Used car review

Ford Focus 1.4 CL 3 Door

A few years ago you’d be hard pressed to find a small hatchback car without having to make sacrifices of engine power over price and economy. Having driven the Focus that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.

The car tested looked a little standard, the car is not bad looking but it isn’t going to catch any looks from passers by. Again the interior is bland basic velour trim, pretty boring in my opinion but again nothing to sneer at.

On first impressions the Focus really does have some pros and cons that could sway your decision to buy one either way. If you like a car with power then you may be better off with a similar priced but far more powerful Honda Civic 1.4i S, which pushes out 89bhp, compared to the Fords 75.

So the car takes a while to get up to speed, it loses some pace on even the slightest of inclines but don’t let this put you off. The advantage the Focus has over its rivals is the drive and that’s probably what those of you in the market for a small hatch will want from a car.

The Focus is pretty much the most refined in the small hatch market, engine noise is minimal and although the car is still affected by road noise and wind but does a good job of muting the sound so it remains pretty much comfortable.

Now for those of you in the market for a three-door hatch you are most likely to highly value the Focus’ dynamic drive. After the facelift the car has had Ford have wisely chose to keep the mechanics the same, which gives this car the title of the small hatch to beat for drive. The steering is perfectly responsive, the gear changes are sharp and the chassis is finely balanced which dare I say it, makes this dull looking car fun to drive. This applies to windy country roads or dodging in and out of traffic, and not at the expense of comfort either.

You would think with such a firm ride you would pick up on the slightest of bumps and on the odd occasion cause a few jarred backs to your passengers but in actual fact the car remains quite forgiving and the well engineered body control make up for any problems the car may have had

In short this car is rather boring to look at, rather boring on the inside but overall the best drive in its class. If you can forgive the shameful lack of what I would call standard safety equipment and bland power and concentrate on the great handling and overall refinement then this car is the one for you.

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