Fleet News

Our Fleet: Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi - September 2011

Ford
BIK List Price
£19,665
Ford Focus BIK list price
BIK Percentage
13%
Ford Focus BIK Percent
CO2
109g/km
Ford Focus CO2
Combined MPG
67.3
Ford Focus MPG

Review

Since the original Focus was launched in 1998, the first two guises of the hatchback have widely been regarded as the benchmarks for handling in the lower-medium class.

Now, having spent around 2,000 miles behind the wheel of the latest-generation Focus, I think it should be equally highly regarded for its refinement.

In fact, so impressive is its comfort and build quality, that - apart from badge snobbery - I found myself wondering why anyone would need to choose a premium brand car over the Focus.

It’s true that there is something timelessly classy about the interior of most premium cars, but if you’re happy to swap this for an altogether more modern design, then the Focus doesn’t seem a downward step at all.

Its entertainment/sat-nav centre console is a perfect example of this. At first glance it looks slightly intimidating with its myriad of buttons which have more than a passing resemblance to some of Nokia’s finest mobile phones.

But the design hides what is a straightforward and logical operating system. It’s easy to programme, whether you want to pair your Bluetooth phone to it or programme the built-in sat-nav with a new destination, while - for a Radio Five listener like me – its DAB radio means a crystal clear reception every time.

I did have some initial misgivings that its sat-nav screen would be too small to be practical, but it did an admirable job in presenting all the relevant information in a clear and easy-to-understand way.

My time with the car included a fairly intensive week-long 1,000-mile golf trip to Ireland, and the hatchback proved to be a near-faultless performer.

Although we were asking a lot from it, there proved to be ample room for two people, golf bags, trolleys, and a few other bags too.

The Focus’s ride and refinement were particularly impressive, especially over some particularly ropey roads in Ireland, while the 1.6 TDCi engine delivered its adequate power smoothly.

The only disappointment was the fuel economy. Before the Ireland jaunt began, the Focus’s trip computer was reporting 53.5mpg and rising – a long way short of the official combined economy of 67.3mpg, but given the newness of the engine it was a respectable showing.

However, hundreds of miles of motorway driving saw this fall to 50.3mpg.

The end of the holiday saw the Focus return to normal duties, which saw the economy quickly rise to 52.1mpg, and I’d expect this to increase significantly by the time of the next long-term report.

Author: Andrew Ryan

Driver Notes

Winter Driving
I picked up the keys to the Focus just as the cold snap started and found the Focus to respond really well to the snow and icy conditions, I felt safe and the handling was consistently good.
Driver appeal
This car looks great, it's sporty appearance seems to be well thought out from the chassis to the light design.
Fuel costs
I have found the Focus to be fairly economical achieving around 54mpg on usual journeys, however on more urban roads I have easily achieved over 60mpg.
Safety Features
Our Focus comes with a safety pack which includes a lane departure warning (plus an intervention setting), rear blindspot monitoring system, road sign monitoring, automatic braking intervention and a driver alertness monitor. I have not yet tested all of this kit but early signs are good - the only feature that has raised concerns is the road sign monitoring which identifies signs on roads you are not intending to travel on.
Top Speed
120mph
Ford Focus Top Speed
VED band
N/A
Ford Focus Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
Ford Focus Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £6,125
4 Year 80k : £4,500
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 34.71
4 Year 80k : 31.51

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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