Fleet News

First drive: Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost 125 Zetec

Ford
BIK List Price
£17,890
Ford Focus BIK list price
BIK Percentage
10%
Ford Focus BIK Percent
CO2
114g/km
Ford Focus CO2
Combined MPG
56.5
Ford Focus MPG

Review

Set aside for a moment that the Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost uses a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, and look at some other relevant figures.

When the original Ford Focus was launched in 1998 it was offered with a 2.0-litre petrol engine that produced 130bhp. Its CO2 emissions were 207g/km. I forget the fuel consumption, but 207g/km would result in a ballpark figure of 32mpg on the combined cycle.

Now Ford is launching a 125bhp version of the latest Focus whose CO2 emissions are 114g/km (or 109g/km if you choose the 100bhp variant), and with fuel consumption of 56.5mpg.

In 14 years, advances in technology and engine downsizing has resulted in reductions in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption and the Focus 1.0 Ecoboost is perhaps the most remarkable current example, with cuts of more than 40% when using comparative power outputs.

No petrol-engined rival can match the Focus for emissions or fuel consumption, and this 125bhp version we drove is only 5g/km higher than the 1.6 TDCi.

In fact, the only important aspect of running costs where the diesel variant is significantly less expensive is fuel costs with a near-11mpg advantage on the combined cycle, and, as we know, this is based on the official cycle and not real-world conditions.

And with a now marked premium in the pump price of diesel over petrol, the breakeven point for diesel fuel over petrol is likely to occur at increasingly higher mileage.

Add to this the fact that many urban-based fleets have encountered problems with diesel particulate filters – which need frequent sustained periods of high-speed running to burn off trapped soot particles at high temperature – and efficient petrol engines are likely to look more attractive to a larger number of fleets.

State-of-the-art turbo technology results in exceptional efficiency and responsiveness. Maximum torque of 125lb-ft is available from 1,400rpm (up to 148lb-ft is available for short bursts, for example when changing down to overtake), so the engine never feels like it’s working too hard, and despite three-cylinder motors often producing a pronounced off-beat thrum, this one is especially refined.

Ford expects the 1.0-litre engine (which ultimately replaces both 100bhp and 125bhp versions of the normally-aspirated 1.6-litre petrol engine) to take a good 30% share of Focus sales in the UK, although in fleet it’s likely to be a slightly lower percentage given the sector’s favouritism towards diesel.

CO2 emissions
It has taken Ford two generations of Focus models to lop 93g/km from a petrol engine of this power output, and we think 114g/km for 125bhp in a lower medium car is pretty good.
Fuel costs
Official combined fuel consumption for the 125bhp 1.0 Ecoboost is 56.5mpg, but with the excellent broad torque band of the tourbocharged engine, drivers should never need to work the car too hard and see plummeting fuel consumption.
Residual values
Fuel efficient cars perform well on the used market, and despite the vast numbers of Ford Focus models on the road, it still fares reasonably well for residual values. The bigger obstacle will be trying to convince the unsavvy used car buyer than a 1.0-litre engine is big enough for the job.
Running costs
The Focus 1.0 Ecoboost is among the best performing models in the Focus range for running costs, and until rival manufacturers achieve such impressive figures from their petrol-engined cars, it will have a strong advantage.
Driver appeal
Get past the idea that the engine only has three cylinders and 1.0-litre capacity and the Focus 1.0 Ecoboost is a rewarding car to drive, and with its lightweight engine, feels even more nimble around corners.
FN Verdict
Ford has proved that there is a cost effective alternative to a diesel Focus with the 1.0 Ecoboost, and the engine is a great addition to this Fleet news Award-winning model range.
Top Speed
N/A
Ford Focus Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Ford Focus Ved
Fuel Type
Petrol
Ford Focus Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £5,272
4 Year 80k : £4,038
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 34.75
4 Year 80k : 31.68

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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Comments

  • Ross Gorbert - 02/08/2017 11:46

    Five years on you might want to look into how many 11 to 13 plate engines are being replaced with Ford UK still not wanting to take ownership

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