2018 Ford Focus review
Our Rating

5/5

2018 Ford Focus review

We get behind the wheel of the latest incarnation of Ford’s iconic hatchback.

Introduction 

The Ford Focus may no longer be the top-dog in car sales that it once was when launched 20 years ago — an honour that now goes to the smaller Fiesta — but it remains a key member of the firm’s range, especially so in the UK.

It’s now in its fourth generation, and to ensure that it continues to be a success, Ford has pulled out all of the stops in creating an all-new machine. The new chassis is lighter, yet stiffer, than that of its predecessors in an effort to bring back the great driving credentials early cars were praised for — while a refreshed engine range makes it the most efficient Focus yet.

Performance 

There’s four engine choices for the new Ford Focus. Starting the range is a 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine taken from the outgoing machine — although we’d maybe skip this in 83bhp guise and opt for the more potent 1.5-litre petrol options, with either 148bhp or 179bhp.

As for diesel, there’s also a 1.5-litre variant here — available with 94bhp or 123bhp — along with a 2.0-litre unit that’s good for 148bhp.

We got behind the wheel of the 1.5 petrol in 148bhp form — and we’d say it’s a unit perfectly suited to the Focus. Torque remains consistent across the rev range, while offering just enough power to have some good fun on a twisty road.

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Ride & Handling 

As mentioned, the original 1998 Ford Focus was widely praised for just how good it was to drive — and that’s something that this fourth-generation model has managed to recapture.

Even in the more comfort-focused Vignale trim, it manages to deliver an engaging driving experience that rivals can’t offer — yet soaks up bumps in the road impressively.

ST-Line models get firmer and lower suspension that brings an even more dynamic drive — although we’ll have to wait and see how that translates onto pothole-filled UK roads.

It is worth noting that 1.0-litre models don’t get the Focus’ trademark fully-independent rear suspension set-up — but considering the twist-beam setup has found its way to the Fiesta ST, we don’t expect many to complain.

 

Interior & Equipment 

We’re big fans of the driving position in the new Ford Focus, while dials are clear and easy to see plus there’s a seriously good amount of seat adjustability on offer.

Front and rear visibility is fine and is about on-par with rivals, and it’s easy enough to park without the use of any electronic aids. Ford does still offer them though, meaning parking sensors as standard from Titanium trims and above.

Plus, on automatic models, its Active Park Assist function is even capable of accelerating and braking automatically alongside self-steering.

As for space, a longer wheelbase means better rear legroom and a revised dashboard means the cabin feels much roomier now than before.

Cost

Pricing for the all-new Ford Focus begins at a reasonable £17,930 — although our Vignale test car came in at £27,300. We’d say the extra kit makes that worth the hike, though.

As for running costs, 46.3mpg makes the 1.5 EcoBoost an affordable prospect to use on a daily basis while emissions of 138g/km mean VED will be pretty low too.

Verdict

To absolutely no surprise, the Ford Focus is yet again the best car in its segment. Rivals may have better equipment, posher interiors or more space — but for sheer value, the Focus is unmatched for its offerings. We’d say it’s the best to drive, too.

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