Cost & verdict

Ford Focus review

Manufacturer price from:£18,300
What Car? Target Price:£16,990
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Ford Focus front
Review continues below...
10 Aug 2015 22:00 | Last updated: 19 Oct 2018 14:21

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Ford Focus hatchback running costs

There are seven trims to choose from and entry-level Style is about the same price as an entry-level Skoda Octavia and cheaper than any five-door Volkswagen Golf. However, most people will go for mid-spec Zetec and ST-Line models, which are relatively pricey compared with the Octavia and cost not far off the price of the better-equipped Golf SE, so the Focus isn’t as cheap as you might think.

It’s a different story if you compare three-year, 10,000-mile-per-year PCP finance deals, when the disparity in monthly cost to the Octavia is just a few pounds per month. A Kia Ceed could work out significantly cheaper, though.

Predicted resale values for the Focus after three years or 36,000 miles are also respectable, roughly matching those of the Golf and Octavia. Servicing costs, however, are a little higher for the same period.

Whichever capacity or power output you choose, all the Ecoboost three-cylinder petrol engines have efficiency-enhancing cylinder deactivation; this shuts down one cylinder when you’re cruising gently and means, for example, that the 123bhp 1.0 (badged Ecoboost 125 and the likely best seller) manages average economy of 58.9mpg and 108g/km of CO2 in official tests. That matches what Skoda and Volkswagen claim for the Octavia and Golf 1.0 TSI.

Ford Focus hatchback equipment

While Style trim is relatively cheap and gets some decent kit, including 16in alloy wheels, air-con and electrically operated front and rear windows, we’d still recommend jumping up a rung if you can.

Doing so will take you to the heart of the range: the biggest-selling Zetec and sportier ST-Line trims. As well as the infotainment upgrades mentioned earlier, both feature cruise control and a heated windscreen, while the latter adds keyless start, aluminium pedals, sports seats, 17in alloy wheels, lowered sports suspension and more aggressive styling.

However, our pick would be Titanium trim. It’s still reasonably priced and very well equipped, adding power-folding door mirrors, keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors, auto wipers, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and the larger 8.0in touchscreen with sat-nav. ST-Line X also has the majority of these features, along with sports suspension, 18in alloy wheels and the same sporty styling as the ST-Line.

Models further up the range, culminating with the range-topping Vignale, add ever-plusher luxuries. These are eye-catching but, for us, don’t necessarily provide the best value for money.

By 2019, you’ll also be able to order an Active version that, like the recently introduced Fiesta Active, adds an SUV flavour with black plastic wheel arches and a ride height that’s 30mm higher.

Ford Focus infotainment

Ford Focus hatchback reliability

According to our most recent survey, Ford’s reliability record is only average. The data – compiled from information supplied by you – placed the manufacturer 18th out of the 31 surveyed. This current version of the Focus was too new to be included.

If you should find yourself in need of warranty back-up, this lasts for three years or 36,000 miles. That’s nothing compared with Kia’s seven-year manufacturer’s warranty, although you can extend Ford’s cover for an extra cost.

Ford Focus hatchback safety and security

The Focus gets only four stars from us; although it got five stars when tested by Euro NCAP, it’s results were not class-leading. If you look at the adult occupancy protection scores, for example, they weren’t quite as high as some of its rivals. That said, the Focus certainly comes with lots of active safety aids.

These include automatic emergency braking (which works for cars, pedestrians and cyclists) and lane-keeping assistance for all trims, while the reasonably priced Driver Assistance Pack adds traffic sign recognition, automatic main beam and adaptive cruise control.

The latter includes steering assistance that works at motorway speeds, as well as a ‘stop and go’ function that stops the car in a traffic jam and restarts it when the car in front moves off. Blindspot warning is part of a pack that includes a feature to alert you if you’re about to reverse out of your driveway into the path of a crossing a car.

All models come with a Thatcham Research category one alarm and immobiliser that mean it’s good at resisting being broken into or stolen.

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Verdict

The Ford Focus stands out as the best driver’s car in the class, complemented by a fine ride and decent practicality

  • Sweet-feeling, accurate steering
  • Supple ride
  • Roomy rear seats
  • Engines don’t feel as frisky as rivals’
  • Popular trims not as well equipped as in a Golf
  • Octavia offers a much bigger boot
There are 8 trims available for the Focus hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
Style
Entry-level model gets some decent kit, including 16in alloy wheels, electric windows, driver’s side lumbar adjustment, air-con, a DAB radio, automatic emergency braking and lane assist. It only ha...View trim
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Zetec
Builds on entry-level Style trim with front foglights, a heated windscreen, a front centre armrest, a leather steering wheel and gearknob, cruise control and a 6.5in colour touchscreen infotainment...View trim
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ST-Line
If you like something a little sportier, this is the trim to go for. It comes with everything that Zetec has, adding 17in alloy wheels, sports suspension, LED front foglights, chromed exhaust tailp...View trim
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OUR PICK
Titanium
Comes with everything Zetec trim has and adds power-folding door mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, keyless entry and start, heated front seats, passenger height and lumbar...View trim
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Titanium X
Adds 17in alloy wheels, privacy glass, part-leather seat trim and six-way electric driver’s seat adjustment to Titanium...View trim
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£21,469
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Active
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£21,900
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ST-Line X
All the ST-Line features plus bigger 18in wheels, power-folding door mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, privacy glass, automatic wipers, part-leather seats with six-way electric adjustment on...View trim
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£22,649
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Active X
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£24,400
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