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 like the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series. It's available as a five-door only, 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.
- 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.
- Practical family car
- Plenty of engine choice
- Durable, versatile
- Boot could be bigger
- Basic entry-level spec
- Top spec suffers heavy depreciation
With its practical load bay and generously sized interior, the Ford Focus estate will be ideal for small business users and families alike – thanks to its all-round practicality and hard-wearing interior. Offering a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, it mixes its versatility with low running costs. Although entry-level cars don’t offer a great deal of luxury, buyers should beware of heavy depreciation on top-specification models.
- Very quiet
- Cheap to run
- Plenty of equipment
- Extra weight compromises handling
- Expensive to buy
- Poor mileage range compared to petrol car
The Ford Focus Electric is a purely electric version of Ford's popular hatchback and uses a 143bhp electric motor that's linked to two batteries for zero CO2 exhaust emissions. The car comes with plenty of standard equipment and a high quality interior but the batteries are heavy and accomodating them in the Focus has compromised its 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 has double the 100-mile range (as well as a back-up petrol engine) of the Focus Electric and is better to drive.
- Just as practical as standard car
- Comfortable but quick
- Great value for money
- Subtle styling
- Not the fastest hot hatchback
- No three-door version
The all-new Ford Focus ST is a performance-oriented version of the Focus, but is built with an eye on everyday usability as well. As a result it's not only blisteringly quick in a straight line but it's also comfortable and refined too. The suspension strikes a great balance between ensuring sharp handling and softly sprung comfort, while the engine sounds quiet below 3500rpm. Unlike the old Focus ST, the current model is only available as a five-door and it now comes as an estate model too, which means it's more of a family car than ever before.. It also starts at a price-tag that greatly undercuts its main rivals.
- Superb to drive
- Surprisingly comfortable
- Well priced
- Poor economy
- Smaller boot than Skoda Octavia vRS
- Outlandish looks
The new Ford Focus ST estate rights many of the hot hatch's wrongs, offering loads of extra boot space without compromising on driving thrills and sporty looks. Its 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine is powerful and responsive, while the stylish Recaro seats are really comfortable and very supportive.