Ford Focus variants
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Ford Focus review – still a good family hatchback?

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Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £22,999. Borrowing £18,399 with a £4,600 deposit at a representative APR of 12.9%.

49 monthly payments
£319.32
Fixed interest rate
12.9%
Total amount payable
£30,295.13
Cost of credit
£7,296.13
Optional final payment
£10,368.00
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

Ford Focus buying guide

For many years the Ford Focus was a default family car choice. But it was also an excellent choice for enthusiastic drivers, with sublime handling feel and eager engines. The Focus might now have to compete with SUVs such as the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Qashqai as well as traditional rivals like the Volkswagen Golf, but it’s still a top choice for family transport.

What Ford Focus trim levels are there?

The current Focus (2018-onwards) has a wider range of trim levels than ever before, so you’re sure to find a version you like. A short-lived and quite basic Style trim kicked off the range when the Focus was launched, but now Trend (formerly Zetec) is the name of the entry-level trim.

Zetec and Trend offer a good level of equipment, though, with cruise control, LED daytime running lights and a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto all coming as standard. You also get Ford’s heated windscreen that saves you ever having to de-ice the windscreen on frosty days. In 2020, Ford added bright LED headlights to the standard equipment list, too.

Besides bigger wheels in a grey finish and a sportier body kit, early ST-Line cars offer broadly the same levels of kit as the Zetec. Ford has made the ST-Line better-equipped in recent years, with newer cars getting parking sensors and sat nav.

ST-Line X trim pairs the sporty styling with some of the technology from the Titanium trim, such as heated front seats, two-zone air conditioning, parking sensors at both ends and part-leather trim. You also get bigger wheels and red brake calipers on this version.

Over the Titanium, the Titanium X adds different wheels, tinted rear windows and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

The Ford Focus Vignale is the most luxurious trim level, as Ford’s attempt to rival cars like the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series. You’ll spot it with its polished wheels and dotty chrome grille, and it gets goodies including a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, active parking assist and a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system.

Active cars get oh-so-trendy plastic wheel arch cladding and roof rails for that SUV feel. You do get a slightly higher ride height but there’s no four-wheel-drive option, so this is still a road-focused car. There are Active and Active X trims, which give a similar spread of equipment to Titanium and Titanium X.

At the top of the range is the Focus ST, the fast Ford flagship that takes on the VW Golf GTI and Honda Civic Type R. It also gets a range-topping kit list, with adaptive headlights, adaptive suspension and additional active safety features.

Ford Focus interior and technology

It looks like Ford has simply taped a tablet device onto the dashboard, but the result is a lot cleaner and more modern-looking than the barrage of buttons that greeted you in the older Focus. Mind you, there are plenty of physical controls and dials to fiddle with, and they’ll be easier to use than a car that relies on the touchscreen for everything.

While the Sync 3 infotainment system’s graphics aren’t the most sophisticated, the touchscreen is mostly intuitive. One of the only annoyances is that many of the DAB radio stations are hidden in sub-menus, so it can be hard to find your favourites.

In 2022, Ford facelifted the Focus to keep it fresh. The major changes are inside, where there’s now a much bigger touchscreen than before and an updated infotainment system, plus a set of fancy-looking digital dials.

The Focus has a pretty good selection of interior materials. It’s not on the same level as Audi and Mercedes, true, but it’s certainly on a par with Renault, Nissan, Skoda and even VW. The sports seats in ST-Line models are particularly supportive.

The latest Focus is now more competitive when it comes to space and practicality than the previous one. Its 375-litre boot is an unnoticeable five litres down on the VW Golf, and there’s space in the back seats for your friends to stretch out.

Ford Focus engine range explained

Recently, the Focus gained a couple of mild-hybrid petrol engines complete with an assortment of ‘hybrid’ badges, but these are basically normal petrol engines with a little bit of electrical assistance. There aren’t any plug-in hybrid or electric options yet – essentially just petrol and diesel – plus hot versions exclusive to the ST.

Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost petrol

Most Focus models come with a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. That might not sound big enough for a car like the Focus, but it’s plenty powerful – and the EcoBoost engine is good for both stop-start urban journeys and cross-country trips. Most come with 125hp, although low-spec cars might have 100hp or even 85hp. The 125hp is going to be the pick of the range for most drivers. All come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with automatic transmissions also offered.

