The drop in capacity shouldn't be any concern. This new engine may have lost 61cc, but the 1.5-litre unit pulls perfectly well from around 1500rpm and continues to do so over a usefully wide rev band. It’s not outright fast, no, but it certainly feels comfortable in and out of town.
It’s pleasingly refined, too. It remains quiet even when revved hard and sends next to no vibration back through any of the controls. Ford’s usual snappy gearchange is also present and correct, and the only disturbance on the motorway is some road noise through the wheel arches.
Changes to the new Focus’s steering means it's now less nervous on the motorway, but the new system retains all that was good about the previous car’s set-up. If anything, the new rack feels even more alert, because the revised car’s stiffer front end means turning into corners is every bit as quick and precise as it was before.
Ride quality hasn’t suffered, either. The Focus has long led this class when it comes to offering a sophisticated, supple ride, and it's still a superbly composed car over the sort of lumps and bumps you’ll find on a typical UK high street. Venture out of town and its body stays nicely settled over cambers and crests, and even motorway expansion joints pass by without any undue drama.
Inside, cabin quality has been given a subtle lift, but what's most noticable is the Focus's infotainment system, which was a standout weakness on the previous model. Titanium and Titanium X models come with an eight-inch touchscreen as standard, which is a massive improvement over what was included before.
Okay, so it's not the most responsive system on sale, nor the best laid-out, but it's still big and bold. Connecting your smartphone takes seconds, and it's nice to be able to jump between the main functions like nav and climate control with a single press, even though most of the time you'll defer to the physical controls for the latter.
Standard equipment on this Titanium model is generous: 16-inch alloy wheels, that eight-inch touchscreen, automatic city stop technology, auto lights and wipers, rear parking sensors, cruise control and keyless start are all included.
Space for four adults is good, but if you want to squeeze three across the rear bench then the accommodation becomes less civilised. The boot is a respectable 490 litres without a spare wheel included, which is likely to be more than enough for anyone looking to haul a family and their luggage. Ultimately, though, you'll have more space to fill in both the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia Estates.