From £21,665
The Ford Focus Zetec S gets more athletic running gear and a mild bodykit trade a little ride comfort for a defter chassis. But the differences are small.
Richard Bremner Autocar
28 November 2011

What is it?

The Ford Focus Zetec S package turns the car into the sportiest edition yet before the ST arrives next year. It consists of sports suspension, 17in alloys, a mild bodykit, alloy pedals, a separate starter button, an upgraded centre console and LED tail-lamps.

A modest confection then, although Ford says that you’re paying just £1250 for it rather than £1700. It can be had with two petrols (the 180bhp Ecoboost is most potent) and two diesels, the more powerful 161bhp 2.0 TDCi sampled here. Curiously, neither this engine nor the petrol 1.6 get Ford’s suite of Econetic fuel-saving features, although the 2.0 TDCi provides a decent combination of 129g/km, an 8.6sec advance to 62mph and a combined 56.5mpg.

What’s it like?

The acceleration figures means this Ford Focus just about qualifies for the warm hatch status implied by its war-paint. What you’ll be more impressed are this diesel’s manners, which are smoothly unobtrusive until well past 4000rpm, a rev range that you rarely need explore because it musters decent enough shove much earlier.

The result is confident, restful progress that while not providing scintillating acceleration, does allow you carry enough speed into corners to benefit from the revised chassis. Which certainly delivers a firmer ride, but one that remains very capable over battered B roads, these absorbed with a taut civility.

So it’s rarely uncomfortable, lending the Focus a finer grade of athleticism and steering feel that’s of slightly weightier resistance at the rim. That’s good, although it doesn’t rediscover the feedback from the road below lost provided by the previous Focus. But, this chassis gels well and turns an already accomplished car into something a fraction sharper.

Should I buy one?

Whether this S pack tempts may depend on whether you like a bodykit that makes the Focus’s rather long body look a little under-rubbered.

Ford Focus Zetec S 2.0 TDCi

Price: £21,385; Top speed: 135mph; 0-62mph: 8.6sec; Economy: 56.5mpg combined; Co2: 129g/km; Kerbweight: 1412kg; Engine: four cyls, in-line, 1997cc; Power: 161bhp at 3750rpm; Torque: 251lb ft at 2000-3250rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd manual

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Comments
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K1NZ 4 January 2012

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi Zetec S

Engelbert wrote:
The Focus series-3 has recently been launched in New Zealand - but without any Ecoboost motors. Kiwis deserve better than this marketing mediocrity! Not surprisingly, the Focus III hasn't been very well received here........ Think I'd stick with Golf - even though the current series is nearing the end of its run. E

Are you also from New Zealand mate? good to have a few kiwis on the forum.

Yeah why hasnt Ford released it with the eco boost engine? it hasnt taken off thats forsure most of the first allocation have all ended up at Avis. Although a far superior car in most ways, apart from bullet proof reliability, i dont think the focus will pull people away from their Toyota Corrolas(auris) even as basic and boring as they are

ronmcdonald 4 January 2012

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi Zetec S

Engelbert wrote:
The Focus series-3 has recently been launched in New Zealand - but without any Ecoboost motors. Kiwis deserve better than this marketing mediocrity!
I'm led to believe from another thread that Kiwi's love their Auris's? If that's true then Ford have their marketing spot on - Kiwi's don't deserve better than this.

Engelbert 4 January 2012

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi Zetec S

The Focus series-3 has recently been launched in New Zealand - but without any Ecoboost motors. Kiwis deserve better than this marketing mediocrity! Not surprisingly, the Focus III hasn't been very well received here........ Think I'd stick with Golf - even though the current series is nearing the end of its run. E