Focus on Downsizing

In FORD on March 20, 2015 at 10:32 pm

Front 3 quarters FocusFrom the blue propellor to the Blue Oval.

Here’s my first chance to experience the recent trend for downsizing.

“What?” You ask.  The latest Focus seems so much bigger than the regular version which replaced the Escort decades ago.

Focus Rear 3 quarter

So what am I alluding to?

The engine.

This “mid-size hatch” is actually powered by a tiny 3 pot 1.0 litre engine.

Let’s give you some context here.  In all probability you’d probably expect at least a 1.6 litre in a family hatch of this size.

There were 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 2.0, and 2.5 litre versions down through the years.

Now we get the chance to hug trees with a frugal 3 cylinder pumping out 125 bhp.


Truth is that’s just about enough, but get this I once bought a Clarkson favourite 1.0 litre 3 pot Daihatsu Charade.  Back in 2003 that engine gave us just 57 eager horses.

12 years on Henry offers more than twice that.


Plus points on this motor are a pleasant and unobtrusive warble, with tolerable economy and emissions.

Boy Racers will hit the loud pedal and count to ten, it isn’t rev hungry like some modern units.

What else can I say about the car which i ran for a day around Jersey?

1. It has a lovely fascia and dash layout.

DAshing FORD

2. Comfy seats.

3. Light controls.

4. A great chassis.

5. So-so looks (the original looks better)

6. Great ride.

7. Adequate space, front, back and in the boot.

Focus boot

8. My one had so many gadgets moulded to the screen visibility was not too clever.

9. High Price new.

10. Mega depreciation in Year 1.

But sadly as much as I’d welcome Ford doing well on merit there’s still one significant problem.

Build quality.

Everything on my 1000 mile version was fine apart from what sounded like a dodgy thrust bearing (or slipping fan belt) ever time I pulled away from a stand still.

For me this (and the shoddy dealers) are what let’s Ford down.

Come on FORD, your 90% sorted sort out these last two items and you’d be up with Audi & BMW.

I personally love the new Mondeo, they look fantastic.

My verdict on the 3 Pot Focus?

EIGHT out of TEN.

If you want one they can be snapped up for around £10,000 off £22,000 list price at a year old, with 6000 mile son the clock.




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