The switch to Thai production in August saw the introduction of the Focus Mk2, that debuted Ford's hands-free synchronise moving-picture show system among different technical school options, nevertheless failed to suffer a come by cabin quality to the extent of the Fiesta it created an equivalent transition 2 years earlier.
The production shift was quickly followed by a price cutting that saw the RRP of the entry-level Ford Focus Ambiente manual drop to $20,290 and therefore the dual-clutch automatic to $22,590 though Ford's 'special' driveaway valuation supply of $19,990 and $21,990 severally remains months later and may be your start line negotiating with dealers.
It puts the Focus within the thick of the action within the ultra-competitive small-car phase, wherever it takes on the new-generation Toyota Corolla (from $19,990), the top-selling Mazda3 (from $20,330), the Australian-made Holden Cruze ($21,490), and therefore the dramatically improved second-gen Hyundai i30 ($20,990), to not mention over a dozen different compact sedans and hatchbacks.
The Ambiente is that the solely variant within the third-generation Ford Focus vary steam-powered by a one.6-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine (the higher-grade models feature two.0-litre gasoline and diesel alternatives). Its 92kW/159Nm output is respectable for a naturally aspirated engine of its capability, but the willing unit is burdened by the car's 1335kg edge weight. It's happy and sometimes needed to rev towards its 6300rpm most wall plug however begins to sound thrashy and strained north of peak force at 4000rpm. At lower engine speeds it's moderately quiet and refined.
The same can't be aforementioned for the ex gratia six-speed dual-clutch motor vehicle transmission. Gear changes square measure jerky when cold start-ups whether or not created mechanically or manually by the driving force via the dinky +/ buttons on the within of the shift lever and may stay overly thus for minutes. It tends to lurch in low just like the initial generation of twin clutches and misunderstands the engine's limitations at higher speeds, upshifting on hills and killing momentum before sharply trying to find a lower magnitude relation. nevertheless it's additionally unpunctual to react to aggressive throttle inputs, waiting (and wondering…) before kicking down. Best save yourself $2K and keep on with the quality five-speed manual, that is additionally a lot of fuel economical, employing a claimed six.2 litres per 100km on the combined cycle compared with the auto's six.5. On our take a look at covering a variety of conditions we tend to achieved economy of ten.6L/100km.
The Focus claws back points within the dynamics department, wherever it's each well balanced and fascinating. The electrically assisted steering (standard all told however the Ambiente sedan, that options an easier hydraulic system) is lightweight however keen, giving fast associated direct response to minute inputs and an encouraging changeability to greater twists of the tiller.
Unsurprisingly, the chassis that could be a highlight of the Focus ST hot-hatch remains capable and composed supporting the less performance-oriented variants. The suspension reacts promptly to disembarrass bumps and coarse surfaces, making a cushty ride, and helps to contain roll through corners.
The excellent seats, that square measure soft and adjunct, and significantly cossetting within the second row, enhance comfort. Rear passengers fancy tight head, leg and foot area within the back of the Focus, and whereas they miss out on a centre rest in Ambiente and Trend trim lines, square measure taken care of with a set of clever storage spots round the seat base and doors.
Visibility from the driver's seat is suitable front and rear, though the read of the centre console is a lot of of associate penchant. just like the smaller fete, the Focus options Nokia 5210-inspired switchgear and a little three.5-inch blue matrix screen that a minimum of to a smartphone-savvy info Y-er misses the mark each in terms of style and work and end. as luck would have it, the yr styling is saved modern technical school, with Ford's synchronise property system facilitating voice-activated hands-free job, phone book transfer, sonic text message readout (with compatible phones) and music player integration via either Bluetooth or USB.
The inaccessibility of controller within the Ambiente is unsatisfying, however, and therefore the base model will while not reversing sensors, foglights and alloy wheels (it gets 16-inch steels with a space-saver spare), that square measure all normal throughout the remainder of the Ford Focus vary. different options of the entry-level model embrace manual air con, multi-function show with trip pc, one-touch up/down electrical driver's window, and 60/40 split-fold rear seats. Boot house behind the rear bench trails the likes of the Hyundai i30 and Mazda3, with 316 litres on the market within the hatch and 421 litres within the sedan.
The entire Ford Focus vary has attained ANCAP's most five-star safety rating, every model equipped with six airbags (dual front, facet and curtains), electronic stability management and hand brake lights that flash below significant braking to warn drivers following behind.
The Focus is roofed by a three-year/100,000km guarantee and has 12-month/15,000km service intervals. Most services for the Ambiente can set you back $320 below Ford's six-year capped-price coupling program, with the sixty,000km interval the sole outlier at $455, that involves replacement the fuel and air filters and therefore the spark plugs on high of the regular service.
Well priced, well balanced and comfy, however lacking drivetrain refinement and a few basic options, the Ford Focus Ambiente could be a dish best served manual… maybe when sampling the i30 and Mazda3 for entree and main.