Car trim reviews

Ford Focus Zetec S

"The Ford Focus Zetec S makes for an ideal sporty family hatchback, which is just as at home on a trip to the shops as it is being driven down twisty country lanes."

Ignoring the high-performance Ford Focus ST, the Zetec S is currently the sportiest variant of the Ford Focus. With its sporty bodykit, rear roof spoiler and unique 17-inch alloy wheels, it certainly looks bespoke compared to the rest of the hatchback range.

There's some neat touches inside too, including sports seats, stainless steel pedals and an infotainment system that's equipped with Bluetooth and AUX ports.

There’s some great optional extras too, including the Driver Assistance pack that throws in a fleet of safety tech like traffic sign recognition and a lane keeping assist. The Convenience Pack can be included too, which throws in the Active Park Assist system that enables hands-free driving.

A range of diesel and petrol engines are available for the Focus Zetec S. The most economical is the 1.5-litre TDCi diesel, which is capable of up to 74.3mpg. The 1.5-litre EcoBoost is better suited to the sporty styling of the Zetec S - it's not as economical but sprints from 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds.

All models come with stop-start technology – which turns the engine off when the car is stationary to help improve fuel consumption.

Good points

The Focus is a great car to drive – beating its main class rivals including the Volkswagen Golf and the Vauxhall Astra. The Ford Focus Zetec S, with its slightly stiffer suspension setup, improves on this again, and has the kind of handling that you would expect from a genuine sports car.This hasn’t been to the detriment of comfort either. Even with its harder suspension, the Focus still manages to adequately cushion the bumps around town. It's also at home cruising down the motorway, with wind and road noise being kept to a minimum.For those in need of a big boot, it’s worth mentioning that the larger and more practical Ford Focus estate is also available in Zetec S trim.

Bad points

The Focus seriously lags behind some of its rivals in terms of practicality. It has a 316-litre boot, which is just 17 litres more than the Ford Fiesta supermini, and a full 54 litres less than the Vauxhall Astra.The Zetec S may look sporty, but handsome it certainly isn’t. It’s debatable whether the addition of deep bumpers and side skirts improves the car’s aesthetics, but we'll leave you to make your mind up on that one.Although the Zetec S comes with lots of equipment, it all comes at a cost. In comparison to the Zetec, the S costs £2,500 more, and that’s without ticking any boxes on the lengthy option list. It also doesn't have the level of luxuries equipped to the similarly-priced Ford Focus Titanium.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Alarm
  • Tyre pressure sensors
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Front fog lights
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • AUX stereo input
  • DAB Radio
  • Stop/Start
  • Sports suspension
  • Sports seats
  • Bluetooth

Recommended optional extras

  • Driver Assistance Pack

Our choice

The 1.5 litre turbocharged Ecoboost petrol engine is the best choice if you want to make the most of the Zetec S’s sharp, sports car-like handling.

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