Ford Focus 2015 review – Is the tech-loaded new-look Focus a Golf beater?

Ford’s best-seller returns in its sleekest form yet

Evo rating
Price
from £16,245
  • Composed chassis, refined ride, strong engine performance
  • But those engines are thirsty

evo Verdict

Meet the fourth-incarnation of the world’s best selling car, the Ford Focus. It’s the first Focus to wear the global (squint and it looks like an Aston) ‘One Ford’ design language, so earns a new exterior to match the Fiesta and Mondeo and a de-cluttered dash. Succeeding a car that outsold the mighty VW Golf and Audi A3, it’s more composed, more efficient and more refined than ever.

With an all-new car due in 2017, this Mk4 represents an evolution of the Mk3. But as confirmed by the 1 million Focuses that are sold globally each year, the C1 platform (that has underpinned every Focus since the first 1998 model) has managed to remain competitive. 

The good news is that the trend seems to have continued, as the Mk4 is both composed and refined, with a range of strong engines to power it. It’s just a shame that those engines are so thirsty – even the diesels fall short of their claimed figures.

evo Tip

The RS is, of course, evo's pick of the range. It's combination of technical engineering and powerful engine makes it one of the most exciting hot hatches on sale. The ST version of the Focus hasn't wowed us like the RS, but it's fast, competant and, available as an estate, so very practical.

> Click here to read our Ford Focus RS review

However it's the non-performance models we're concentrating on here, but if you do opt for the more spacious estate (ST or not) you should seriously consider the optional reversing camera. Thanks to the car’s thick C-pillars, rear visibility isn’t so good – especially below the window line. The reverse camera is an incredibly useful tool to widen your view and is well worth its £165 price.

evo Comment 

'Since Ford will be releasing an all-new Focus in 2017, expect the last Mk4s to be sold at significantly reduced prices. If you’re not desperate to buy now, waiting just over a year could help you save a significant amount of cash.’ (Sam Sheehan, staff writer).

Performance and 0-60 time > Ford's 1-litre EcoBoost impresses through town, but it's the 179bhp 1.5-litre EcoBoost that gets our vote, naturally.

Engine and Transmission > A six-speed manual or Powershift auto gearbox come mated to a range of EcoBoost and TDCi engines.

Ride and Handling > The Focus impresses with a pliant yet planted ride, though it can't quite match the dynamics of the smaller Fiesta.

MPG and Running Costs >  On paper, Ford's range of engines appear econimical. But in reality, achieving the claimed figures requires helium shoes.

Prices, Specs and Rivals > Though the Focus has long been a best seller, the Golf remains a class benchmark. The Focus' lower list price helps keep it competitive.

Interior and Tech > Ford has loaded the new Focus with tech. Tick a few options boxes, and the Focus becomes one of the most tech heavy cars you can buy this side of £40k.

Design > Ford's latest design language seems to have won over all - it's turned the Focus into a bit of a head-turner.

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