2013 Ford Focus 1.0T 100 Ecoboost
* Most economical petrol Ford Focus driven * 99bhp three-cylinder engine * On sale now, priced from 16,545...
The Ford Focus 1.0T 100 Ecoboost is the most economical petrol version of Ford's small family car.
It uses a detuned version of the 1.0-litre turbocharged engine from the Focus 125 Ecoboost that's on our long-term test fleet.
The result is slightly slower performance, but small gains in efficiency along with a 500 saving on the price.
What's the 2013 Ford Focus 1.0T 100 Ecoboost like to drive?
If you're unconvinced by a Ford Focus with a 1.0-litre engine, you're even less likely to be sold on one with just 99bhp.
Don't worry, though, because even with such modest stats the Focus 100 Ecoboost performs perfectly adequately. There's precious little difference between it and the 125 Ecoboost around town.
In fact, it delivers its power more smoothly at low revs, so is easier to drive in stop-start traffic.
Venture out of town and you'll have to work the engine harder to keep pace with traffic, but you'll rarely feel short-changed.
It's only on the motorway that acceleration can feel laboured, and the presence of a five-speed manual gearbox (the 125 Ecoboost has a six-speeder) means the engine is revving higher when cruising.
It doesn't seriously hurt refinement, though. The engine remains smooth and quiet, and there's little wind noise at speed.
Ford has a reputation for making cars that ride, handle and steer beautifully, and the Focus is no exception. Few other small family cars are as much fun or as agile on twisty roads, while the ride smothers all but the worst bumps.
Add steering that is direct and accurate, and the Focus is brilliant to drive.
What's the 2013 Ford Focus 1.0T 100 Ecoboost like inside?
Sadly, you dont get the same joy sitting in a Focus as you do driving it.
While there's no major issue with the quality or space on offer, many rivals are ahead of the Focus on both scores. Boot space is also below par, and while children and child seats will fit in the rear seats, a bit more space wouldn't go amiss.
The dashboard is also littered with small, fiddly buttons, so it'll take you a while to master where everything is and what everything does.
Still, it's easy to get comfortable behind the wheel and there are plenty of storage spaces dotted around the cabin.
Should I buy one?
That depends. If you want a small family car that's great to drive and affordable to buy and run, then the Focus 100 Ecoboost is a fine choice.
In fact, if you spend most of your time in town, it's a better bet than the 125 version because in most situations it doesnt feel significantly slower.
It's the more appealing car when it comes to running costs, too. Those lower CO2 emissions mean youll pay company car tax on 12% of its list price, compared with 13% for the 125.
It also sits three insurance groups lower and is slightly more economical (58.9mpg versus 56.5mpg according to the official Government figures).
However, we've been disappointed by the economy of Fords with the higher-powered Ecoboost engine, and this version may end up being less economical in the real world because you have to rev its engine harder.
That's the thing with the 100. It's fine at low speeds and if you're not in a hurry, but if you regularly drive on faster roads wed recommend the 125 for its better high-speed performance and more relaxed cruising ability.
This more rounded capability makes the 125 the better bet for most people.
As good as the Focus is, though, we'd recommend testing the new Seat Leon 1.2 TSI before you buy. It's cheaper, roomier and also has a cracking petrol engine.
What Car? says
Engine size 1.0 T
Price from 16,545
Torque 118lb ft
Top speed 115mph
Fuel economy 58.9mpg
CO2 g/km 109g/km