What is it?
The all-new Ford Focus. This is likely to be one of the biggest sellers – the five-door 2.0 TDCi 140PS. We’ve tested it as a high-spec Titanium, which kicks off at £20,745.
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Our car’s optioned price closed in on £24K, though, with a plethora of gadgets many big luxury cars do without and which star in the car’s primetime TV advert.
£750 adds the Driver Assistance Pack, which includes a lane keeping aid, traffic sign recognition (a digital display identifies the current speed limit for you, though we saw both 80mph and 130mph appear), blind-spot warnings and more.
£525 adds the Convenience Pack, which includes Active Park Assist. It spots a parallel parking opportunity and steers you in. Impressive to watch, but slower than and ultimately no substitute for some simple parking ability.
What’s it like to drive?
A little more mature than previous Focuses, the mk1 especially, which is one of the most entertaining family cars ever. The steering is now electrically assisted, and very light, though still sharp. The ride is very composed, grip abundant and cornering largely roll-free. It’s still one of the class leaders dynamically, but you’ll be less likely to ‘just go out for a drive’ in it.
The 138bhp diesel engine is nice and torquey low down, and if you’re willing to flick up and down the gears rather than leaving it in the higher ratios it can pull, progress can be very brisk. Though to the detriment of your Eco Rating on the trip computer…
The cabin’s a very refined and comfortable place to be, and a huge step forwards from its predecessors.
How does it compare?
The new Vauxhall Astra is great to drive, and the Volkswagen Golf very well made (and also available with Park Assist tech), though the Focus’s bolder styling and all-round ability still holds much appeal. In its first month on sale, it was immediately the UK’s best-selling car.
Anything else I need to know?
The range kicks off with the more attainable £16,000 Edge 1.6, while the 247bhp Focus ST hot hatchback will go on sale in 2012 for around £9K more. The estate is on sale now; there are no plans for a three-door Focus.
|Engine||In-line 4-cyl, 1997cc, turbodiesel|
|Max power||138bhp @ 3750rpm|
|Max torque||236lb ft @ 1750-2750rpm|
|0-60||8.9sec (0-62mph, claimed)|
|Top speed||129mph (claimed)|