Fleet News

Ford Focus 1.8 TDdi Ghia saloon - 14,100 miles

Ford

Review

LONG term test reports on our Ford Focus have been a mixed bag, to say the least, and after driving the car for a while, I can see why. There is no doubt the Ghia 1.8 TDdi saloon is very attractive when it comes to running costs, with an engine that has sipped diesel at 46mpg while I have had it, emissions of 142g/km and a starting price on-the-road of £14,050.

But, like a typical Tottenham Hotspur football team, on paper the Focus is performing a great deal better than in the flesh. For a start, our test car is bedecked inside with a time warped 1970s combination of dark grey, pseudo walnut and huge swathes of beige. Why would any fleet driver, except those with a fetish for Margot in The Good Life, want to spend their working lives in this colour scheme?

A friend of mine recently chose a Focus as a company car and was informed by his local Ford dealer that the beige seats stain far too easily: even water can have a detrimental effect. A blotchy driver's seat on our car may well be testament to that. An interior that starts life looking aged, and then ages badly, could have a dramatic effect on resale value.

A springy accelerator pedal with no feel, a noisy engine and a slow and stodgy gearbox also make this car the least driver-friendly Focus I have driven. The steering is heavy, probably because of the weighty diesel engine, but drivers can still have fun because between 2,000 and 4,000rpm the engine has lots of torque.

Either side of that, it is a little breathless and slow. But the Focus has its plus points. It is comfortable and well made, with a decent boot and enough rear legroom for all the family. Other versions of the Focus are superb in nearly every way.

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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