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

Our Verdict

Ford Focus 2011-2014

Can the Ford Focus capture the hearts and minds of hatchback buyers?

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. 

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

15 October 2013

How depressing life must be if you like cars and driving, but get given one of these by your fleet manager.

15 October 2013

“with the 88g/km model costing £750 more than the 99g/km variant in matching trim” Like most manufactures you pay though the nose to get a more economical car that in the real world doesn’t make financial sense. To get £750 back in Petrol and tax savings would take years and probably more years than you’d wish to endure in such a lackluster car .
Love know how often this car is chosen rather than being thrust upon a rep who hankers after a 3 series fleet special

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

15 October 2013
xxxx wrote:

“with the 88g/km model costing £750 more than the 99g/km variant in matching trim” Like most manufactures you pay though the nose to get a more economical car that in the real world doesn’t make financial sense. To get £750 back in Petrol and tax savings would take years and probably more years than you’d wish to endure in such a lackluster car .
Love know how often this car is chosen rather than being thrust upon a rep who hankers after a 3 series fleet special

If you care to browse the VW website you will see that the Ford Focus has almost identical performance and prices as the Golf although the Golf version has less horsepower at 90hp. The equivalent petrol versions have similar performance to the diesel cars. If you think this Focus is slow try driving a 1.2 petrol 85 hp Golf.

maxecat

15 October 2013
Maxecat wrote:

If you care to browse the VW website you will see that the Ford Focus has almost identical performance and prices as the Golf although the Golf version has less horsepower at 90hp. The equivalent petrol versions have similar performance to the diesel cars. If you think this Focus is slow try driving a 1.2 petrol 85 hp Golf.

All these underpowered cars will be awful to drive, petrol or diesel. How many more MPG in the real world will this Focus do compared to your Civic? Very few if any, yet the performance will be night and day different. These slow modern Turbo diesels dont have the same driveability of the old non turbo diesels, They operate over such a small rev range compared to the older stuff. Its crazy that anyone would spend £18k on something so awful

15 October 2013
artill wrote:
Maxecat wrote:

If you care to browse the VW website you will see that the Ford Focus has almost identical performance and prices as the Golf although the Golf version has less horsepower at 90hp. The equivalent petrol versions have similar performance to the diesel cars. If you think this Focus is slow try driving a 1.2 petrol 85 hp Golf.

All these underpowered cars will be awful to drive, petrol or diesel. How many more MPG in the real world will this Focus do compared to your Civic? Very few if any, yet the performance will be night and day different. These slow modern Turbo diesels dont have the same driveability of the old non turbo diesels, They operate over such a small rev range compared to the older stuff. Its crazy that anyone would spend £18k on something so awful

My Civic gives me 55 mpg for most of the year over each tank full of diesel. That figure drops to the high 40's during the worst of winter weather partly due to the cold and partly due to me driving less with a greater percentage of short journeys. By short trips I mean a return trip shopping is around 20 to 30 miles. If I make a long journey, 200 miles plus each way, and keep my speed down to below 60 mph I can get 63 mpg over a tank full.

The real problem with cars nowadays is their increase in size and weight.
This Focus reviewed has 104 hp and 199 lb ft, a Mk1 Golf Gti had 105 hp and about half the torque but was far smaller and lighter than this Focus.

I see on the BBC news that the EU has been forced by Germany with backing from Britain to delay the introduction of a compulsory 95 g/km Co2 average limit for all new cars.
As I understand it now from 2020 80% of each manufacturers cars sold in the EU will have to average under 95 g/km by 2020 and 100% of all cars average under 95 g/km by 2024.
Imagine how many petrol cars will manage to even approach that 95 g/km limit unless there is a technology breakthrough. The age of petrol cars with engines over 1.5 litres is rapidly drawing to a close in Europe except for a tiny number.
Probably virtually all cars will either be petrol/electric hybrids, sub 1 litre petrol and up to 1.6 litre diesel. I suppose the car makers will still offer large powerful cars but price them to reduce demand in Europe to keep their sales within the EU Co2 limit.
I suppose I should be thankful that at age 64 I will be nearing the end of my driving years by 2024.

maxecat

17 October 2013
Maxecat wrote:
artill wrote:
Maxecat wrote:

If you care to browse the VW website you will see that the Ford Focus has almost identical performance and prices as the Golf although the Golf version has less horsepower at 90hp. The equivalent petrol versions have similar performance to the diesel cars. If you think this Focus is slow try driving a 1.2 petrol 85 hp Golf.

