Skip advert
Advertisement

Used Ford Focus review: 2011 to 2018 (Mk3) - Running costs, MPG, CO2 emissions and insurance

The Ford Focus is at its best for economy with a diesel engine fitted, but the petrol motors are okay for local trips

Carbuyer Rating

3.6 out of 5

Owners Rating
Be the first to review
Running costs, MPG, CO2 emissions and insurance Rating

4.0 out of 5

This generation of Ford Focus was launched in 2011 and was beginning to lag behind newer rivals such as the latest Peugeot 308 and Volkswagen Golf for emissions and fuel economy. However, a late-2014 facelift introduced a range of new engines and technologies that closed the gap.

Don’t overlook the earlier models, though – they are great value on the used market because they are getting a bit older now and prices are pretty low. This can offset running costs, since you’ll need to do a lot of miles to make a huge saving on running costs with a newer model.

How much do used Ford Focus models cost?

The Ford Focus will cost around the same price as a similar Vauxhall Astra or Volkswagen Golf; these models competed for buyers when new and have similar residual values. You’ll find that the Focus sits somewhere in between those two rivals (the Astra is worth slightly less and the Golf a bit more) but you can check current prices on our sister site Buyacar.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The Focus ST is also something of a bargain compared with rival hot hatchbacks. Like the Skoda Octavia vRS, it’s also available as an estate and with a choice of petrol or diesel engines. Both are excellent all-round cars that combine sporty performance with practicality. The Focus RS is much more uncomfortable but it’s fantastic to drive, so it commands much higher prices.

What’s it like for fuel economy, emissions and tax?

The cleanest engine in the range is the 103bhp 1.5-litre TDCi diesel in ECOnetic model, which has fuel economy of 83.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 88g/km. There's also a 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel, which returns an also-impressive 70.6mpg and emits just 105g/km of CO2. Remember that these figures were achieved on the outdated NEDC test cycle, so may be difficult to replicate in real driving.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

The other highlight of the Focus engine range is the 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol. This award-winning engine is a cleaner alternative to Ford’s standard 1.6-litre petrol. In both its 98bhp and 123bhp forms, it achieves 58.9mpg, while CO2 emissions are around 110g/km.

There's also an EcoBoost-badged turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine. This comes with either 148 or 179bhp, both of which return 50.4mpg and have CO2 emissions of 128g/km. However, we’ve found the claimed fuel economy figures hard to match.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Models built after April 2017 cost £155 a year to tax, while versions before that are taxed based on CO2 emissions and are generally quite a bit cheaper than that – for example, the 1.6-litre diesel costs just £20 to tax.

The older 1.6-litre petrol model returns around 47.8mpg, while the 1.6-litre diesel manages around 67.3mpg. It’s quite hard to compare numbers on many models since the rating system that measures economy changed during the Focus Mk3’s lifetime. 

The Focus ST and RS models will return about 40mpg and 35mpg respectively, although there was also a diesel version of the ST that can achieve more than 50mpg.

How much will it cost to insure?

Insurance groups are pretty reasonable for the Focus range, the majority of models falling between 11 and 17, depending on engine size and trim level thanks in part to the car’s range of safety features. The automatic city braking system, for example, knocks a couple of groups off the final insurance rating. The sporty ST-Line model falls into group 22, while the entry-level Style has a low group 6 rating.

The most expensive models to insure by far will be the ST and especially the RS models, as they’re powerful and feature unique parts and bodywork that are more expensive to replace, so insurers place them into higher groups.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?
Ford Puma SUV front tracking
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Ford EcoBoost engines: what are they and should you buy one?

Ford Focus review
Ford Focus - front 3/4 dynamic
In-depth reviews
12 Oct 2023

Ford Focus review

Most Popular

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light
Engine warning light
Tips and advice
17 Apr 2024

Engine management light: top 5 causes of amber engine warning light

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body
Citroen C3 Aircross front quarter
News
18 Apr 2024

All-new Citroen C3 Aircross squeezes 7 seats into small SUV body

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers
Carbuyer best new car deals hero
Deals
19 Apr 2024

Best new car deals 2024: this week’s top car offers

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
26 Mar 2024

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Public EV charge point
Tips and advice
11 Jan 2023

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
21 Mar 2024

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors

Top 10 best electric cars 2024
best electric cars
Best cars
28 Mar 2024

Top 10 best electric cars 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024
The best cheap-to-run cars 2023
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024
Fastest hot hatchbacks hero
Best cars
2 Jan 2024

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2024