Ford Focus 1.0

EcoBoost MHEV

Titanium

Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost MHEV Titanium, front
Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost MHEV Titanium, side
Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost MHEV Titanium
Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost MHEV Titanium, rear
Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost MHEV Titanium, cabin

FLASHY new models come and go but that stalwart of the family car scene, the Ford Focus, soldiers relentlessly on.

The quarter century production milestone may already be in sight and the one million UK sales mark a now distant memory - both of which serve to underline just how successful the model has become.

There's still no fully electric model, nor a plug-in hybrid, which hasn't helped the popular hatchback's cause, especially as buyers move menacingly towards SUVs

That said there's much to admire about the Focus, which underwent a mid-life makeover for 2022, with plenty of new tech and a fresh look.

Among those changes were a new bonnet design, LED headlights as standard on all models and the arrival of some advanced driver assistance tech, notably a blind spot alert that can also engage counter steering to help stop a lane switch in the event of as potential collision.

Leading the way though for all bar entry level Trend spec was a pin-sharp 13.2-inch infotainment screen that's part of Ford's latest SYNC 4 connectivity set-up that looks after the sat nav, phone and sounds.

And if you download the FordPass app you can stay connected with the car and monitor the likes of fuel level, oil life and remote start.

Otherwise the Focus is predictably a pleasant environment to inhabit with durable cloth seats, good visibility and room for three across the back, even a centre rear passenger benefiting from a flat floor and lack of a restricting transmission tunnel.

Boot space is also better than you get in the majority of hatchbacks at 375 litres with all the seats in place.

While there are plenty of engine options - both petrol and diesel - the most significant advance is the option of mild hybrid technology, used to power our tested 1.0 EcoBoost petrol variant and featuring an electric motor connected to a 48-volt battery.

This unit is available with two power levels - 125ps and 155ps - the lower also offering the choice of either six-speed manual or an auto transmission.

Ours was the lower and, in the well-equipped Titanium trim grade, came in at £26,190 - and that's before adding extra-cost options like £725 for Magnetic paint, £550 for a Parking Pack including a rear wide view camera and £250 for privacy glass.

It's fair to say that EcoBoost has proved a triumph for Ford. It has been named international engine of the year on three occasions and offers immense strength for a 1.0-litre unit, powering various larger models including the Kuga and Transit.

In the case of the 125PS version we're talking a really strong and sweet unit that's lively and economical in urban conditions and both refined and relaxing at speed on the motorway. The steering is positive and dynamics exactly what's expected from a car with such a celebrated reputation for supreme handling.

Our average fuel return over 350 miles of mixed motoring touched the 50 miles per gallon mark, slightly better than the official 47.1mpg figure.

There's no doubt the Focus remains a flag-bearer for hatchbacks, even if buyers continue moving increasingly towards SUVs and crossovers. Long may it continue.

FAST FACTS

Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost MHEV Titanium

Price:£26,190

Mechanical:125bhp, 999cc, 3-cyl petrol mild hybrid engine driving front wheels via six-speed manual transmission

Max Speed:124mph

0-62mph:10.2 secs

Combined MPG:47.1

Insurance Group:11

C02 emissions:121g/km

Bik rating:29%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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