It’s hard to fault the Focus on value for money. Two trim levels below our Zetec test car provides a cheap entry point for private buyers on a budget.

The entry-level, £16,445 Studio version is offered only with an 84bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine and in an unoptionable specification that includes air-con, a basic AM/FM radio, ESP and central locking. They are likely to be a rare sight.

Vicky Parrott

Deputy reviews editor
Residual values will be mid-class, but few other mainstream rivals can match the Focus in this area

Upgrading from Zetec to ST-Line gets you sports suspension and 17in alloy wheels, which would be worth it on both counts, we reckon. However, experiment with the 8.0in touchscreen system before spending money on it as an optional extra on Zetec trim, though.

Predicted residuals may be second to the premium brands and anything built by the Volkswagen Group, but they are a cut above the Mazda 3, Nissan Pulsar, Toyota Auris and Vauxhall Astra.

Lease rates look competitive, too, while Ford’s success in getting fleet companies to accept that cars with sat-nav will be worth more at resale adds further value. Carbon dioxide emissions are competitive for both the 1.5 TDCi and the more powerful 2.0 TDCi – and for manual and Powershift automatic cars. The 95bhp 1.5-litre TDCi variant sneaks in under the 100g/km CO2 barrier - at 98g/km, which will be a popular choice with company car drivers.

Ford claims a combined fuel economy figure of 74.3mpg for our 1.5-litre TDCi 119bhp test car. However, our True MPG testers recorded a real-world average return of 58.5mpg, which still just pips the Seat Leon 1.6 TDI's 57mpg.  

 

Top 5 Family hatchbacks

  • Seventh generation Volkswagen Golf
    More than 29 million Golfs have been sold since 1974

    Volkswagen Golf

    1
  • The popular Ford Focus in 1.5 TDCi Zetec form
    The standout component of the Ford Focus has always been its handling

    Ford Focus

    2
  • Seat Leon
    Seat offers five engines for the Leon, ranging from a 104bhp 1.2 petrol to a 181bhp 2.0 diesel

    Seat Leon

    3
  • Mazda 3
    The SkyActiv platform used in the 3 features more high and ultra-high-strength steel, offering greater strength and less weight

    Mazda 3

    4
  • Peugeot 308
    The 308 marks the first time a carry-over name has been applied to an all-new Peugeot

    Peugeot 308

    5

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