From £13,7858
This eco-friendly version of the Focus emits just 88g/km of CO2, but its price premium is hard to justify
15 October 2013

What is it?

This is the most frugal Ford Focus you can buy – at least for now, and according to the official figures.

Detail refinements including unique low-drag wheel trims further improve the existing 1.6 TDCi Focus Econetic’s headline economy figure from 76.4mpg combined to 83.1mpg, with CO2 emissions dropping from 99g/km to 88g/km. 

That 99g/km model remains on sale alongside this even cleaner version. The two share an engine, mechanical spec and power and torque outputs of 104bhp and 199lb ft respectivey.

In keeping with the ‘less is best’ eco philosophy, however, the 88g/km Focus is only available in lower-end Edge trim (you can have your 99g/km model in Titanium spec, though, should you so choose). 

Cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, USB and aux-in connectivity all come as standard, but if you want Ford’s SYNC tech package including DAB radio and Bluetooth, you’ll have to pay an extra £340. 

What's it like?

To drive, almost indistinguishable from the 99g/km 1.6 TDCi Focus.

Which is to say engine performance that’s doggedly workmanlike at best, pedestrian at worst, and frustratingly mated to a chassis that displays all of the best dynamic sparkle that an everyday Ford has to offer (which is a considerable amount).

Our previous criticisms of the 1.6 TDCi’s low-rev recalcitrance hold just as true here, with an asthmatic off-boost delivery leading to some awkward moments when pulling away. The sure-fire cure is to give it a heavy boot from a standstill, but that’s entirely at odds with the Econetic Focus’s fuel-saving ethos. With practice and familiarity pulling away becomes less fraught, but it always feels like a more conscious effort than it should be.

That laggy obstinacy tends to be less of a problem once rolling but it never goes away entirely. The motor feels at its best once flowing freely on A-roads and motorways, but it’s punchy and rewarding enough around town providing you time your upshifts carefully. However, an opportunist open-road overtaker this is not.

The compromises in performance do pay off, though. On one particularly feather-footed motorway/urban run, we returned an impressive 72mpg, although such figures have to be worked for. It’s quite conceivable that with even greater restraint it would be possible to edge even closer to the Focus’s official 83.1mpg combined economy figure.

Should I buy one?

Possibly, but do your sums first, and be sure about what you want from your car.

As with Volkswagen and its BlueMotion models, Ford charges a premium for the Focus’s fuel-saving prowess, with the 88g/km model costing £750 more than the 99g/km variant in matching trim. 

The 113bhp version of the same car, meanwhile, which gets to 62mph a full second more quickly while returning a claimed 67.3mpg combined with 109g/km of CO2, costs a further £250 less. 

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Back to top

Balancing performance expectations against purchase price and running costs is becoming an increasingly complicated business. 

If outright economy counts above all else, then put the Focus Econotetic on your shopping list, but it’s definitely a case of try before you buy. The trade-off in outright performance terms may be too much to bear for even the most committed environmentalist-cum-driving enthusiast. 

Ford Focus Econetic Edge 1.6 TDCi 

Price £18,145; 0-62mph 11.8sec; Top speed 116mph; Economy 83.1mpg (combined); CO2 88g/km; Kerb weight 1350kg; Engine 4 cylinders in line, 1560cc, turbodiesel; Power 104bhp; Torque 199lb ft; Gearbox 6-speed manual

Join the debate

Comments
16
Add a comment…
autojenko 23 October 2013

econetic mpg

Have Focus econetic 1.6 diesel edge. Traded in a 2008 Mondeo 1.8 Dsl. Bought it for its MPG as I need the economy. Disappointed as this Focus is giving me poorer MPG than my Mondeo with 93K on clock. What should I do or is there something wrong with the car. Have driven 1000 miles. Feel totally cheated and misled. Claims of 83 mpg when i am getting about 50 mpg is a big joke.

TBC 19 October 2013

1.0

The 1.0 litre ecoboost engine has shown where the future lays; so imagine a three cylinder turbocharged 1litre diesel engine producing 99 bhp and 150lb-ft torque, which produces less than 90g/km.

Until companies invest in new tech, tweaking existing older designs will only cause the frustration mentioned in previous posts.

dukebox9reg 16 October 2013

I find gearing doesn't help.

I find gearing doesn't help. Driven a Vag 1.6 diesel in a standard car and was nice to drive and pulled very well and then i tried it in a mk2 Leon Ecomotive and the first time I rolled up to a junction in 2nd and accelerated the car died! Gears were so long!

I have to say though it was alot nicer to drive than what this Focus sounds like. It would at least feel like it had power at least over the majority of the rev range and was enjoyable to rev.

Find an Autocar car review