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 vs Kia Ceed vs Skoda Octavia

Our verdict

It’s hard to believe that, after so many years, the Octavia keeps on winning. But, hey, it ticks more boxes than any rival, so it fully deserves the victory. It isn’t all that exciting to drive, but it’s smartly furnished, massive inside, well equipped and nippy – all for a sensible price.

The biggest surprise is that the new Focus competes so well with the Octavia on passenger space; it’s genuinely impressive. It’s a shame that boot space isn’t similarly competitive, but, as we mentioned, you can at least improve that aspect by choosing your options wisely. And there is now a real reason to buy a Focus over any other car in the class: it’s simply delightful to drive.

The Ceed comes last but is by no means disgraced. It’s competitive in lots of areas; it’s just that it doesn’t stand out in any – except perhaps PCP finance. So if it’s the only one of these family hatches that falls into your monthly budget, you won’t be disappointed.

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1st – Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia

For Biggest boot; most head room; best interior quality; best infotainment; nippy performance

Against Unsettled ride around town; noisy suspension; wanders around on the motorway

Recommended options Remote rear seatback releases (£95); blindspot monitors (£390)

Rated 5 out of 5

Read our full Skoda Octavia review

Find a great Skoda Octavia deal

2nd – Ford Focus 

Ford Focus

For Sweetest handling; best town ride; great driving position; well equipped; most economical

Against Cheapest interior feel; smallest boot; so-so performance

Recommended options Height-adjustable boot floor (£75); blindspot monitors (£400)

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Ford Focus review

Find a great Ford Focus deal

3rd – Kia Ceed

Kia Ceed

For Strong engine; cheapest PCP repayments; smart and solidly made interior

Against So-so handling; road noise and fidgety ride at speed; tightest rear seats; least fuel efficient

Recommended options Premium paint (£550)

Rated 3 out of 5

Read our full Kia Ceed review

Find a great Kia Ceed deal

Specifications: Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost Titanium X

Engine 3cyl, 999cc, turbo, petrol

List price £22,820

Target Price £21,240

Power 123bhp at 6000rpm

Torque 125Ib ft at 1400-4500rpm

Gearbox Six-speed manual

0-60mph 10.2sec

Top speed 124mph

Gov't fuel economy 57.6mpg

Test MPG 45.1mpg

CO2 emissions 111g/km

Specifications: Kia Ceed 1.4 T-GDi 138 3

Engine 4cyl, 1353cc, turbo, petrol

List price £21,505

Target Price £20,679

Power 138bhp at 6000rpm

Torque 179Ib ft at 1500-3200rpm

Gearbox Six-speed manual

0-60mph 8.8sec

Top speed 130mph

Gov't fuel economy 48.7mpg

Test MPG 40.2mpg

CO2 emissions 132g/km

Specifications: Skoda Octavia 1.5 TSI 150 SE L

Engine 4cyl, 1495cc, turbo, petrol

List price £22,460

Target Price £20,457

Power 148bhp at 5000rpm

Torque 184Ib ft at 1500-3500rpm

Gearbox Six-speed manual

0-60mph 8.4sec

Top speed 136mph

Gov't fuel economy 56.5mpg

Test MPG 44.8mpg

CO2 emissions 114g/km