A refined and flexible diesel motor, and well-rounded family hatch, but needs more competitive running costs

What is it?

The mid-range 138bhp 2.0 CDTi Ford Focus. We have already found out that the new Ford Focus remains one of the best family hatches out there, but in the guises we’ve so far tested it has lost some of the precision and energy that its predecessors specialised in. Predictably the same can be said of this model, which that we’re testing here for the first time.

What’s it like?

Expected to account for less than 10 per cent of sales in the UK this motor does have some very worthwhile strengths over the 114bhp oil burner that will be the volume seller.

Peak torque of 236 lb ft arrives from 1750rpm through to 2750rpm, which allows it to sit in high gears around town with relative ease and respond well without requiring much stirring of the well-judged and solid-shifting six-speed manual (the Powershift ‘box is an extra £1250).

It avoids the inertia that the smaller, lower powered diesel engine suffers from, spinning freely and responding quickly enough to the throttle. Work it hard and it can become vocal, but in general use it’s tyre noise that is the more intrusive background hum, with the engine settling to an impressively subdued hush when in its lower rev range.

The result is that this is one of the more pleasant Focus models to drive, particularly for long motorway miles. Yes, the artificial-feeling steering and merely composed rather than engaging dynamics are a disappointment but in most ways the Focus is exactly what it needs to be. Stable, refined and calming.

Should I buy one?

This 2.0 TDCi engine is available in Zetec trim or above, and is priced competitively against the obvious rivals – noticeably cheaper than the Golf. In terms of how it drives this is one of the best engines in the Focus range and one of the best cars in the class. The equivalent Golf’s marginally better economy in GT trim (or vastly superior in 2.0 TDi Bluemotion form) could swing many in VW’s favour, but the Focus still has the ability to make extremely ordinary travel thoroughly enjoyable.

Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi Titanium

Price: £20,745; Top speed: 129mph; 0-62mph: 8.9sec; Economy: 56.5mpg; Co2: 129g/km; Kerbweight: 1421kg; Engine type: 4cyl, 1997cc, turbodiesel; Power: 138bhp at 3750rpm; Torque: 236lb ft at 1750-2750rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual

Join the debate

Add a comment…
saintly78 21 March 2011

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

Do you remember this advert when Ford proudly told us about owning Volvo, Aston Martin, Mazda & Jaguar?


Having bungled that lot they are now making Kia and Hyundai clones. Cortinas, Capris & Granadas were cool (if not the greatest cars) why can't Ford make something interesting again?

Richard H 21 March 2011

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

Brannen wrote:
It's just so 'Meh' though! I'd rather have a golf..

Meh, I'd have a Giulietta

lucasworldcars 21 March 2011

Re: Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi

Its True!

You will forget about this car. Yes, it is very premium inside BUT it has lost its SPARK.

No flair to it. The ride is one thing, the styling was probably drawn by the person who couldn't stop styling the Mazda 3. Terrible!

The Ford European division is non-existent now. Whats the point!