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Ford Focus — long-term review

Hello to the bargain-basement Ford Focus Style

Specification:
Style
Engine:
1.0-litre, three cylinder turbo EcoBoost
Claimed MPG:
57.6mpg, 110g/km CO2
Performance:
0-62mph in 13.5secs, 110mph
Weight:
1322kg
Price:
£18,305 / as tested £19,280 / PCM £239

Magnificent, isn’t it? Halogen headlights, with manual main-beam. 16-inch alloy wheels on thick-necked tyres. Unbolstered cloth seats. Clear, untinted glass. And not a reversing camera, adaptive cruise radar or even an electric folding mirror in sight. We’ve had more ticked-out Caterhams at Top Gear than this Ford Focus. And that’s exactly the point.

The new fourth-gen Ford Focus is Britain’s second best-selling car, which is pretty impressive given it’s a mainstream badged as a hatchback, not a coupe-crossover-estate hybrid jumble. It’s an easy-to-understand vehicle. An Car. How refreshing.

So, a very important machine joins the TG fleet. A car that hundreds of thousands of people will buy in the next five or so years, and countless more will cross-shop against a Golf, or a Ceed, or an Astra and Civic. And probably against a few crossover hybrids too. Even in 2019, a Focus feels kinda heartland.

The best-seller will be an ST-line, probably. Something with a bodykit and some frills and fripperies, to stand out against the likes of the sharky new Toyota Corolla and frankly gorgeous Mazda 3. But I’ve wanted for some time to do away with a big options spend, and plumping for the one everyone’s going to buy anyway. What’s an absolute base-spec family car like to live with in 2019?

Ford are good enough sports to let us find out. The Focus Style only really exists so Ford can say ‘Oi you, new Focus, from £18,350’. Sticker prices are meaningless anyway, because we all grab cars on contract anyway. Here’s where the base spec argument stumbles a bit. This Focus, with its plastic steering wheel and, ahem, 84bhp, is £239 on monthly finance. A Focus Zetec, with 99bhp and piles more equipment (including a cow-covered wheel) is £12 more a month. Which means a Focus Style will be a rarer sight in these parts than a leopard-print Bugatti.

Still, I’m too intrigued to worry about the maths. And the fact Ford sneakily added parking sensors and the Sync touchscreen at the last second. Bring on the back-to-basics life. In the slow lane, mostly.

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