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The Top Gear car review:Ford Focus
What is it like on the road?
The Ford Focus has always been a fine car to drive, with a ride and handling balance to shame many cars with much sportier pretensions. When the mk3 Ford Focus launched in 2011, though, it lacked a little of the sparkle that its predecessors had made their own. Happily, though, a few comfort-minded tweaks – lighter steering and more compliance in the suspension – have actually rekindled the fun factor. This is a hatchback for people who like driving, with a keen front end and a rear axle that’s happy to play a role in cornering, too.
Engine wise, there’s a pair of new 1.5-litre diesels which dip below the magic 99g/km mark, and will account for around half of UK sales, while the smallest Ford Focus EcoBoost - a spunky little 1.0-litre turbo triple, takes most of the other half.
There’s also a new 1.5-litre petrol turbo, which comes in 148 and 180bhp guises. It’s a broadly satisfying engine, delivering power with the linearity of something naturally aspirated, but it’s lacking in urge below 2500rpm. That’s one of the prices you pay for downsizing - good job Ford makes nice gearboxes, then – even going for the Ford Focus Automatic doesn’t spoil the fun, especially the dual-clutch PowerShift ‘box.