From £13,785
No longer the default choice for those wanting entertainment in a family motor, but does feature huge improvement in running costs and cabin finish

What is it?

The new 148bhp 1.6-litre Ecoboost Ford Focus - a model that sets a happy medium in between the more powerful 178bhp version of the same engine and the non-turbo’d petrols. The 1.6 Ecoboost is only available with a six-speed manual and in Titanium or Titanium X trim.

What’s it like?

Of any of the new Focus models this turbo’d engine should live up to Ford’s reputation for setting the benchmark as an engaging driver’s car in this class. And yet it falls short of the mark. The engine itself goes a long way to ensuring that this is a more rewarding drive than the rest of the models below it in the power stakes. Having less weight in the nose makes turn-in sharper and the ride slightly more settled than in the diesel models, which allows you to make the most of the well-balanced and grippy chassis - a setup that still betters many others in the class.

But even the engine could spin more freely and offer just a bit more energy. It’s a good motor to wring out, and the performance itself is extremely competitive and as punchy as you’d expect, but it doesn’t have the same depth of flexibility and response that some Ford engines of new and old have offered. However, for all these niggles the Ford Focus 1.6 Ecoboost doesn’t only offer a good blend of pace and comfort, the engine also makes for an extremely refined and relaxing motor in general, and standard stop-start only adds to that usability. Very respectable figures of 47.1mpg and 139g/km finish off what is an extremely well-rounded and mildly sporting family hatch.

Should I buy one?

If you want a mid-level performance family hatch then yes, this is certainly one of the best out there. The Focus is no longer the default choice for those wanting entertainment in a family motor, but it is still as good as the established rivals in that respect and at the same time it has seen a huge improvement in running costs and cabin finish. And in the 148bhp Ecoboost there is a car that can reward even in the most mundane of driving situations – it just falls short of the sparkle of its predecessors.

Ford Focus 1.6 Ecoboost Titanium

Price: £19,745; Top speed: 130mph; 0-62mph: 8.6sec; Economy: 47.1mpg; Co2: 139g/km; Kerb weight: 1333kg; Engine type: 1596cc 4cyl, petrol turbocharged; Power: 148bhp at 5700rpm; Torque: 177lb ft at 1900-4000rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual


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4 May 2011

Looks bland. So-so handling. An average car. Engelbert

4 May 2011

[quote Engelbert]Looks bland. So-so handling. An average car. Engelbert[/quote]
Certainly seems to have lost a lot of its former appeal.

4 May 2011

Functional product built for the masses. I still can't get my head round how much cars around this level have grown in price and I don't just mean the focus. £20K for middle of the road family car. I can't imagine spending £20K on something I didn't love.

4 May 2011

Have seen a few of these on the road now. It's just not as head turning or the step forward I was expecting it to be. The initial renderings from 2yrs/18mths ago in the motoring press showed something bright and exciting but it has been cost-reduced into another consumer product. The Astra looks interesting next to the Focus for the first time in a long time!

4 May 2011

I think it's a shame you can't get this engine in a lower trim level say, for instance, at least in Zetec trim. I also think that the previous generation Astra looked interesting next to the MKII focus

4 May 2011

20 grand for a 1.6 litre Focus? Even with a 20% discount I wouldn't go near it.

4 May 2011

[quote 2xtrouble]The Astra looks interesting next to the Focus for the first time in a long time![/quote] Agreed. I've only seen a couple of the new Focus around (one in black and one in white, neither of which does it any favours), but it is not as striking as the photos suggest it might be, whereas the Astra is immediately "street visible". I think the Ford attitude of "you can only have the eco-friendly equipment if you buy the most expensive models" is just a cynical way of getting customers to spend more money, and as others have said £20,000+ for a 1.6 Focus is ludicrous, but then the cost of cars in general has got silly, it can't really be that the cost of producing and selling cars has risen by nearly 30% in just four or five years.

4 May 2011

If this Focus does indeed produce its torque peak between 1900 and 4000 rpm (as the specification says), then I really can't see the need for a 6-speed gearbox. This is a car aimed at Mr Average - and from my experience, the average driver neither has the skill to change gear properly or choose the most appropriate ratio for the situation. And with six gears to choose from, there's only a one-in-six chance of being in the right gear at the right time... I suspect the six gears was specified by the marketing department with the ratios carefully selected to "cheat" the EU fuel consumption test!

4 May 2011

it's just SO god damned boring to look at :|

4 May 2011

I was talking to a Ford salesman just after this Focus was launched and asked him if it was selling. He said it was, but not as fast as it should be. The reason? He said it was too expensive....


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