Vicky Parrott
14 March 2011

What is it?

The mid-range 138bhp 2.0 CDTi Ford Focus. We have already found out that the new Ford Focus remains one of the best family hatches out there, but in the guises we’ve so far tested it has lost some of the precision and energy that its predecessors specialised in. Predictably the same can be said of this model, which that we’re testing here for the first time.

What’s it like?

Expected to account for less than 10 per cent of sales in the UK this motor does have some very worthwhile strengths over the 114bhp oil burner that will be the volume seller.

Peak torque of 236 lb ft arrives from 1750rpm through to 2750rpm, which allows it to sit in high gears around town with relative ease and respond well without requiring much stirring of the well-judged and solid-shifting six-speed manual (the Powershift ‘box is an extra £1250).

It avoids the inertia that the smaller, lower powered diesel engine suffers from, spinning freely and responding quickly enough to the throttle. Work it hard and it can become vocal, but in general use it’s tyre noise that is the more intrusive background hum, with the engine settling to an impressively subdued hush when in its lower rev range.

The result is that this is one of the more pleasant Focus models to drive, particularly for long motorway miles. Yes, the artificial-feeling steering and merely composed rather than engaging dynamics are a disappointment but in most ways the Focus is exactly what it needs to be. Stable, refined and calming.

Should I buy one?

This 2.0 TDCi engine is available in Zetec trim or above, and is priced competitively against the obvious rivals – noticeably cheaper than the Golf. In terms of how it drives this is one of the best engines in the Focus range and one of the best cars in the class. The equivalent Golf’s marginally better economy in GT trim (or vastly superior in 2.0 TDi Bluemotion form) could swing many in VW’s favour, but the Focus still has the ability to make extremely ordinary travel thoroughly enjoyable.


Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi Titanium

Price: £20,745; Top speed: 129mph; 0-62mph: 8.9sec; Economy: 56.5mpg; Co2: 129g/km; Kerbweight: 1421kg; Engine type: 4cyl, 1997cc, turbodiesel; Power: 138bhp at 3750rpm; Torque: 236lb ft at 1750-2750rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual

Join the debate


Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

3 years 18 weeks ago

Good to see Ford have given up on their fantasy pricing. Will really help the user choosers who are chasing ever smaller P11d values.

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

3 years 18 weeks ago

It's just so 'Meh' though! I'd rather have a golf..

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

3 years 18 weeks ago

Brannen wrote:
I'd rather have a golf..


Call me superficial but I have to like how a car looks in order to like it (if that makes sense) and I don't like this.

Despite VP's ascertion that this engine/trim combo is 'one of the best in the class' it just doesn't look it. It looks bl00dy awful!

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

3 years 18 weeks ago

The Golf 2.0 tdi BMT has a lower CO2, putting it in the lowest company car BIK tax bracket. I would go for the Golf every time.

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

3 years 18 weeks ago

By God, that's are real mess of a car! Who'd have thought a Kia Ceed would have more style than a Focus? To my eyes, the front and rear are very ill-conceived.

Where has all Japanese design went to?

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

3 years 18 weeks ago

Interior, just disgusting. Two different people appear to have designed it, one had a really bad squint. Exterior, two different people designed ot again, one of them stuck in a timewarp and took influence from Korean cars from 4 years ago Someone then coloured it in based on the colour of the inside of their child's happy Incase it isn't clear, not for me

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

3 years 18 weeks ago

Price as tested £20,745. Why would you? Same for Golfs. Let the hire companies and fleet managers buy them. If you're going to spend £350 a month on car get something used and more interesting.

  • Let depreciation be your friend...

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

3 years 18 weeks ago

I'm with you guys.

Having taken a good look over a pair of them last week I have to say its a messy looking thing. The exterior is a mish-mash and the interior looks like kiddies play time. It doesn't look like a dash board for grown ups.

The one piece of the design that I dislike most though is the awkward way that the leading edge of the bonnet doesn't match up against the top of the grille. There is an open space there as if they've left something off. It looks very odd to my eyes!

I'll take the Golf or Astra. Or i'd even take a new style C4 which looks ok, if a little too like the first C4.

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

3 years 18 weeks ago

A touch of the BMW`s about this cars styling i think........

Everyone jumps on the "dont like" bandwagon, give it a couple of years and they will come around to liking it and it wont date quickly either. Challenging design is good.

i certainly prefer this approach to the spectacularly dull Golf and already too familiar Astra.

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

3 years 18 weeks ago

The comment 'trying too hard' springs to mind............

Please register or login to post a comment.

Our Verdict

Can the Ford Focus capture the hearts and minds of hatchback buyers?

Driven this week

  • Volkswagen Polo SE 1.2 TSI first drive review

    Volkswagen Polo SE 1.2 TSI first drive review

    First drive
    23 July 2014 6:13pm

    New convenience and safety gadgets, plus a great new TSI engine, help keep the Polo close to the top of the class

  • Mercedes-Benz C-class

    Mercedes-Benz C-class

    Car review
    23 July 2014 1:05pm

    Can our perennial runner-up in this class finally reach the top spot?

  • Renault Megane Renaultsport 275 Trophy UK first drive review

    Renault Megane Renaultsport 275 Trophy UK first drive review

    First drive
    23 July 2014 10:09am

    Host of upgrades give Renault’s flagship hot hatchback the edge it needs to just stay ahead of an increasingly competitive pack

  • Audi A7 Ultra first drive review

    Audi A7 Ultra first drive review

    First drive
    23 July 2014 12:02am

    The appeal of the A7, which offers smart looks, refinement and luxury, has now been bolstered by the improved economy of a new Ultra version

  • Lexus NX

    Lexus NX

    Car review
    22 July 2014

    An over-firm ride and a lack of driver engagement detract from the appeal of Lexus's rival to the BMW X3, Range Rover Evoque and Audi Q5