Ford NZ – My first introduction to the all-new Ford Focus at the New Zealand launch a month or so ago most certainly left me wanting more, more time with it that is. Hatchbacks (in fact cars in general) have taken a backseat to SUVs and Utes so to be behind the wheel of a something that doesn’t claim to be an off-roader was a bit of a refreshing treat. Anyway, Ford NZ duly obliged and thus I had the keys to their ST-Line for a week.
Built on the RS’s C2 platform (apparently something we will be seeing more of), the new Gen 4 Focus makes a bigger kerbside footprint than ever before, this means more space inside and out and Ford has used it wisely.
The longer wheelbase makes for increased passenger comfort, especially in the rear. More leg and headroom and a flatter floor will accommodate three adults without anyone needing to straddle a large driveshaft tunnel. While on the subject of rear passenger comfort, there’s more glass in the backdoors around the ‘C’ pillars, greater visibility makes for a reduction in car sickness – handy for when you want to test out the new Focus’s more taut suspension – which I did.
The exterior design is more modern and sleek. My model, complete with ST-Line fruit, boasted Halogen headlights with LED DRL’s, Ford new family look grille (that’s active), a sloping roofline that meets the spoiler at the rear, a sports exhaust and new Focus badging. While inside, the Focus offers greater refinement, a larger and clearer infotainment screen, neon-lit (well blue) cup holders, a dial for gear selection, Sports steering wheel, contrast stitching and a whole raft of driver and safety aids. Another thing of note, should you switch the Focus off in ‘Drive’ it will automatically drop the gears back to ‘Park’ and put on the handbrake.
Ford may have put more inside and out with this hatchback but under the bonnet, they’ve removed something, a piston. Yep, this Focus runs on 3-cylinders and sometimes only two. 1.5L Ecoboost, is more efficient and smarter than ever. 134kW and 240Nm propel this hatch with nice vigour but should you find yourself coasting down a highway, one of the pistons will take a rest too. Fuel economy is 6.4L/100km and emissions is 148g/km.
On the road the new Focus feels solid and punchy, like all Ford’s should. It handles well and the 3-cylinder engine sounds bolder than it’s size suggests. It’s bigger, brighter and offers an enthusiastic drive plus with all the added extras, it really is ‘More in Focus’.
Great working with you Matthew D’Souza