Ford Focus Ghia 1.6TDCI 2006

When the Focus came out it set a whole new benchmark for what a hatchback should so. It sold in huge numbers and the people at Ford were very happy, but the drivers were happy too, every sort of person drove a Focus. Grannies, Uncles, Fathers, Mothers, young girls even the modifiers got in on the Focus act, it appealed to all comers. The 2006 model I’m driving today came out in 2004 and many people thought it lost some of the sharp styling of the last model, it only lasted until 2008 when the essentially face lifted current model came out.
The dark blue Ghia model I’m driving is a handsome looking car, the trouble with dark paintwork is it shows scratches very easily, there are a few marks on this one but they will polish out. The boot space is 364ltrs which is good enough, but if you drop the seats you get 1177ltrs and that’s huge for a hatch, the boot opening is massive due to the slope of the tailgate so it’s very easy to get a big box in, getting it back out again can be hard as the boot lip is quite big so you have to lean into the boot to retrieve anything.
In the cabin there’s plenty of room for 5 adults, the back seat has loads of leg and head room. There’s also an arm rest in the centre that has 2 cup holders and a tray, it’s very comfortable if there’s only two in the back. Up front Ford have used top quality materials, everything feels very well put together, the seats are wide and well cushioned, there’s no sign of wear and tear on any of the surfaces, and even though it’s a cream interior there’s no discolouration on the textiles.
It’s on the road where the Focus beats all comers, the chassis set up is fantastic, when you’re just cruising it’s soft and pliant managing to cushion even the hardest of bumps, the 1.6TDCI engine is very quiet and takes 10.9sec to get to 60mph, that’s not fast but you don’t buy a 1.6 diesel engine for lapping Mondello, you buy it because it’s economical, and it is returning over 55mpg.

It’s on the back roads where the Focus really comes into its own, it somehow manages to stay comfortable and firm in all corners, even when you get into a corner and you know you’re going to quick it all seems to stay composed and controllable, perfect feedback from the steering and snappy gear changes makes it feel very sporty. Out on the motorway the engine is quiet and there’s really very little wind noise.
There have been a few reliability issues with this model Focus, the big one being the Diesel Particulate filter giving up around the 100,000 mile mark, they have to be replaced and it’s not going to be cheap, thankfully it doesn’t happen often but it’s something to bear in mind.
Other than the exterior styling being a little boring there’s nothing to dislike about the Focus, with the economy and cabin space being so good it makes a sensible buy, this 2006 model is taxed at €445 per year and is for sale at €8750 so it’s defiantly worth a look.
The car I drove is available from John Holohan cars in Portarlington you can see it on Carzone

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