Safety and emissions are on the top of the list for fleet operators when selecting vehicles and it is not hard to see what makes the Focus such a popular choice as a fleet car.
When it comes to safety, Ford are offering considerable value for money with the optional ‘safety pack’ that we have on our long termer.
For £750 the pack includes lane departure warning (plus an intervention setting), rear blind spot monitoring system, road sign monitoring, automatic braking intervention and a driver alertness monitor.
There are a few teething issues with some of the features, for example, the road sign monitoring can pick up side road signs instead of the road you are travelling down.
I was driving down the M25 towards Heathrow and the speed limit was showing through the road sign monitoring as 130mph – luckily I didn’t follow its advice on that occasion.
The lane departure and driver alertness monitor will work on only conventional roads, the technology starts to get confused when driving over roads with multiple lines going across the lanes.
But most of the time is a really good piece of kit because if nothing else, it will flag up to the driver that he or she has been driving enough time to start to be distracted which subsequently prompts them to take a break every half an hour.
My favourite feature to the safety pack is the automatic full beam, when you are driving in an unlit road at night, the lights, when set to auto, will automatically switch to full beam when you are alone and then back to normal when it detects cars ahead. I am not the biggest fan of driving at night and this bit of kit is particularly good for me.
The environment is also a top consideration in the Focus with emissions at a competitive 109g/km and fuel consumption at 67mpg. I have managed to go over 60mpg in the Focus which is quite respectable considering I only just achieved this in the Ibiza which official mpg was billed at 81mpg.
Overall, the more I drive the car, the more I like it and can fully appreciate why it is so popular.