What is it?
Legend has it Enzo Ferrari once said that with a Ferrari you buy an engine, and the rest you get for free. Perhaps the opposite is true of the all-new, fourth-generation Ford Focus – you buy a great chassis, and it doesn’t really matter what else there is.
That’s somewhat flippant, of course, as early tests of different versions are revealing quite different characters depending on the car’s propulsion and trim – yet with that great chassis thankfully remaining a constant.
The latest version of the Focus to arrive at Autocar HQ for test is this 1.5-litre diesel version. It’s the mid-range of three diesels – a 94bhp 1.5 sits below this 118bhp version and a 148bhp 2.0-litre above it. You can have it with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox, the latter tested here.
Whatever gearbox or version of the 1.5-litre diesel you go for (and, let’s be honest, a diesel Focus still holds huge appeal for so many car buyers who cover the kinds of distances such five-door hatchbacks have always relished), you do get the ‘lesser’ of the two rear suspension options – a torsion beam, the multi-link reserved for the 2.0-litre range-topper.