Phil takes on the all new Ford Focus

By Philip Hedderman.

In the fickle world of motoring you have to take the good with the bad.

With the all-new Ford Focus the only bad being the demise of their three door model.

I can’t see the ST or indeed the RS being the quite same in five door and the boys over at the Blue Oval are remaining tight-lipped about just what is to come from their hot hatch division.

The up side to this though is just how sexy the new saloon is in the flesh.

We were literally blown away by the ‘booted one’ which ,unlike its older brother, is very desirable indeed.

The old bus looked like an after thought – akin to the designers discovering at the 11th hour that they had forgotten all about the saloon and just scriibbled a trunk onto the original plans.

As it turned out the boot lid was far too high and it was a job an a half reversing and neigh on impossible to parallel park the bloody thing.

Not this time around.

No Sir.

I’m sure the German outfit cobbled together the finest automotive brains on the planet, threw them into a room in Cologne and built it right from scratch.

The flowing lines which sweep down along the bottom of the doors continues up around the wheel arch, seamlessly joining the brakelights – gives it a really sleek, muscular look.

It’s that very look and build quality which will break tradition and Ireland are sure to see younger drivers opting for the 4-door.

At the lavish launch at the Ritz Carlton in Wicklow there was a second treat in store.

That was the fact that I actually got to drive the bog-standard model.

No whistles or bells to distract me, the entry level 95bhp 1.6 diesel is far superior to

many of its rivals’ mid range models.

But it is the driving dynamic, we’re after.

It that very driveability which made the previous Focus the benchmark for all others to follow, and it is there again in spades.

Whether cruising on a motorway or putting it through her paces on a meandering country road, the handling is pretty much flawless.

Technology is the buzz word surrounding the new model  and it is literally jam-packed with the latest safety gadgets.

It is not something that you can see or touch but is so impressive they will one day become standard features on all passenger cars.

Take Torque Vectoring Control System which comes as standard – enhancing cornering stability and control.

In plain English it means by the time the orange squiggle lights up on the dash it has already saved your life and you can’t put a price on that.

Another is the Low Speed Safety System – or an anti rubber necking device which applies the brakes automatically if it senses an imminent collision under 30kph.

Active Park Assist (which parallel parks the car at the push of a button), Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, Traffic Sign Recognition (telling you what speed zone you are in) are all reasonably priced options.

The engine line-up range for the new Focus is as follows: 1.6 TDCi 95PS and 115PS Band A diesel (with fuel efficient Auto-Start-Stop technology); 1.6 VCT 105PS and 125PS Band B petrol; and 2.0 TDCi 115PS 6-speed Powershift automatic Band B.

prices start at   €20,825  with an extra  €450 for a saloon.

Specification details for the range is as follows:

The entry-level Focus features: ESP with traction assist; Ford Intelligent Protection System; body colour bumpers, mirrors and spoiler (5 door); electric front windows; power door mirrors; remote central locking with flip key; stereo radio / CD with USB connectivity; and capless refuelling.

 

Focus Edge (in addition to Focus): air conditioning; trip computer with fuel computer and eco mode driver information system; radio steering wheel toggle controls; leather trim steering wheel; power heated door mirrors; body colour door handles; and comfort front seats.

 

Focus Zetec (in addition to Focus Edge); 16” 5×2 alloys; front fog lights; Quickclear Windscreen; sports tuned suspension; driver lumbar support; sports style front seats; premium centre console with arm rest and Z-design handbrake.

 

Focus Titanium (in addition to Focus Zetec): 16” 10×2 alloys; dual-zone electronic temperature control; automatic wipers; automatic lights; auto-dimming rear view mirror; hill start assist; and cruise control with automatic speed limiter.

 

Prices for the range will be as follows:

Focus:

1.6 VCT 105 PS petrol priced from €20,825 (Band B)

1.6 TDCi 95 PS priced from €21,325 (Band A)

 

Edge:

1.6 VCT 105 PS petrol priced from €21,675 (Band B)

1.6 TDCi 95 PS priced from €22,175 (Band A)

2.0 TDCi 115 PS automatic Powershift priced from €27,425 (Band B)

 

Zetec:

1.6 VCT 125 PS petrol priced from €23,325 (Band B)

1.6 TDCi 95 PS priced from €23,025 (Band A)

1.6 TDCi 115 PS priced from €23,875 (Band A)

2.0 TDCi 115 PS automatic Powershift priced from €28,275 (Band B)

 

Titanium:

1.6 VCT 125 PS petrol priced from €24,475 (Band B)

1.6 TDCi 95 PS priced from €24,175 (Band A)

1.6 TDCi 115 PS priced from €25,025 (Band A)

2.0 TDCi 115 PS automatic Powershift priced from €29,425 (Band B)