Ford Focus Vignale

1.5 automatic

Ford Focus Vignale, front
Ford Focus Vignale, 2018, overhead
Ford Focus Vignale, 2018, front
Ford Focus Vignale, front
Ford Focus Vignale, front
Ford Focus Vignale, rear
Ford Focus Vignale, side
Ford Focus Vignale, rear
Ford Focus Vignale Automatic, interior

WHEN Ford attaches the name Vignale to one of its products then you know you are going to get something just a bit special.

Previous cars to have worn the Vignale badge include the Aston Martin Lagonda Vignale but today we are looking at the Ford Focus Vignale.

Vignale was an Italian car builder who teamed up with various manufacturers to produce special low volume models of certain vehicles. The company was bought by Ford in the seventies along with Ghia whose name has appeared already on Ford models but it is only recently that the Vignale name has been resurrected for top end mainstream Fords.

And there is no doubt the Focus Vignale in front of me really looks the part.

It is a five door model in Deep Mulberry with the unique Vignale front grille and bodystyling. It carries the racy lines of the Focus accentuated by silver trim around the windows with privacy glass at the rear, 18in alloys, Vignale badging and lovely chrome trimmed exhaust pipes at the rear.

Even at rest it looks the part of a handsome and sporty hatchback and inside things get even better. The Vignale trim means that there is loads of leather - in this case black with contrasting white stitching, Vignale badging on the seats and sills and a B&O premium sound system.

Materials are soft to the touch with chrome and dark ash wood veneer creating a plush and relaxing cabin.

In this latest Focus model, Ford have really concentrated on uncluttering the dash and centre console and although there are loads of systems and features you can work your way through, the front is pleasingly cleaner and more streamlined than before.

The 8-inch colour touchscreen sits proud of the dash leading you into the sat nav, radio and telephone connectivity and thanks to Ford's SYNC 3 and FordPass Connect you can hook up your smartphone, use the car as a WiFi hotspot and link up to ten devices. There is also a wireless charger in this car or two USB points at the front.

The Vignale I am driving comes with Ford's 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine and an eight-speed automatic gearbox, both of which operate terrifically on this car whether you want to just cruise on the motorway, take it along winding country roads or use it in the city where the Active Park Assist 2 and the rear view camera make parking very easy indeed.

Driving is a joy - relaxing and positive because this car is so well balanced and eager. There are three driving modes too, Normal, Eco and Dynamic for whatever mood you're in and the head up display in the Vignale means you are always aware of the speed limit.

There is loads of luggage room and the car comes packed with safety features like lane keeping aid and lane departure warning, cruise control and hill start assist, emergency brake assist and options like blind spot assist available.

FAST FACTS

Ford Focus Vignale 1.5 automatic

Price: £28,505

Mechanical: 182ps, 1,498cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 137mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 38.7-39.8

Insurance Group: 18

C02 emissions: 137g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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