1.6.2012 Ford Focus Zetec EcoBoost review
Barring high performance models, the 1-litre Focus EcoBoost petrol is the most satisfying drive in the range, yet is capable of near 60 mpg overall that previously would have meant having to go diesel.
And it’s all achieved without the expensive, complication and weight of using hybrid technology. Engine refinement is amazing. This Focus is a real game changer for the family motorist who can afford to get into this model. Well done Ford.
Review by Russell Bray for nextgreencar.com
Impressive and enjoyable if not actually scintillating in terms of sheer acceleration. The three-cylinder turbo-charged 1-litre engine produces 123 bhp (at 6,000 rpm) and a near diesel level of low speed torque, but with astonishing refinement. For rapid and guaranteed overtaking ability the engine has an ‘overboost’ function which increases torque from 125 lbs ft from just 1,500 rpm to 4,500 rpm, to 148 lbs ft for up to 30 seconds, although you may need to drop a couple of gears on a steep hill to maintain speed if fully loaded. Acceleration to 62 mph takes 11.3 seconds and top speed is 120 mph.
Ford’s Focus is the sweetest hatchback for drivers who want to tackle curves in something that feels more agile than the usual squishy ‘sofa’ motoring of its rivals and losing 30 kg of weight in the nose thanks to the tiny 97 kg engine has made it even more responsive. The steering is light and quick enough but not over-endowed with telling the driver the grip under the front wheels. Clutch and brakes have a smooth, resolved and nicely consistent action.
The jury’s still out with some of us about the styling of the latest Focus, with those tri-angular air vents each side of a big central grille looking contrived while the tail-light slash extending them forwards seems, well, a bit showy. For some reason I think the Focus looks best in brighter colours. It is 4358 mm in length and 1858 mm wide.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
The mobile phone inspired console in the Focus has dated quickly and the combined satnav and radio unit seems to always attract dust. I didn’t find anything wrong with the seats though, or the driving position and that what counts for me.
Space in the front is about average, although the wide centre console makes it feel more cramped than it is. Leg and headroom in the back is good, but space for oddments could be better.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
As with any car, despite technical advances, it's still the driver that makes the biggest difference to fuel consumption and general wear and tear such as brakes and tyres. Race around in the Focus EcoBoost and you can dip into the 30s, but show some restraint and plan ahead and the mid 50s should be on the cards compared to an official urban figure of 44.8 mpg and 56.5 mpg overall. Carbon dioxide exhaust emissions of 114 g/km (there will be a 109 g/km 99bhp version of the engine) mean no first year road tax and then £30 a year, at least until the government thinks there are too many 'green' drivers and it is losing too much money. The Focus is covered by a three year/60.000 mile warranty.
This engine will rightly win awards for its parsimony, ingenuity and refinement. Its small size means it warms up quickly, while three cylinders reduce friction and pumping losses. Ford had to specially develop the automatic stop-start system to save fuel in traffic because the engine was reluctant to stop. Direct fuel injection and advanced turbo-charging techniques also play their part in reducing fuel thirst. The Focus already benefits from gear change up indicator, better streamlining to reduce aerodynamic drag and radiator grille shutters that adjust for best cooling and aerodynamics. Sound insulation material is made from recycled cotton fibres. The carpets, battery housing, wheel arch liners and some heating pipes are made partly from recycled plastics.
At £17,745 this Zetec version Focus isn't cheap but comes well equipped with central locking, alloy wheels, air conditioning, power steering, electronic stability control, electrically adjustable door mirrors, radio, CD player and Bluetooth phone connectivity all standard. You get front electric windows too, but rear ones cost £250 extra and rear parking sensors are another £225. Metallic paint is a further £525.
Model tested: Ford Focus Zetec EcoBoost
Body-style: Five-door family hatchback
Engine/CO2: 123bhp 1.0 litre, three-cylinder turbo-petrol / 114 gCO2/km
Trim grades: Edge, Zetec, Zetec S, Titanium
On-road price: Focus prices from £13,995. Price as tested £17,945
Warranty: Three years/ 60,000 miles
In the showroom: Available now
Review rating: 4.5 STARS
Post a commentReturn to top
blog comments powered by Disqus