Meet the new Ford Focus. One of Britain’s favourite family hatchbacks has been overhauled for 2018 to coincide with the Focus’s 20th anniversary. It’s got a brand-new look, more tech and toys, and more trim options than ever before.
With Volkswagen nabbing second place in the UK’s new car registration tables with the Golf last year, and arrivals such as the Kia Ceed and Toyota Auris just around the corner, Ford’s outgoing Focus was falling behind the times. As a result, the firm has retaliated with the fourth-generation Focus, which arrives in the summer with prices from around £20,500.
The new Focus, due on sale in July, will come in two bodystyles in the UK: five-door hatchback and estate. A saloon will remain on sale on the Continent. There will be four trim variations and Ford said a raft of new technology will make the Focus the most advanced car it sells in Europe.
The hatchback will be offered in ST-Line trim, which has suspension that is 10mm lower than the standard car’s, and as an Active-badged near-crossover variant, which sits 30mm higher than standard. Ford’s upmarket Vignale specification will also be offered, along with the regular Titanium trim level.
Ford hasn’t yet announced pricing, but a small percentage increase is expected over the current model, which suggests a car that will sell from £20,500 through to around £28,000.
A hot ST version will follow and although there has been no official confirmation of a high-performance RS model, Autocar understands there will be one with a 400bhp, 425lb ft mild-hybrid powertrain.
The latest Focus is built on a highly adaptable new Ford platform, called C2, which will underpin dozens of medium-sized forthcoming models, including the next-generation Kuga SUV. By 2021, Ford expects C-segment SUV and crossover sales to outstrip those of regular models.
The interior design takes a big leaf out of the latest Fiesta’s book, with the cabin focused around a large touchscreen. Material quality of the pre-production car you see in the pictures was decent enough and there’s a great, low-slung driving position.
High-spec models come with the choice of a six-speed manual or a new eight-speed auto with a Jaguar-style rotary gear selector. A new electric handbrake (which is standard on autos and high-spec manual models) also frees up more space inside.
An Estate version will be available from launch. With the rear seats folded this offers 1,650 litres of carrying capacity – a touch more than a VW Golf Estate or Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer can manage, but slightly behind the cavernous Skoda Octavia Estate.
Under the bonnet every Focus offers the usual selection of petrol and diesel engines – all with stop/start as standard. The key petrol will be the 1.0 EcoBoost in 84bhp, 99bhp and 123bhp outputs, with CO2 emissions as low as 108g/km.
Those after a little more punch will need the new 1.5-litre EcoBoost, which comes in 148bhp and 180bhp guises. There’s also a range of new EcoBlue diesels – two 1.5-litre cars with 94bhp or 118bhp and a powerful 148bhp 2.0-litre. The new auto box will be optional on the 123bhp 1.0 and 148bhp 1.5 petrols, as well as the 118bhp 1.5 and 2.0-litre diesels.