Ford Focus (2023 Review)
Written by Justin Delaney, an Independent Reviewer, Journalist, and Motor expert.
The Ford Focus has been around for over 25 years now having first launched in 1998. Since then, the Focus has been one of the biggest selling models for Ford here in Ireland. The Focus was quick to find its place within the market and took pleasure in putting it up to the strong competition in the segment. As the demand for SUV’s in Ireland and further afield continues to expand, the launch of a new small family car is a brave move, but one, which Ford are confident in. Even as the trend towards SUV’s has continued, the Focus constantly finds itself in the top 10 for car sales in Ireland highlighting the support that they have within the market. The new face lifted Ford Focus gives the fourth generation a fresh look to compete with the current competition in this segment. Based on the successful mark 4 platform the extended wheelbase and decent interior space remains unchanged but the tech and styling most certainly has.
At first glance, face lifted Focus certainly strikes a sporty poise and is the most aerodynamic in its class. The ST-Line X trim of our test model adds to the sporty appearance. ST-Line trim adds the ST-Line body kit, automatic lights and wipers, front LED fog-lights, pre-collision assist, lane keeping alert, cruise control, sports seats and trim as well as the ST-Line flat bottom steering wheel and sports pedals, sports suspension, push button start and selectable driving modes. My test model also benefited from several optional extras including 18-inch “Exclusive” alloy wheels, 12.3-inch SYNC 4 touchscreen with navigation, Ford Co-Pilot 360, wireless charge pad, heated steering wheel, head-up display, blind spot warning, privacy glass and enhanced parking assist.
With the sporty appearance on the outside, the interior is very welcoming. The interior design has been simplified with a 12.3-inch touchscreen commanding most actions within the cabin along with shortcut buttons for heating controls. Interior space has benefited from the new platform design resulting in better legroom and increased shoulder room in the rear. The addition of the sports seats in the ST-Line X trim improves the comfort levels up front also. Boot space stands at 375 litres to the rear shelf with the seats in place. This expands up to 1,354 litres with the rear seats folded down. One of the biggest positives that I have found with the Focus over the past twenty-five years is the drivability and the handling. In its segment it is simply class leading. This face lifted Focus certainly does not disappoint. The 1.0 three-cylinder petrol engine in our test car performed excellently over the course of the week. This was paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. The 123hp petrol engine responds well under most driving conditions but we did find the need to downshift a couple of gears to overtake on the likes of a motorway. It’s here we feel the engine might be better suited to the 7-speed automatic transmission which is also available.
As mentioned our car was powered by the 1.0 petrol engine of which you can also opt for a mild hybrid version of this same engine. Normally the Focus is available in a 1.5 diesel but due to supply constraints, there is currently a message on Ford’s Irish website to say diesels are not available at this point.
The new Ford Focus is awash with safety new technologies also. One of these systems is Ford’s Adaptive Front Lighting System with Predictive curve light and Sign-based light which for the first time pre-adjusts headlamp patterns for maximum visibility before reaching a curve, junction or roundabout, using the forward-facing camera to monitor lane markings up to 65 metres ahead and detect roundabout, stop, give way and yield signs. The new Focus also offers Glare-free high beam that removes the guilt of accidentally dazzling other drivers and helps users see more of the road ahead at night. There are plenty of new lighting technologies out there but this one is up there with some of the best.
The Ford Focus kicks off from €32,000 but there are various models to pick and choose from including different trim lines and an estate version for approximately €2000 more. Our particular test car as mentioned was the ST Line X, which comes in at €37,000. Ford offer a suite of finance and PCP offers across the range, which should help you get into a new Focus at an agreed monthly figure.
As with all the Ford Focus’s which went before it, this refreshed fourth generation Focus handles brilliantly. The sports suspension in the ST-Line trim adds a little extra poise in the corners. The steering is light enough to tip around town and yet offers enough feedback and weight to ensure you confidently continue through every corner. Overall the new Ford Focus has not disappointed. It continues to offer excellent comfort along with some of the best driving experiences in its segment. The new Focus should be considered if you are in the market for a small family car but sadly we might only have a couple of years left with the Focus. Ford's chairman Stuart Rowley told a conference call of motoring journalists in June 2022 that the production of the Ford Focus will end in 2025, as the brand will prepare for a fully electric future. This is a shame really after 25 successful years but the name could no doubt be reborn in years to come possibly in a electric version. This means just like the Mondeo and Fiesta, the Focus will be no more in a couple of years time. If this outgoing model is the last hurrah, then it’s a fitting way to send off what has been a very successful car for Ford.
1.0 a little under-powered at motorway speeds.
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