Ah yes, Id heard there was a new Predator film on the loose.Apparently, Fords design department wasnt inspired by a toothy alien assassin when drawing the new Focus. Couldve fooled us. In top-spec Titanium X trim (well ignore the mega-niche Vignale wannabe-lux version for now), the chrome-grilled Focus MkIV is toothy. And angry-eyed. And not altogether well-proportioned, especially riding on these fiddly-spoked 17-inch rims. Still, the last Focus was ugly. Ford hasnt made a good looking one since the original twenty years ago. Which is what exactly?Titanium X trim isnt just the brace-face. Its part-leather heated seats with electric adjustment for the driver. Its a 4.2-inch colour screen between the instruments thats crammed with clearly laid-out consumption data and the like, and a 12.3-inch SYNC 3 main touchscreen that contains digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Fords own sat-nav – but annoyingly, only when your smartphone isnt connected.Tinted glass, parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers and twin-zone climate control is also thrown in, along with the increasingly familiar anti-crash and pedestrian-sensing safety guardians.Give me a quick kit breakdown.The HUD is a cheapo pop-up window job (a la Mini and Mazda) rather than actually projecting onto the windscreen (as per BMW and Mercedes). Its clear and comprehensive, but when the instruments are this clear, a bit of an indulgence. Youre better off spending on the blind-spot monitor system, because the Focus, like the latest Fiesta, has curiously small door mirrors. The B\&O Play hi-fi is terrific – powerful and detailed. Pity, it had caused the drivers door trim in this test car to buzz itself loose.Speaking of quality…Some of the trim in this high-spec car just isnt good enough. The dashboard is blighted by a naff textured panel that looks like carbon fibre rendered on Microsoft Paint. On Windows 95. Its grim. And Fords made the same error as on the Fiesta, covering the top of the dash (which you never touch) in plush leatherette, but fashioned the door handles and window switches out of cast-off Lego. Lovely supple leather on the steering wheel, mind, and the gear lever is festooned with cool metal.This 123bhp engine then. Is that enough, in a family hatchback?On paper, sure\: Ford claims 0-100kph in ten seconds dead and 198kph flat out. Fine. This is actually the pokiest 1.0-litre triple in the new Focus, which can also be forced to make do with only 84bhp and 99bhp. You need the 1.5-litre three-cylinder to go quicker.And yes, you do need it. Fords EcoBoosts are eager and this one idles uncannily smoothly (I tried to start it a few times while it was already running, which is the ultimate silent-running compliment), but the intergalactic gearing dulls the motors response to the point of feeling sluggish. Ford claims peak torque is released at 1,400rpm. Feels like it needs twice those revs to get moving, on the road.Drive it four-up, as I did for a good hour, and it feels downright underpowered. As diesel capitulates, hoardes of torque-spoiled buyers will be swapping into versions like this, and theyll get a nasty shock when their local motorway sliproad isnt a simple surge and merge affair.Slick as the six-speed gearbox is – and its miles more satisfying and less notchy than a VW Golf or Vauxhall Astras, and will need less lever-rowing.Is it economical?Very – despite needing to work those three cylinders hard. On the motorway, we saw over 21kpl, given how downsized engines can wilt under the pressure of real-world driving. The 1.0-litre engine also does without the cylinder deactivation trick of the larger 1.5 motor thats borrowed from the Fiesta ST hot hatch, but manages to be just as frugal. Clever stuff.Does it drive like a Focus should?Its the best drive in the class, even on the cheap suspension, for sure. Focuses with this 1.0-litre engine have torsion bar rear suspension, rather than a properly independent rear set-up, but Fords engineers have borrowed the suspension design – if not its stiffness – from the Fiesta ST, which is designed to keep the relatively unsophisticated back axles wheels pointing straight as they accept cornering loads. As a result, the Focus feels agile, pointy, dexterous and actually quite playful. Theres a lot of Fiesta in its DNA, and that can only be a very good thing. Great basis for a Focus ST hot hatch, too. And you get a big boot on top of the torsion bar.The steering is direct but quite glassy in response, and the rides actually quite soft at low speeds, so the first impression isnt of a car thatll relish some stick in the bends, but the Focus raises its game, maintaining its body control and riding with quiet suppleness. Its easily the best driving boggo version since the original.A good car wrapped up in an ugly body, then?A really strong hatch in divisive clothes, definitely. Spec-permitting, this is a match for the best cars in the class – vastly improved inside ergonomically, sweeter to drive and uncannily refined. Less chintz and more poke would really play to the new Focuss strengths.Anything else?The starter button, if you have keyless entry, is so stupidly placed its as though Ford did it for a dare. Its hidden behind the steering wheel and angled to face the side window. VW doesnt make mistakes like that. Neither does Kia. Or Renault.