When the Ford Focus was launched in 1998, it became the class leader instantly and, in its first two generations, we can count on the fingers of one hand the number of months we haven't considered it as the leader in its segment. But does that still remain the case?

Rivals have come and gone with varying degrees of anonymity and success – Fiat Bravos, Renault Méganes, Honda Civics, Alfa Romeo 147s, Toyota Corollas and Aurises – and nothing, except the Volkswagen Golf, has come close to making the Focus anything other than the most easily recommendable medium-sized family car.

Today there are fewer differences than ever between Focuses made for different markets under the global 'One Ford' plan, so this is not just a Euro-centric car.

That said, as is usual for a European Focus, the car is available with myriad engine choices, including Ford’s excellent Ecoboost technology, most notably through a highly-efficient 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit. Trims include the usual names, including popular Edge, Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X levels.

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