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

Price 
£13,995 - £25,995
5 Doors
4.4 / 5
Pros
  • Sharp handling
  • Efficient diesel engines
  • Punchy turbo petrols
Cons
  • 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

Price 
£17,880 - £27,095
5 Doors
4.1 / 5
Pros
  • Practical family car
  • Durable and versatile
  • Plenty of engine choices
Cons
  • Boot could be bigger
  • Basic entry-level spec
  • Top spec suffers heavy depreciation

With its practical boot and generously sized interior, the Ford Focus Estate is ideal for small businesses and families alike, thanks to its all-round practicality and hard-wearing interior. With a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, it mixes 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.

Ford Focus Electric hatchback

Price 
£23,585 - £33,580
5 Doors
2.8 / 5
Pros
  • Very quiet
  • Cheap to run
  • Plenty of equipment
Cons
  • 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.