Ford Focus: new vs old compared

An all-new Ford Focus has just been revealed, but is it a significant step forward from the outgoing model?...

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Steve Huntingford
13 April 2018

The Ford Focus has long been one of the UK's best selling cars, helped by attractive pricing and fun handling. However, it's starting to feel its age in some areas, making the arrival of an all-new version timely.

On sale in July, this new Focus will be sold as a five-door hatchback and an estate, just as the current car is. So, what's changed and is it likely to be enough to put the Focus back on top of the family car class?

Ford Focus new vs old – styling

 

Ford Focus: new vs old compared

The new Focus is longer and lower than the outgoing car to help it look sportier, plus there are bold creases down the sides, and ST Line versions feature gaping front air vents.

For all this, the Focus still looks like a member of the Ford family, thanks to its hexagonal front grille and horizontal taillights that are similar to those on the latest Fiesta, although there's also a hint of BMW 1 Series in the shape of the rear side windows.

Ford Focus new vs old – performance and driving

 

Ford Focus: new vs old compared

Many of the engines are carried over from the old Focus, including Ford's turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol unit (available with outputs of 84bhp, 99bhp or 123bhp), and 94bhp and 148bhp diesels.

However, there's also a new 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol that produces 148bhp or 180bhp. And all of the petrols now feature a cylinder deactivation system, which allows the engine to shut down one of its cylinders when you're cruising on the motorway or pottering around town to save fuel.

Normal, Sport and Eco driving modes are standard, whichever engine you choose, so you can adjust the accelerator, steering and auto gearbox (if fitted) responses to suit the conditions or your personal tastes. But in truth this isn't an area where big improvements were needed because the outgoing Focus remains one of the best cars in its class to drive.

The one slight concern is that cheaper variants of the new car will have a less sophisticated rear suspension setup than today's model; only 1.5-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel models will get a fully independent set-up.

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