Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ford Focus 2013 review

Ford Focus 2013 review

When the Ford Focus was launched in 1998, it became the class leader instantly and, since then, we can count on the fingers of one hand the number of months we haven't considered it as the leader in its segment.

Rivals have come and gone with varying degrees of anonymity and success – Fiat Bravos, Renault M├ęganes, Honda Civics, Alfa Romeo 147s, Toyota Corollas and Aurises – and nothing, except Volkswagen’s most recent incarnation of the Golf, has come close to making the Focus anything other than the most easily recommendable medium-sized family car.

Today there are fewer differences than ever between Focuses made for different markets under the global 'One Ford' plan, so this is not just a Euro-centric car.

That said, as is usual for a European Focus, the car is available with myriad engine choices, including Ford’s new Ecoboost technology and even a highly-efficient 1.0-litre turbo petrol unit. Trims include the usual Edge, Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X levels. The best seller is usually the 113bhp version of the 1.6-litre diesel in Zetec trim.

Whichever power source you choose for a Focus, it's unlikely you'll be dissatisfied with the performance: and one of Ford's petrols in particular is outstanding, which we'll come to in a moment.

The likely best seller is the 113bhp 1.6 TDCi. It’s not a hugely powerful engine with which to propel a 1380kg and that’s nothing of which to be ashamed, given current emissions and economy requirements.

So it would be unfair of us to expect anything better than the 10.7sec it took to reach 60mph from rest, or the same 10.7sec it wanted to reach 70mph from 30mph, when we road tested the car.

Neither is there a problem with refinement. That’s a theme, incidentally, that you’ll note with wind and tyre noise at speed, too – and it goes to make the Focus the standout car in the class when it comes to noise suppression.

The hottest diesel is the TDCI 163. Performance is good: impressively, the weight of this Focus is almost identical to the outgoing model and while the engine's performance band is a little narrow, with peak power coming it low at 3750rpm, the six closely stacked ratios in the clean shifting box means you'll never have trouble keeping it on the boil.

There are good petrol engines too. The 1.6 Ecoboost 150 is a fine unit, with a large depth of flexibility and economy. It also makes for an extremely refined and relaxing motor in general.

The stand-out motor, though, is the 1.0-litre, three-cylinder Ecoboost, which offers spectacular performance and economy: we managed more than 50mpg while making respectable progress in the 123bhp variant; economy typically only on offer from noisier diesels. It also confers a remarkable new layer of smoothness and refinement on the hatchback. It's a real game-changer.

source : autocar