But the first thing that struck me about our long term Focus was the amount of space in the cabin and the light airy feel of the car with plenty of storage space giving the impression that it is much bigger. It has a 'big car feel' with plenty of space for five adults and their luggage.
Handling and steering is positive and the ride is well controlled. The comfortable driving position makes it ideal for long journeys. The sprightly 1.8 TDdi engine may not be the most refined but it packs a punch with plenty of torque between 2,000 and 4,000rpm powering the car from 0-60 in 12.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 114mph.
With carbon dioxide emissions of just 142g/km, among the lowest in its class, coupled with excellent fuel consumption, this model has to be a safe bet for cost-conscious fleet managers and drivers. Its emissions take it into the lowest banding of 18% for the 2002 emissions-based company car tax - a 22% taxpayer driving between 2,500 and 18,000 business miles will face a tax bill of £626 - a saving of £244 on today's bill.
The only criticism I have is with the gearbox which can be obstructive when changing into third. I also find visibility out of the rear window is restricted when reversing - but this could be due to me being vertically challenged.