New Ford Focus Review Top Gear Used Car

Posted on 28 Mar 2006

A brand new Focus that's as conservative as the original was original. Yet it's better built and better to drive then its predecessor and is as practical as a hatchback can get

Ford Focus (2005-) - 4Car Road Test from Channel 4

Buying New ****

Buying Used *****

This was always going to be hard. Redesigning the European sales backbone of the Ford empire is like changing the recipe of Coke. The Focus has sold over four million in 80 countries since 1998.

Apart from scepticism about the looks, first impressions are excellent. The doors shut with a more determined thunk, the immediate touch-points are nicer to, um, touch and the interior design is like a bathroom - you instinctively know which bit is which and what to do with it - even if it's a bit bland to look at.

The dynamics are where it scores. The old Focus was a brilliant piece of engineering management; it did everything, if not elegantly, then competently. But it drove like it was engineered with fun in mind. Happily, it's the same here.

There's better steering feel, thanks to new electro-hydraulic power assistance; better compliance and isolation from the suspension, and better soundproofing.

It's neater around faster corners - although the rear damping can feel soft when you take a sharp corner. But you'll be surprised at how much you can chuck it about.

Engines are carried over from before and the 134bhp, two-litre Duratorq TDCi is the pick of the bunch.

The new Focus offers huge improvements over the old model and it'll make a great family car if you don't mind it being rather conservative.

Ford Focus Estate

The new focus estate is a tad bigger, a tad more practical and just as good to drive as the old one. Shame the opportunity to make it look significantly different was missed by the conservatives at Ford.

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