Ford Focus long-term test review: report 3

The Focus was a price point winner in the 2019 What Car? Awards. We're running one for four months to find out how well it copes with being a commuter and a family car...

Ford Focus long term review

The car Ford Focus 1.5 TDCi Ecoblue ST-Line Run by Claire Evans, consumer editor

Why it’s here The latest Focus is a big seller and good enough to have been shortlisted for What Car?'s 2019 family car award. It's therefore important to find out what it’s like to live with 

Needs to Dispatch the daily commute in a fun yet frugal manner and dispel the popular myth that all diesels are evil

Mileage 8214 List price £22,850 Target Price £20,983 Price as tested £25,200 Test economy 54.6mpg Official economy 80.7mpg Extras Convenience Pack (£750), Driver Assistance Pack (£500), Sync3 DAB navigation system with 8.0in colour touchscreen (£350), Ford Pass Connect (£250), Frozen White metallic paint (£250), rear privacy glass (£250)

24 April 2019 – Getting techy  

This month, I’ve been getting to grips with my Focus’s connectivity software. After spending a week with a Tesla Model X, which is highly integrated with the Tesla smartphone app, I was intrigued to find out what Ford's quivalent, called Ford Pass Connect, would let me do.

The Tesla app can be used to lock and unlock the car, preset the interior temperature, open the charging port and tell you how much power is left in the batteries.  The Ford Pass Connect system also lets me open the car remotely, and it tells me its mileage and how much fuel is left.

In addition, it provides a 4G wi-fi hotspot for use by me and up to nine other people, and it should give me access to live traffic information for the sat-nav. For buyers of new cars, this is free for two years before a subscription fee is required.

To make use of the app, I had to download it to my smartphone and then pair it up with the infotainment system in my Focus. This did take a couple of attempts, because the car didn't immediately give me the correct prompts to activate the app, but now that it's set up, I can access lots of useful information about the car on my phone.

Strangely, my Focus doesn't appear to have the live traffic option, so I'll aim to get this sorted out, because it would be hugely helpful to help me avoid jams on my daily slogs around the M25.

Ford Pass costs £250, but it does give easy access to a lot of information. It works with the Sync3 infotainment system – a £350 upgrade that lets you look up information on a range of things, from nearby parking spaces to local restaurants.

The Apple CarPlay on this system works really well, connecting to my phone as soon as it’s plugged in, unlike some other cars’ systems that I’ve tried recently.

Although my Focus is fairly well equipped, trying out other cars has highlighted one important piece of motorway driving technology that it's missing: door mirror-mounted blindspot warning lights. It's a shame they’re a pricey £500 option, because I’d find them a hugely beneficial safety back-up for high-speed lane changes. It’s the sort of simple but effective safety system I think should be included on all new cars as standard.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Read more on our long-term Ford Focus >

See more long-term test reports >

Also consider