Ford Focus

The Focus competes in one of most hotly contested classes in the market, going head-to-head with models such as the Volkswagen Golf, Vauxhall Astra and even more upmarket offerings such as the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series. It's available as a five-door hatchback or estate, and a facelift in late 2014 improved styling, refinement, technology and emissions, helping it take the fight to the VW Golf more effectively than ever before. Thankfully, it remains great to drive.

Ford Focus hatchback

£13,995 - £25,995
5 Doors
4.4 / 5
  • Sharp handling
  • Efficient diesel engines
  • Punchy turbo petrols
  • Tiny boot
  • Studio version feels basic
  • EcoBoost real-world fuel economy disappoints

Following its late 2014 update, the Focus now has the upmarket looks necessary to really challenge the Volkswagen Golf. Ford also introduced a range of slightly more efficient petrol and diesel engines, making the car cheaper to run than ever. If you do less than 15,000 miles a year, we’d recommend the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol, but buyers doing more than that should think about the 1.5 or 2.0-litre TDCi diesels. Ford also offers the spacious Focus estate and the fast Focus ST – the latter available as a diesel for the first time as part of the late-2014 facelift.

Ford Focus Estate

£17,880 - £27,095
5 Doors
4.1 / 5
  • Looks good inside and out
  • Great petrol and diesel engines
  • Spacious interior and boot
  • Hatchback is slightly better to drive
  • Some rivals have even more luggage space
  • Doesn’t hold its value well on the used market

The Ford Focus estate was heavily revised along with the hatchback in late 2014. It retains the model's characteristic practical interior and generously sized boot practical, making it an ideal car for small businesses and families alike. As with the hatchback, the sweet spot is in the middle of the range, as the entry-level trim is pretty sparse and higher-spec versions suffer from excessive depreciation.

Ford Focus Electric hatchback

£23,585 - £33,580
5 Doors
2.8 / 5
  • Very quiet
  • Cheap to run
  • Plenty of equipment
  • Expensive to buy
  • Poor range compared to petrol car
  • Extra weight compromises handling

The Ford Focus Electric is a purely electric version of Ford's popular family hatchback. It's powered by a 143bhp electric motor that's linked to two batteries, so CO2 emissions are zero. The car comes with plenty of standard equipment and a high-quality interior, but the batteries are heavy and fitting them in the Focus has compromised practicality. Arguably the biggest problem is the car's price, which makes it much more expensive than a number of rivals and roughly the same price as the excellent BMW i3 Range Extender, which offers double the 100-mile range of the Focus Electric, is better to drive and has a back-up petrol engine for when the batteries run out.