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Ford has finally joined the coupé-cabriolet party, hitting the showroom well after the newest of its main rivals, the VW Eos and the Vauxhall Astra TwinTop, with the new Focus CC.
Pininfarina has done the work on a reasonably elegant roof mechanism that raises or lowers in 29 seconds. Engine options are a rather weedy 99bhp 1.6 petrol, a 142bhp 2.0-litre petrol or a 134bhp 2.0-litre diesel.
What’s it like?
Initial impressions are promising. Although its looks have divided office opinion, I think Ford and Pininfarina have done well to create some elegant lines in what is an intrinsically awkward format.
The interior is less impressive. The fascia is pure Focus, which means clear, well laid out controls, but not much in the way of design sophistication. In lower-spec models this is fine, but the top-spec CC-3 diesel version we drove costs over £24k once you’ve added a few options. But stick to the generous basic spec and you’ll only pay a whisker over 20 grand, which is far better value.
On the road, most of the traditional Focus values shine through: slick steering, a great driving position and, most of the time, great handling. I say most, because the extra weight and the slight wobbles that shimmy through the chassis of the Focus CC mean that it gets upset by transverse ridges and potholes that wouldn’t fluster the regular hatch.
Should I buy one?
It’s probably the most dynamically talented of the four-seat CC brigade, so if you have any love for driving, then yes. For outright driving pleasure the 2.0-litre 142bhp petrol is the one to go for, thanks to a zippier response and less weight in the nose.
But these cars aren’t about maximum-attack driving, and the smooth, refined and torquey 134bhp turbodiesel (coupled to a slick six-speed manual; petrol models only get five speeds) suits the CC’s relaxed nature to a tee.