Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
There are lots of storage spaces dotted around, including a couple of cupholders and trays for your phone in the centre console. The glovebox and front door bins aren’t especially generous, though.
Once, a shortage of rear space was was the Focus’s Achilles heel, but that's no longer the case. Indeed, the latest version has even more leg room than the voluminous Octavia, so a six-footer can easily fit behind a similar-sized driver. The Seat Leon is similarly generous in the rear, while a Skoda Scala has even more room should you need it.
Another plus for the Focus, though, is its nearly flat rear floor that makes life very agreeable for a middle-seat passenger. Most of its rivals, such as the Volkswagen Golf, have a big hump that the middle passenger has to straddle.
Where fitted, the panoramic sunroof eats into head room, so, if you fancy one of these but you regularly transport tall rear passengers, make sure you try before you buy.
Seat folding and flexibility
Only X Edition trims and above add passenger seat lumbar and height adjustment as standard, and only with the non-hybrid engines. On lower trim levels, we recommend paying the relatively small charge for the optional Comfort Seats. These grant your passengers 6-way manual seat adjustment (again, not on the hybrid models).
The rear seats split and fold in a 60/40 arrangement as standard, but, unlike some of the Focus's rivals, there are no handy release levers by the tailgate entrance. Instead, you have to open the rear doors to use the release levers you'll find on top of the seatbacks; a nuisance if you have your hands full. The Golf and Leon also feature a useful ski hatch, which the Focus also lacks.
While it's no cavernous Wookey Hole – or Skoda Octavia, for that matter – the Focus’s boot is as usable and voluminous as the Seat Leon's. Fitting a large pram shouldn't pose a problem, and we fitted six carry-on suitcases on board, which is one more than you can get in the Volkswagen Golf. There’s a little lip at its edge to heave items over and no option of a height-adjustable boot floor, but its square shape with decent proportions.
Be aware of one little idiosyncrasy, though. If you order the B&O premium sound system (this is standard with the Vignale model) its subwoofer takes up a chunk of room under the boot floor and reduces the space by a the equivalent of one carry-on case.
The Renault Megane is well equipped and has lots of safety kit...
Classy, safe, good to drive and packed with technology. <...
A stylish and sophisticated hatch, the Mazda 3 featu...
A good choice if you want SUV styling and low running costs