What's the used Ford Focus hatchback like?
Family cars have long been the staple of the used car market and none more so than the Ford Focus. It’s provided sensible, low-cost motoring to millions of motorists over the years while still being able to stand out from rivals by being really nice to drive. The current version, however, is facing an even bigger threat from the SUV market, so can the Focus maintain its position as a great used buy?
One of the benefits of the Focus is that there are myriad engine and power output options to fulfil all needs. If you mostly do urban driving, then go for the surprisingly capable 1.0-litre Ecoboost. Need something with a bit more muscle? Take a look at the 1.5-litre petrol. Or, if you rack up a lot of miles, you should concentrate your search on either the 1.5 or a more brawny 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel options.
If you were a fan of how the old Focus drove, then you’re unlikely to be put off by the latest version. All the qualities of the previous car have been carried over including the precise steering, slick gearchange, positive clutch action and taut body control. The only major departure is that 1.0-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel models use a twist beam rear axle while the 1.5-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel use a more sophisticated multi-link set-up. In most situations, this matters little, apart from when you hit a mid-corner bump at speed because the twist beam system can’t offer the same composed ride the multi-link version does.
Interior space is in plentiful supply in the new Focus in order to compete with the hugely practical Skoda Octavia. To that end, you’ll have little trouble loading a child’s pushchair in there or a set of carry-on suitcases for five people. Rear leg room is very generous and a noticeable step up from what went before, although three across the bench will still be a tight squeeze. Driver and front passenger will have plenty of head and leg room, and there’s standard lumbar support for the driver’s seat. You’ll need an ST-Line X, Titanium, Titanium X or Vignale to get lumbar for the passenger side, though.
Perhaps the most disappointing part of the Focus is the interior design. Aside from being logically laid out, there isn’t the quality feel you might have hoped for in a car that in some cases costs a similar amount to an Audi A3 when new. There’s lots of cheap plastic on show, especially on the door cards. ST-Line cars do try to improve matters with sportier touches such as red stitching, metal pedals and a different gearknob, while Vignale models have wood grain trim. Trouble is, none of this does anything to lift what is a very dull interior.
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