Mild-hybrid ‘mHEV’ versions of the Focus use the 1.0-litre engine with a small battery and electric motor. These are available with either 125hp or 155hp, with the latter being slightly faster without sacrificing fuel economy. Non-hybrid versions achieve nearly 50mpg, while the mHEV engines achieve 52-54mpg.

Ford Focus 1.5 EcoBoost petrol

If the 1.0-litre engine isn’t quite quick enough, Ford has offered a 1.5-litre turbo petrol with either 150hp or 182hp. These are only available on certain high-spec trim levels, so pick this engine and you’ll get plenty of power and a lot of standard equipment. Six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearboxes are available.

Ford Focus 1.5 EcoBlue diesel

As of 2022, Ford has whittled down its diesel engines, but the 2018-on Focus still has plenty of black-pump options that’ll suit long-distance drivers. The 120hp 1.5-litre turbodiesel is the pick of the diesel lineup, with decent performance yet economy of up to 62mpg. Mind you, the automatic is rather less economical at 54mpg. There is also a 95hp diesel that was limited to Style and Zetec trim levels and only came with a manual gearbox.

Ford Focus 2.0 EcoBlue diesel

From ST-Line upwards, the Focus was also available with a 150hp 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine. It’s a little quicker than the 1.5-litre engine but still manages 57mpg with a manual gearbox, so should be quite cheap to run. Automatic versions are a little less efficient but it’ll be better in stop-start traffic.

Even the performance-oriented ST came with a diesel. A 190hp version of this engine was exclusively offered in the ST, rivalling the VW Golf GTD and BMW 1 Series 120d. It’s a hot hatch for high-milers, one that’s quick but still capable of 50mpg. This engine is manual-only, but it’s worth noting that Ford dropped these options in 2022.

Ford Focus ST 2.3 EcoBoost petrol

A 280hp petrol engine crowns the Focus range. The 2.3-litre engine is modified from the old Focus RS and the entry-level Ford Mustang, and enables the Focus ST to reach 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds. That’s one of the quickest front-wheel-drive hot hatchbacks you can buy, but also one of the thirstiest.

Your Ford Focus questions answered

The current Ford Focus is offered as a five-door hatchback or as an estate, the latter coming with a massive boot. In previous generations the Focus has also been available in convertible, saloon and three-door hatchback forms, but it’s the five-door hatch and estate that have always been the big sellers.

The Ford Focus is a little under 4.4m long and 1.5m tall. It’s a tiny bit bigger than the VW Golf but the difference really is marginal – the Focus is still compact enough to easily slot into a tight parking space. It’s more spacious than the previous-generation Focus, and is big enough to fit a pram or holiday luggage.

Conventional hatchbacks like the Ford Focus are being overlooked for SUVs these days, but go for the Focus and you won’t be disappointed. It’s the best car to drive in its class, with fun handling and willing engines. Fuel economy is better than an equivalent Kuga and there’s plenty of space for four adults to get comfortable, plus a reasonably big boot. If you need a bigger boot, there’s the Focus Estate.

A brand-new Focus starts from around £27,000 but, if you don’t mind not being the first owner, you can save a lot of money by choosing a used Focus. Our range of Focus cars starts at under £16,000, which equates to under £230 per month on PCP finance.

The Focus has a reasonably good reputation for reliability – many cars will be completely trouble-free but some may feature trim or electrical glitches. You’re not likely to be left stranded by the roadside with a huge mechanical issue.

Early entry-level Focuses sit in group 8 out of 50, but the majority of cars will sit in groups 13-17 – slightly less than an equivalent Volkswagen Golf, so insurance costs should be inexpensive. Unsurprisingly, the powerful Focus ST is in a higher group (27).

It might sound small, but the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine is a strong choice for the Focus. Available in a range of power outputs and with mild-hybrid technology to save a little bit of fuel, this engine is both perky and economical. Most versions can achieve 50mpg, which means the diesel engine feels unnecessary for all but the highest-mileage drivers.