Ford Focus 2.0 TDCI Auto Estate 2010
- 30 November 2010
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It’s been a tough week, the IMF bailout (last mention I promise), snow, frost, I’m a celebrity is back on and X factor is finishing. Yes if you’re under 30 years old you won’t really understand what’s going on but your children will.
It’s even tougher for small business, the eternal chase of every penny possible means that you have to carry an office around in your car. Now I know that devices are getting smaller and lighter but when you are faced with two days on the road the boot of any car really begins to fill up fast.
I was very glad to pick up a Focus estate, you know what you’re getting with a Focus, a car that handles well and in diesel form goes forever. But hang on, this is a 2.0ltr powershift (automatic), so a real diesel engine with no clutch. I’m a fan of a good automatic box, when you’re in traffic there’s nothing like that feeling of just rolling forward without having to do anything.
The exterior is unremarkable but inoffensive, from some angles it’s quite a handsome car, how it looks has nothing to do with just how good a car the Focus really is.
The 2.0ltr TDCI engine puts out 110bhp but does so in a stately way, when driving normally you’ll find it hard to feel the shift happen. When you push it you’ll know when it changes gear, you’ll feel the jerk from one gear to the next. The sport setting which allows you to sequentially change gears with the gear stick has a bit of a nanny on it, by which I mean you can’t really get that manual feel from the driving experience. Sometimes if the revs are too low it won’t let you change up, if the change will put you in the redline it won’t let you change down either.
The sport setting aside the Powershift gearbox is nearly as good as the DSG box from VW, it’s only when you put your foot down can you tell the difference.
The cabin is made up of great materials, the usual soft touch rubberised surfaces that we’ve come to expect these days, there’s some good toys too. There’s one that I wouldn’t be without this week and that’s the quick clear heated windscreen, two mornings in a row it had my rock hard frozen windscreen clear in less than a minute. The other really good system is the Bluetooth connection for the phone, no fafing around in menus looking for it just search for it with your phone, four numbers come up on the radio screen put them in your handset and you’re away. No keypads, just dial from your phone or, the best bit, voice dial.
Click a button on a stalk and an official breathy woman who sounds mature but fit comes on to ask what you want, say “dial number” and she asks for the number and that’s it. It’s painless and I couldn’t catch it out so long as you say ‘zero’ where you would normally say ‘O’ it works every time.
The cabin is big enough for 5 adults and it being an estate it can carry tonnes of stuff in the boot, it also has shopping bag hooks if you’re in need.
Every time I drive a Ford I’m reminded of what a car should be like, Ford produce a car for a job, if you want a car that can nip around a town, pick up kids and do a little shopping buy a Fiesta. If you need to do the same but with more room buy a hatchback Focus. But if you want to move a mountain, some people and maybe a caravan then the estate Focus will do that job with ease.
The nearest rival comes from a company that Ford used to own before it was sold to Geeley, the Volvo V50. That’s smaller and way too expensive; prices start there at €29,300! Whereas the Focus estate starts at €23,240, the test car I had with the powershift, parking sensors, cruise control/speed limiter and many other nice things costs €25,295.
Yes you might think that’s a bit on the pricy side too but the level of quality build, a proper 2.0ltr engine and decent level of kit look no further than the blue oval on the front of a Focus. Trust me, go down too your Ford dealer and have a good drive in one, you won’t regret it.