What is it?
It’s still ‘the one’ to drive, say the people who’ve created the new Ford Focus. Although obviously they don’t put it quite like that: they reckon it’s the most "confidence-inspiring, intuitive and rewarding driver and occupant experience of any mid-size family car in Europe".
Thing is, there isn’t just one mid-sized family car, but three or four, really: a normal five-door hatch, a posh version (the Vignale), a wagon and a tall Active version.
And it doesn’t stop there, either, because there are two different rear suspension options – one independent, one not - because some markets don’t care so much about vehicle dynamics, and a torsion beam is a lot cheaper than what Ford has variously called a control blade or a short-long-arm suspension over the years. Then there’s the option of adaptive dampers too. Oh, and ST-Line trim that lowers the standard ride height by 10mm.
Imagine, then, that in all this, Ford has managed to reduce the number of orderable Focus configurations by some 92% over its predecessor. There’s less overall choice, but it’s a broader, more defined choice.
The basics, though. The new Focus as tested right here is a five-door hatchback. At 4.38m long, it’s average for the class; at 1820mm, as wide as it was before; and it’s 15mm lower. The wheelbase is long, at 2701mm.