All these underpowered cars will be awful to drive, petrol or diesel. How many more MPG in the real world will this Focus do compared to your Civic? Very few if any, yet the performance will be night and day different. These slow modern Turbo diesels dont have the same driveability of the old non turbo diesels, They operate over such a small rev range compared to the older stuff. Its crazy that anyone would spend £18k on something so awful

My Civic gives me 55 mpg for most of the year over each tank full of diesel. That figure drops to the high 40's during the worst of winter weather partly due to the cold and partly due to me driving less with a greater percentage of short journeys. By short trips I mean a return trip shopping is around 20 to 30 miles. If I make a long journey, 200 miles plus each way, and keep my speed down to below 60 mph I can get 63 mpg over a tank full.

The real problem with cars nowadays is their increase in size and weight.
This Focus reviewed has 104 hp and 199 lb ft, a Mk1 Golf Gti had 105 hp and about half the torque but was far smaller and lighter than this Focus.

I see on the BBC news that the EU has been forced by Germany with backing from Britain to delay the introduction of a compulsory 95 g/km Co2 average limit for all new cars.
As I understand it now from 2020 80% of each manufacturers cars sold in the EU will have to average under 95 g/km by 2020 and 100% of all cars average under 95 g/km by 2024.
Imagine how many petrol cars will manage to even approach that 95 g/km limit unless there is a technology breakthrough. The age of petrol cars with engines over 1.5 litres is rapidly drawing to a close in Europe except for a tiny number.
Probably virtually all cars will either be petrol/electric hybrids, sub 1 litre petrol and up to 1.6 litre diesel. I suppose the car makers will still offer large powerful cars but price them to reduce demand in Europe to keep their sales within the EU Co2 limit.
I suppose I should be thankful that at age 64 I will be nearing the end of my driving years by 2024.

i agree with you totally about the relative size of the golf mk1 and what moderate power used to be able to achieve. my pet bugbear is tyres, and the way they are growing out of control. my 2000 yaris sr 1.3 with 87bhp and weighing about 860kg has 195/50r15h rubber, compared to my 1992 volvo 960 executive 3.0 with 204bhp and weighing about 1560kg wearing 195/65r15h boots. the mk2 golf gti i had years ago with 112bhp had 185/60r14h. it doesn't make sense. it's worse now than when my yaris was made and getting even worse all the time. i read the other day of an upcoming top of the range mondeo vignale with 20 inch wheels, and it's commonplace for cars in that class to run around on 18 or 19 inch ones. what's going to happen when all these cars are ten years old in the hands of their fifth owner, running them on a tight budget and unable to afford two hundred pounds a corner or more? the cars will depreciate but the into the reach of those buying at the lower end of the scale, such as myself i have to say, but the tyres won't so more and more will be on the road in an unfit state. it's obviously possible already to buy clapped out exotica for nearly no money and then not to be able to maintain it properly but we're not talking exotica here, we're talking everyday family cars. passat, insignia, mondeo and so on. even cars below them in the ranges often have 17 or 18 inch wheels. it's stupid, and it's storing up trouble for the future.

I don't need to put my name here, it's on the left

 

15 October 2013

Can't see how Ford can expect to sell many of these if they continue to charge a healthy premium for such a car - it might be cheaper to run on a daily basis but most people will probably never see that £750 premium back during their ownership - and if it is unpleasant and akward to drive everyday they'll only get rid of it the sooner.

If the eco technology (like wheel trims) are so damn good why don't they fit them to more models in the range - as someone says "every little helps". It seems taht car companies in particular are really just out to charge as much as they can for their products under the guise of being eco-friendly.


Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

15 October 2013

Ford ruined the 1.6 TDCi in the Mk3. I had a Mk2 with this engine and it was superb, lots of low down torque, wonderfully flexible yet punchy when necessary and would easily exceed 60mpg with little effort. Then I had a Mk3 1.6 TDCi. Gone is the flexibility, replaced with nothing below 2000rpm and nothing above 3500rpm and plenty of turbo lag to go with it. And to cap it all off the best I ever saw, with some effort was 60mpg and in normal driving it was low 50s. I was actually glad when I changed jobs and was given another Mk2, it was so much nicer to drive. Progress eh?

15 October 2013
Will86 wrote:

Ford ruined the 1.6 TDCi in the Mk3. I had a Mk2 with this engine and it was superb, lots of low down torque, wonderfully flexible yet punchy when necessary and would easily exceed 60mpg with little effort. Then I had a Mk3 1.6 TDCi. Gone is the flexibility, replaced with nothing below 2000rpm and nothing above 3500rpm and plenty of turbo lag to go with it. And to cap it all off the best I ever saw, with some effort was 60mpg and in normal driving it was low 50s. I was actually glad when I changed jobs and was given another Mk2, it was so much nicer to drive. Progress eh?

I had a similar experience but with the 1.8tdci focus. The mk1's engine was a great all rounder and suited the car well, the mk2 had been fettled to reduce emissions? and is a real pain to get moving once warm. Have been left half way across junctions with the engine bogged down, even after a re map its no better.

15 October 2013

Drove one of these the other day, Dull as they come.

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