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Ford Focus

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2018
      Body type
      Family hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“The yardstick of family hatchbacks”

Best bits

  • Wide range of impressive engines
  • Really comfortable and enjoyable to drive
  • Roomy in the back

Not so great

  • Interior quality isn’t as good as many rivals’
  • Boot could be bigger
  • Many rivals are better equipped

Read by

Ford Focus Exterior

Overall verdict

Ford Focus Interior

On the inside

Ford Focus Driving

Driving

Ford Focus Driving Back

How much does it cost to run

Ford Focus Driving Side

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"Occasionally, Fords get accused of being boring. Ordinary. Common. Humdrum, even. But have you ever stopped to think why that might be?"

Ford Focus Exterior

Could it be because they’re absolutely everywhere? After all, they do say familiarity breeds contempt. However, the reason that Fords are such a common sight on our roads isn’t because they’re boring. It’s because they’re popular. Really popular. And why’s that? Well, it’s because many of them are really good.


The Ford Focus is one of the UK’s best-selling cars each and every year, meaning it’s also one of the most popular, and it has been for a long time. Is it the most glamorous choice? Nope. Is it the most interesting? Probably not. But is it a good choice? You bet.


Let’s start with the area in which it excels the most, and that’s in the way it drives. This is a car with a level of dynamic polish that many more expensive cars could only dream of. It changes direction with incredible sharpness thanks to strong grip and tight body control, and the controls - the steering especially - give you lots of information about what’s going on, making you feel part of the action every step of the way. 


And no, it’s not all about boy-racer handling. It’s just as much about the feeling of safety the car gives you. Ask any little old lady who owns a Focus, and she’ll tell you that she loves driving it, but she doesn’t really know why. Well, that’s why.


Even more impressively, the Focus manages to combine this handling prowess with a level of ride comfort that’s a match for just about anything else in the class, and that’s not an easy thing to achieve. Meanwhile, you have a wide range of petrol (named EcoBoost, in Ford speak) and diesel (called EcoBlue. Remember these tags, they’ll be handy later) engines that give a good mix of power, refinement and economy.


The Focus does a very solid job in other areas, too. The latest version is roomier than ever thanks to increased space in the back, and it’s now among the class leaders on that score. The boot is also very competitive on size, and the cabin comes stocked with a decent amount of standard equipment. Most of the latest infotainment gadgetry is present and correct, along with all the important safety gear.


Granted, there is one area in which it struggles relative to many rivals, and that’s on interior quality. Some of the plastics on show inside the cabin just don’t have the lustre that they do in competitors. Judged in isolation, however, it stops short of feeling cheap overall, and there’s no reason to suspect it won’t be durable.


The Focus isn’t the cheapest car of its type, either, but it is very competitive on that score, so it does stack up financially. All in all, we can see why the Focus has proved so popular over the years, and that’s because it’s a sound, sensible - not to mention really enjoyable - choice.

Is the Ford Focus right for you?

Well, it’s right for thousands and thousands of other people in the country, so why wouldn't it be right for you? It’s been one of the UK’s best-selling cars for many years, and popularity like that doesn’t happen by accident. 


The Focus delivers just the right blend of family-friendly comfort, young-at-heart handling, jack-of-all-trades practicality and penny-pinching affordability, and that’s why it’s found so many homes right across Britain. Yes, there are small family hatchbacks that are cheaper, roomier, more versatile and better on quality. However, no rival is better to drive than the Focus, and the Ford does well enough on all these other points to ensure its popularity. It may be one of the obvious choices in the class, but that’s because it’s one of the best.


What’s the best Ford Focus to choose?

This is rather tricky, because there are so many good options. We love the 1.5 EcoBlue diesel engine in 120PS form, because it’s powerful, has sensational refinement and gives fabulous economy. If you’re a high-mileage driver (which many Focus drivers are), then this is definitely the one to have. However, you’ll need to really munch the miles to offset the extra it costs over the 125PS 1.0 EcoBoost petrol engine, so if your regular distances are more modest, that’s the one you’ll want.


Again with trim levels, it’s a little bit difficult. The entry-level trim on early cars - the Style - was rather spartan, while the Vignale models are too expensive to recommend, so those two are out for starters. Otherwise, though there are no bad choices. Zetec trim isn’t missing much, but we wouldn't blame you for upgrading to one of the ST-Line or Titanium cars for a bit of extra sportiness or luxury. With our heads on the block, we’d say 1.5 EcoBlue diesel manual in Titanium trim, but it’s your choice.

What other cars are similar to the Ford Focus?

There can’t be many cars out there with more direct rivals than the Focus. As one of the nation’s best-sellers, this is one of those cars that every carmaker wants to compete with in order to carve off a slice of its success, and as such, competition is fierce.


 In no particular order, other than that in which they spring to mind, you have the Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra, Honda Civic, Skoda Octavia, Seat Leon, Peugeot 308, Renault Megane, Hyundai i30, Kia Ceed, Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3 and Fiat Tipo. Then you also have more premium offerings like the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes A-Class, not to mention all the small SUVs that are proving so popular with families these days.


Learn more

Ford Focus Interior

On the inside

Ford Focus Driving

Driving

Ford Focus Driving Back

How much does it cost to run

Ford Focus Driving Side

Prices, versions and specification