (92%) and child (82%) protection were just behind those of the Volkswagen Golf.
Titanium and Titanium X models get automatic emergency city braking as standard, and the system is optional on most other trims. Blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning are optional extras across the range.
An immobiliser is standard, while all but entry-level versions have an alarm, and Thatcham rated the Focus as competitive within its class for resisting theft and break-ins.
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Entry level Style models come equipped with a reasonable level of standard equipment including electrically adjustable door mirrors and electric front windows, Bluetooth connectivity, USB input, air-con and a multifunction steering-wheel. However, it’s the only trim that doesn’t get alloy wheels and the big colour touchscreen in the dash, so we’d recommend the Zetec.
Gets USB input, FM radio and CD player, air-con, a multifunction steering-wheel, electrically adjustable door mirrors and electric front windows, but is available only with the weedy 1.6-litre petrol engine.
Our pick Zetec
Our pick of the range is good value and includes alloy wheels, a heated windscreen, front foglights, a leather-trimmed steering wheel, more supportive front seats and an armrest between the driver and front-seat passenger.
A semi-sporting trim that brings styling additions, such as bigger alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and LED rear lights, plus gloss black flourishes and a tweaked chassis set-up to deliver even more agile handling. It’s quite a lot more expensive than standard Zetec, though – in fact, it’s virtually as expensive as better-equipped Titanium, so be sure you really value the sporting touches.
Gets the 8.0in colour touchscreen that improves the appearance of the dashboard significantly, although you’ll still have to pay a small amount to add sat-nav. Automatic lights and wipers, emergency city braking, rear parking sensors, cruise control, climate control and keyless go are all good reasons why Titanium is worth going for if you really value a high-end feel to your car.
The most expensive regular trim level brings 17in alloy wheels, an automatic parking system with rear-view camera, bi-xenon headlights, heated front seats, part-leather upholstery and variable ambient lighting inside, making Titanium X feel vastly more upmarket than the base Focus. It’s expensive, though, and you still have to add sat-nav, so we’d advise against it. Go for Titanium if you really want a high-end feel and lots of kit, or Zetec if you’re more conscious of getting the best value.
The entry-level version of the Focus hot hatch brings 18in wheels, a radio/CD with DAB and a 4.2in colour display, plus manual air-con and Recaro sports seats. Entry-level ST it might be, but you shouldn’t feel particularly short-changed.
The sweet spot of the Focus ST range adds dual-zone climate control, part-leather trim on the Recaro sports seats, automatic lights and wipers, and LED daytime running lights to ST-1’s kit roster. It’s our favourite ST trim because you can add sat-nav and still spend less money than it costs to buy an ST-3 version.
This range-topping ST trim brings lots of toys, but not all of them are actually useful. The good bits include electric adjustment on the front seats, electrically folding door mirrors, and bi-xenon headlights. However, the Recaro rear bench seat that’s exclusive to ST-3 is actually a pain for more than two adults to use. We’d save our money and spend it on an ST-2 with navigation, and a few tanks of fuel.
Zetec S Red Edition
Available only with a limited range of the more potent engines, and it’s quite a bit more expensive than standard Zetec S (which has the same chassis setup), but doesn’t get any extra equipment – just style extras. You’ll still want to pay extra for cruise control, sat-nav and rear parking sensors. Go for the standard Zetec S instead, for better value and just as much fun, or the ST-1 isn’t much more and is a proper hot hatch experience.
Zetec S Black Edition
Available only with a limited range of the more potent engines, and it’s even more expensive than the Red Edition, so this is actually the same price as the full-blown (and much faster) ST-1 hot hatch. It doesn’t get any extra equipment than standard Zetec S, though – just style extras – so you’ll still want to pay extra for cruise control, sat-nav and rear parking sensors. Go for the standard Zetec S instead, for better value and just as much fun, or settle for the ST-1 for a full-on hot hatch.