FORD FOCUS ST-LINE X EDITION: here’s one to focus on….

YOU can’t keep a good Ford down – and the latest version of the ubiquitous Focus proves the point.

It’s been a firm favourite with the British buying public – no mean feat, when it’s up against a rising tide of decent motors all vying for our money.

Ford’s family sized hatchback was – and still is – the ideal car for many. It has bold modern looks, it’s spacious and it’s a great car to drive.

With a superb chassis that makes the car a great driving experience whatever your individual driving experience, and a very roomy cabin for the occupants, there’s not really a down side to Focus ownership.

Inside there’s what’s been dubbed a cockpit feel by a colleague – you get a better feeling of being fully involved in what’s going on around you because the seat cossets you in a way that others don’t.

There’s certainly much more of a quality feel and look to the inside than there was in the overly plasticky Focus of years gone by.

On the road with the latest version and it’s much the same story as before, with a ride and handling mix that’s the envy of many competitors and much appreciated by those who drive a Focus day in, day out.

Road noise has been improved and in the suspension department someone has done their job well because if anything it feels even more planted on the road no matter how many bumps you encounter.

I’ve got to say from the outset that it sits quite low to the ground for a family hatchback – something you notice when you try to extricate yourself from the drivers seat. You’ll notice the lack of gap between the tyres and the arches that’s not evident on some of its rivals.

Dominating proceedings is the eight inch touchscreen that incorporates Ford’s SYNC system, and the sat nav has more info on the map than Wikipedia. It’s a real step in the right direction and easy to master.

And for a decent sized hatchback, we’ve got what’s on the face of it a less than decent sized engine moving it along.

Because this little gem of a hybrid turbocharged unit – just three cylinders, mind you – produces 155ps, a healthy 240Nm of torque (with overboost) and, they claim, tops 61mpg on the combined cycle.

The little Ecoboost engine is very responsive – there’s a constant rumble as the pistons do their thing but it’s not really that intrusive in the cabin and it’s something you get used to pretty swiftly.

Ford’s family sized hatchback was – and still is – the ideal car for many. It has bold modern looks, suitably enhanced in its latest guise, it’s spacious and when you weight it all up, it’s a great car to drive.

There are some tidy touches in what is a tidy car – the way the door edges are protected by a little plastic plate that slips over them as you disembark, and then slip out of the way when you shut the door (part of a £500 Convenience Pack on this X Edition which also includes the best and clearest rear wide view camera I’ve encountered on a car thus far.

ST-Line brings its own unique bodystyling kit to the range, which includes a flat bottomed steering wheel and a large rear spoiler that helps keep rain away from the rear glass.


Ford Focus ST-Line X Edition

Price: £27,160 (£28,860 as tested)
Engine: 1.0 litre, three cylinder, petrol
Power: 153bhp
Torque: 177lb/ft (with overboost)
Transmission: six speed manual
Top speed: 131mph
0-62mph: 9.2 seconds
Economy: 61.4mpg
CO2 emissions: 122g/km

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