What is it like on the inside?
While to some the interior may lack the refinement of its more premium competitors (let’s not forget, this generation has been with us for nearly four years now), in other ways the Focus is outshining its younger counterparts.
Where some of its competitors are fast tracking towards button-free interiors, in the Focus good ol' switches haven't been consigned entirely to history. The infotainment screen has a set of hard-key shortcuts, the climate control gets proper knobs and buttons, and several of the driving assist systems also get their own quick-access kill-switches. It's all sensibly laid out and executed with an eye for quality.
And Ford hasn’t abandoned it entirely, either. Last year the Focus received a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and FordPass Connect modem, which receives and relays information about hazards on your journey, and lets you tap into your car with a special app. Small tweaks, but handy all the same.
Ford's Sync operating system looks a lot cleaner than many of its competitors, too; its menus just feel more intuitively logical than others. The screen is now eight inches across the range and the sat nav is one of the best we’ve used, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard too.
The dash itself, made in a broadly smiling sweep, is further forward than previous generations, but not so far that you can't reach the touchscreen, which is mounted high up. The significant pieces of its architecture are moulded from soft-touch plastic. The door bins are carpet-lined too, to quench rattles, while having an electric handbrake gives over useful console space to cupholders.
The front seats are a little flat in the cushion which is a pity – though ST-Line brings slightly improved ones – but it’s otherwise fine. The longer wheelbase does, however, mean it’s impressively roomy in the back, while a flatter rear floor means that anyone sat in the middle seat doesn’t suffer from a lack of foot space. Boot space is a useful 375-litres with the seats up too, just five less than the VW Golf.
Any drawbacks? Well, it clearly prioritises practicality over style – there is a lot of plastic in here – and it loses out in luxuriousness against some of its competitors. But it’s a pleasant enough place to be, and proves that sometimes less really is more.