Facelifted 2021 Ford Focus nears production

New Ford Focus set to take on latest VW Golf with updated looks and infotainment

  • No plug-in hybrid planned
  • Mondeo-like front end
  • On sale this year

An updated Ford Focus is set to be rolled out later this year, judging by these new spy shots. The test car remains camouflaged but we expect a full reveal in the next few months before the production model hits showrooms shortly after. Ford’s family hatchback rivals the SEAT Leon, Volkswagen Golf and Hyundai i30.

These pictures, of the rugged Ford Focus Active variant, show that the Focus is due to get a reworked nose. It looks like the lower air intakes have been reshaped and the fog lights have been removed; there are parking sensors on this development model where the current car has lights.

The headlights are much sharper and, thanks to a new LED daytime running light design, the Focus looks similar to the Ford Mondeo, which may be removed from sale at the same time. The headlights may well be LED units on more models across the range, and these would incorporate a special mode for driving in foggy conditions. The tail-lights will also be altered.

Inside, Ford may offer a new, larger infotainment screen on high-spec models, alongside the digital instrument cluster that’s already offered in some cars. The SYNC 3 infotainment system will get new graphics, like the ones in the Ford Kuga, and we expect that the steering wheel will be redesigned.

The Focus shares plenty of parts with the Kuga but the SUV’s plug-in hybrid (PHEV) option won’t be offered on the hatchback, which means the Focus’ engine range will likely be left untouched. The most electrification available is likely to be an EcoBoost petrol engine with mild-hybrid tech, while diesel engines will still have a place in the line-up. It may be possible to fit the powertrain from the Mondeo hybrid into the Focus but it’s far from the best hybrid system we’ve tried.

What does it mean for car buyers?

The Ford Focus is often one of the UK’s best-selling cars, and this update will keep it fresh against its rivals, many of which have been replaced or refreshed themselves recently. A plug-in hybrid version would likely prove popular and would make the Focus appealing to business users (a large part of the market) so we’re slightly disappointed Ford doesn’t see fit to offer a PHEV model.

Read our guides to the most economical family cars and best used family cars.

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