New Ford Focus & Kia Ceed vs Skoda Octavia

The Ford Focus and Kia Ceed may have had to play bridesmaid to the Skoda Octavia in the past, but with these new models, they’re both ready for their big day...

Ford Focus

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

Forget list price; no one should pay that. Going by our Target Prices (how much you should pay with a bit of haggling), the Octavia is the cheapest to buy outright, by a couple of hundred quid from the Ceed, with the Focus the priciest. But if you’re signing up to a three-year PCP finance agreement, the Ceed will actually cost you the least (£313) per month – £32 and £36 less than you’ll pay for the Octavia and Focus respectively.

The Ceed is projected to hold on to its value the best during the first three years, but factor in other costs, including bigger fuel bills (based on average test economy of 40.2mpg, compared with 44.8mpg for the Octavia and the Focus’s 45.1mpg), and the Ceed actually ends up the priciest private buy, while the Octavia is the cheapest.

Kia Ceed

Considerably higher CO2 emissions mean company car drivers will feel most pinched by benefit-in-kind tax if they’re running the Ceed; there’s barely anything between the other two. The flipside is that the Ceed is the cheapest to lease.

All three cars have a good base level of equipment, including climate control, power-folding door mirrors and privacy glass. But the Ceed in 3 trim falls short of its rivals’ toy tallies, especially the Focus, which has a raft of additions such as a heated windscreen, heated seats and keyless entry and start. While the Octavia is only marginally better equipped than the Ceed, you can add individual options as you wish. You can’t with the Ceed; if you want lots of kit, you’ll have to upgrade to First Edition trim, which involves a price jump of more than £4000.

All three come with automatic emergency braking that can react to pedestrians as well as cars. Both the Focus and Ceed add lane-keeping assistance (a £390 option on the Octavia), although the Octavia is the only one with standard LED headlights, which light the road far better at night than conventional halogen bulbs.

Skoda Octavia

It’s worth considering blindspot monitoring on the Focus (£400) and Octavia (£390); this useful safety aid isn’t available on the Ceed unless you upgrade to seriously pricey First Edition trim. The Ceed was also found to be easier to break into and steal than the other two, which both performed equally well in Thatcham’s security tests.

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