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Focusing on Ford – Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi

 

Winner of the Continental Irish Compact Car of the Year 2012 and the best selling car in Ireland. It seems Ford can’t put a foot wrong with the Focus or can it?

 

Ford has always played a safe hand in terms of the Focus with conservative redesigns since its dramatic launch in 1998. Sales of 10 million plus have certainly vindicated this approach. With the third generation Focus the approach is far more radical and the rule book appears to have been dispensed with. The new look Focus shares its design with the recently-launched sister models the C-Max and seven-seat Grand C-Max.

 

Test Car
Our test car was the Focus 1.6 TDCI Zetec.  A good range of petrol and diesel engines are available. The diesel offerings in the Focus’s new engine line-up are based around the 1.6 and 2.0 litre Duratorq TDCI units. The smaller diesel comes in 70kW as tested here and 85kW  guises, with a revamped combustion system, smarter fuel injection and a turbocharger. Both 1.6TDCi engines fall into VRT Tax Band A. The 2.0 litre TDCi in 85kW falls into VRT Tax Band B  and is only available with PowerShift Automatic Transmission a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox that pre-selects the next gear for you.

 

 

 

On The Road
The Focus has always been a great drivers’ car and the new Focus is quieter, more comfortable and classier than the previous model. On the downside however, it doesn’t respond to the throttle as eagerly or as sharply, nor is the suspension as firm. That said in terms of handling and ride comfort the Focus is still class leading.Economy & Trim
With fuel prices increasing at an alarming rate and set to rise even further the 1.6 diesels are the pick of the bunch. Both variants return  4.2 L/km while the 2.0 litre returns 5.3 L/km. In contrast the petrol engines return between 5.9 L/km and 6.0 L/km.

The new Focus is available in four grades. The entry level includes Stereo radio/CD with six speakers and USB connectivity , Ford Intelligent Protection System (IPS) , Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Traction Control and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)  and electric door mirrors. Upgrading to the Edge models adds air con, leather trimmed steering wheel , electrically-operated and heated door mirrors and Ford ECO mode. Our test car was equipped with the Zetec range additions  that includes  16″ 5×2-spoke alloy wheels, front fog lights , sports tuned suspension  and sports style front seats . The range topping Titanium models feature dual-zone Electronic Air con , power start button , cruise control with speed limiter, 16″ 10×2-spoke alloy wheels , hill start assist , Rear lights with LED technology (5-Door only) and leather gearshift knob. Prices for each grade start at € 21, 285, €22,135, €23,485 and €24,135 respectively.

 

Interior
Inside space has been compromised in favour of styling and the new hatchback, in complete contrast to the current trend, is actually narrower than the model it replaces; while 21mm longer, it is 16mm narrower and 16mm lower.  Inside the cabin looks and feels very sophisticated. Dials and switches are all within easy reach of the driver. Despite the new Focus being narrower and lower, the interior feels spacious. While not as roomy as some rivals it can comfortably carry four adults and five at a squeeze. If they want to take luggage with them the Focus might not be up to the job for the boot is a lot smaller than the previous hatchback model at 316 litres with the mini spare and 277 with the full-size spare wheel but at least it’s well shaped with decent access. Rear seat backs split and fold 60/40 but if you need more carrying capacity the C-Max is the better option.

 

Verdict
Apparently more than 1,500 Ford engineers were working on the new Focus at various stages of its development and it shows. Its smart styling and driveability makes it one of the best around. Focus sets the bar high for every other manufacturer in the sector and Ford nudge it up a few inches with every new version of the car. Priced at just under  €22,000 with  fuel economy of 4.2 litres per 100km it is very hard to fault the third-generation Focus.

 

 FORD FOCUS 1.6 TDCI

Why you’ll buy one?

Still not as razor sharp as its predecessor but it is so good to drive you won’t care.

Why you won’t?

The interior is still not on a par with rivals, and basic models are pretty sparse.

LAST WORD: So well priced, so good to drive and so economical it is hard to find a serious gripe with the current Focus.

Competitors: VW Golf, ToyotaAuris, Opel Astra

FORD FOCUS 1.6 TDCI Zetec

Factfile

Engine: 1,560cc four-cylinder front-wheel drive diesel putting out 77kW and

270Nm of torque

Max speed : 187 kph

0-100km/h: 12.3 seconds

Emissions (motor tax) : 117 g/km, €160 (Band A)

Starting price  €19,465 (Tested Model €23,689 – included optional Bluetooth Pack)

 Model price range : €19,465 – €30,595

No of Doors: 5

Euro NCAP:  5 stars

Fuel type:  Diesel 

Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.5 L/100km

Boot Capacity Seats up:  316

 

 

 

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