What is it?
Ford has improved the car’s aerodynamics, adding side skirts and a rear spoiler and modifying the grille and front bumper. Lower suspension, narrower low-resistance tyres and almost-solid wheel trims complete the package. The engine is unchanged, but the transmission uses a low-viscosity oil.
What’s it like?
The car is very driveable B-road, A-road and motorways speeds, with five well-spaced ratios and plenty of mid-range torque. Things are less impressive around town, where the lack of low-end torque makes stop-start driving something of a trial.
Though perfectly acceptable over speed bumps, the Econetic’s ride over potholes and broken surfaces suffers as a result of its higher pressure tyres. It breaks away slightly earlier than its siblings, but on the whole lives up to the Focus’s excellent reputation for handling.
Economy is excellent for a five-seater – it averaged 49.6mpg over a 100-mile test run of mixed urban and rural driving.
Should I buy one?
The Focus Econetic is the ideal economical hatchback for out-of-town driving. At today’s fuel prices, the slight premium (£250) over the similarly equipped model should repay itself within a few months. Those with a lot of town driving to do might want to look elsewhere.