6th May 2019
I think the small hatch is a much overlooked car in the current market when crossovers and SUVs get so much attention. Last week’s Kia Ceed showed there’s plenty to like about the breed and this week a Ford Focus is here to further the case for the defence of small hatches. It’s just a shame the weather went from glorious sunshine to rain as it arrived, so the car got filthy when I grabbed some pics in between downpours.
The latest Focus is a good looking car and bears comparison with the Mercedes A-Class to my eyes. Ford has created a car that looks suitably low and wide, yet when you drive it the Focus feels compact and easy to place on the road. This Titanium X model sits on 17-inch alloy wheels that adds to the generally stylish tone of the Focus, so it’s a thumbs up in the visual department.
Inside, the Focus is just as much a success as outside and today proves that with a couple of long drives. Ford has long had it sussed out about ergonomics, so the Focus makes it natural and logical when reaching for the gear lever or heating controls. However, I do find the Sync infotainment touchscreen is a little too far away to operate comfortably, though most vital functions can be used through steering wheel or voice controls.
A canter down to Yorkshire today in the Focus in order to drive the Audi e-tron. If the Audi is the beginning of a new age of cars that use EV power, the Focus is one of those at the pinnacle of the internal combustion age. Perhaps the greatest compliment I can pay this particular model is it feels very much like the original Focus when it was launched in 1998, which means it handles superbly, feels light on its feet and rides bumps with consummate control.
A big part of my appreciation for this 1.0-litre Ecoboost model of Focus with 125hp is down to the combination of the motor and gearbox. Like the original Focus Mk1, it has just the right amount of power to be fun, nippy and frugal depending on what you want from the car at any given time. The engine revs smoothly, returns 49.6mpg and emits 107g/km. As for the transmission, it slots from one gear to the next with an oiled precision that makes it a joy to use in a world becoming ever more dominated by autos.
A quick tidy out this afternoon in preparation for the Focus being collected on Monday morning. What this shows is my family has an ability to amass a considerable detritus in a car in mere days. I’m not even sure how all of this sneaked into the car in a few short days and, being a bit of a neat freak when it comes to car interiors, it drives me a little barmy. Is it just me?
A trot up the road to nearby Gleneagles today in the Focus and it feels quite at home among the pricey motors in the car park. The stars of the show, though, are the classics arriving for the finish of the Flying Scotsman rally. There are many gorgeous pre-war thoroughbreds in the event, but it’s this lovely little MG that really catches my eye. Driven all the way with the roof down and spattered in mud, it shows just how hardy these cars are and how much enjoyment they provide to their drivers and onlookers.