Ford Focus on the future with a new version of our favourite car

The Ford Focus is a real drivers' car
The Ford Focus is a real drivers' car

Ford Focus - Irish launch

Replacing an iconic car like the Ford Escort back in 1999 was a brave move from the Ford motor company.

The Escort had stood the test of time and it is still much sought after by collectors to this day – a half decent Mark I can cost as much as €20,000.

But its replacement, the Ford Focus, has proved to be a really popular model, especially in the Irish market where more than 115,000 have been sold since it first arrived on our shores.

And recently, hot on the heels of the long overdue Mondeo, the latest version of the Focus has arrived on our shores.

I have to admit, I have always been a big fan of the Focus, and I can see why it was the third best-selling model in the country, behind the Volkswagen Golf and Nissan Qashqai last year.

Although it hasn’t had a total overhaul, the exterior changes certainly freshen up and make it a lot more appealing and youthful.

It has a lower, wider stance, with a new bonnet, front fascia and grille.

The bonnet is sculpted with a dynamic shape from the front pillar to the corners of the upper part of the inverted trapezoidal grille to deliver a strong, proud look.

Slimmer, chiselled front headlamps and elongated fog-lamps add to the bolder front end. Subtle chrome details add to the feeling of elegance while the rear of the car is also sleeker.

Priced from €20,295, the range is comprised of four models from the entry-level Focus, Focus Style, Zetec and top-of-the-range Titanium.

The range is available in a three-model line-up of sporty five-door hatchback, sleek four-door saloon and stylish five-door estate.

Powertrains for the new Focus will include Ford’s well-proven 1.6 litre (95PS and 115PS) and 2.0 litre diesels (150PS). Ford’s acclaimed 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol (100 & 125PS) will also be available.

The entry-level Focus features ESP with hill-launch assist; MyKey Gen 2; body-coloured bumpers and spoiler; electric front windows; tyre-pressure monitoring system; power door mirrors with indicators; remote power locking with flip key and capless refuelling. 

Focus Style (in addition to Focus) includes air conditioning; Ford SYNC; CD player with USB connectivity; power-heated door mirrors; body-colour door handles; and 16-inch alloys. 

Focus Zetec (in addition to Focus Style) gets front fog lights; quick-clear windscreen; sports-tuned suspension; premium centre console with armrest; and sports-style front seats.

The range-topping Titanium (in addition to Focus Zetec) receives 16-inch Titanium alloys; keyless start; cruise control including speed limit function; dual-zone auto temperature control; power front and rear windows; and front and rear LED reading lights.

When it was introduced in 1999, the original Ford Focus brought new levels of agility and driving pleasure to the C segment. Focus has also been a leader in terms of bringing technology to C segment drivers.

Among the firsts for Focus were technologies like life-saving Electronic Stability Control (ESP); Active City Stop, which prevents slow-speed collisions; and Active Park Assist, the first real “hands free” parallel parking aid.

We will bring you the full verdict when we get behind the wheel for a week-long test drive next month.