- Great performance
- Good levels of practicality
- Comfortable interior
- Safe and reliable
Flashy new models come and go, but the Ford Focus remains a reliable addition to the family car scene.
The quarter-century production milestone may already be in sight and the one million UK sales mark a now distant memory – both of which serve to underline just how successful the model has become.
There’s much to admire about the Focus, which underwent a midlife makeover for 2022, with plenty of new tech and a fresh look, and the Titanium spec is a great little boost up from the entry level Trend trim level.
Equipment and Technology
Among the changes made in the 2022 facelift were a new bonnet design, LED headlights as standard on all models and the arrival of some advanced driver assistance technologies. A highlight of these is the blind spot alert that can also engage counter steering to help stop a lane switch in the event of a potential collision.
Leading the way for all models, bar the entry level Trend spec, was a pin-sharp 13.2-inch infotainment screen that's part of Ford's latest SYNC 4 connectivity set-up that looks after the sat nav, phone, and sounds.
And if you download the FordPass app you can stay connected with the car and monitor the likes of fuel level, oil life and remote start.
With the Titanium specification you also get Dual-zone Electronic Air Temperature Control (DEATC), and electrically operated, heated, power fold door mirrors with puddle lamps and side indicators.
Design and Practicality
The Focus is predictably a pleasant environment to inhabit with durable cloth seats, good visibility and room for three across the back, with even a centre rear passenger benefiting from a flat floor and lack of a restricting transmission tunnel.
Boot space is also better than you get in the majority of hatchbacks at 375 litres with all the seats in place.
In our Titanium model, we got also 16-inch 6x2-spoke alloy wheels in Dark Sparkle high gloss finish.
Engines and Performance
While there are plenty of engine options – both petrol and diesel – the most significant advance is the option of mild hybrid technology, used to power our tested 1.0 EcoBoost petrol variant and featuring an electric motor connected to a 48-volt battery.
This unit is available with two power levels – 123bhp and 153bhp – the lower, which is what we drove, also offers the choice of either 6-speed manual or an auto transmission.
It’s fair to say that EcoBoost has proved a triumph for Ford. It has been named international engine of the year on three occasions and offers immense strength for a 1.0-litre unit, powering various larger models including the Kuga and Transit.
In the case of the 123bhp version, we’re talking a really strong and sweet unit that’s lively and economical in urban conditions and both refined and relaxing at speed on the motorway. The steering is positive and dynamics are exactly what’s expected from a car with such a celebrated reputation for supreme handling.
Our average fuel return over 350 miles of mixed motoring touched the 50 miles per gallon mark, slightly better than the official 47.1mpg figure.
There’s no doubt the Focus remains a flag-bearer for hatchbacks, even if buyers continue moving increasingly towards SUVs and crossovers. Long may it continue.
With a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating, plenty of features and power to enjoy, as well as optional extras like a Parking Pack and privacy glass, it's no wonder the Ford Focus is a long-term family favourite.