"Despite respectable handling, a spacious cabin and an electrically-operated metal folding roof, the Focus CC fails to serve up the tasty dish its ingredients promise."
With other Focus models held in high regard for practicality and performance, the Focus Coupé Cabriolet (CC) should be the best in class. Sadly, it hasn’t worked out that way. The broad appeal of the Focus is missing in this sun-loving model, with a heavy and complex folding hard-top roof robbing practicality and blunting performance. Add reports of poor build quality with its folding hard top, and is the weakest Focus in the line-up.
Removing the roof from the Focus has robbed the convertible model of much of the driver appeal found in its hatchback relatives. The gearshift remains slick and the steering is well weighted and accurate, but it's the car's straight-line performance that's an issue. Removing the roof means Ford has had to strengthen the body elsewhere, which adds weight to the CC. Smaller engines need working hard to make decent progress, so the more powerful 2.0 TDCi turbodiesel is an unlikely sounding but desirable choice, as it copes best with the CC's extra weight.
Up front, the firm seats are supportive and easily adjusted, but the Ford Focus CC also offers respectable head and legroom in the two rear seats. With the roof open, wind buffeting is low in the front, although rear seat passengers will find the wind blast at anything above town speeds uncomfortable. That's a common complaint for all four-seat convertibles, though.
The Focus CC is unusual in that its final assembly is performed by Pininfarina in Italy, not Ford's factory in Germany. As a result, the CC is affected by unique quality issues, specifically relating to its roof. Unfortunately, there have been plenty of reported cases of leaky and ill-fitting tops. However, the rest of the running gear should prove reliable. The CC shares its engines and gearboxes with the standard hatchback, and they have a deserved reputation for robustness.
Most convertible buyers understand that folding roofs must be stored in the boot, and that means some compromises in carrying capacity. The Focus CC is no different. With the roof up, the 534-litre boot is among the largest in class – and its space is more useful than that in Vauxhall's Astra TwinTop. However, with the roof folded, stowage is cut in half to 248 litres, but that's still larger than most rivals.
Value for money
Advancing years and lessening popularity – thanks to newer rivals – means that the Focus CC can be picked up for well below its advertised list prices. Trim levels are decent, with three easy to understand options: CC-1, CC-2 and CC-3. The base CC-1 includes alloy wheels, air-conditioning and all of the same safety equipment as the more expensive CC-2 and CC-3 alternatives.
Choose the 2.0 TDCi diesel for its necessary punchy performance and the best fuel consumption; it returns 47.9mpg on the official combined cycle. Parts and servicing should be inexpensive, and with a huge choice of dealers, it's worth phoning a few to get the best price on regular servicing. Insurance should be sensible, but the Focus CC won’t hold its value as well as a Volkswagen Eos.