The Focus has been on top of the sales charts in consecutive months for more than three years and TDCi technology has allowed Ford to leapfrog the likes of Peugeot and Citroen to become the best-selling diesel car in the UK.
After six months with our Ford Focus, we have had the chance to explore the latest version of the car and it isn't showing many signs of ageing.
Its 1.8-litre TDCi engine is still quite fresh and it seems a shame to replace it with the new generation of PSA-Ford units.
And it still offers the best ride/handling compromise in its sector. While cars like the Renault Megane come close in terms of body control, the Focus still has the best steering – weightier than most rivals and more communicative.
Among the options fitted to our test car is the £400 interior versatility pack. It means the front passenger seatback can be folded flat and used as a table, and under the parcel shelf in the boot there is a rack to store smaller items, ensuring safer transport.
Our Focus will be replaced soon by its more versatile brother, the C-MAX, and this car will offer the first clues to the next-generation Focus which will appear later in the year.
The swooping lines of the dashboard will be replaced by a more sober and upmarket look, as in the C-MAX, while the new car, we are told, will look similar to the C-MAX on the outside too.
However, our Focus over the past six months has shown the new model will have much to live up to.
Company car tax bill 2004/05 (22% tax-payer): £56 per month