Enough to Focus buyers

2011-07-22 15:17

The all-new Ford Focus is here and brings with it better looks and an array of high-tech features to the C-segment.

But the big question is: Has the Focus got what it takes to make a lasting impression in this highly competitive market?
The new Focus is offered with a choice of four- and five-door models; three engine derivatives; three specification levels (Ambiente, Trend and Sport); and two transmissions – a five-speed manual and PowerShift automatic.

The Focus has been styled and characterised by Ford’s new Kinetic Design platform. It incorporates features things like a prominent three-piece front air intake bumper, steeply-raked windshield and a rising beltline that lend the car a very sporty and masculine image. The rear of the five-door hatch is, in my opinion, better looking compared to the four-door sedan. It looks sportier.

Those who are attracted to the design features of the current Ford Fiesta will be as attracted to the new Focus because some design elements have been carried over.

The interior has been redesigned and, again, shares similar features to the current Fiesta.

The cockpit is now more driver-friendly; its design wraps around the driver adding to the Focus’s sporty dynamics. The interior features some soft-touch materials and has more buttons on the central command console than the Death Star itself, which is lovely.

The Focus has Ford’s new HMI (human machine interface), featuring a 25-way toggle control that encompasses various vehicle and infotainment functions.

On the Sport model piano-black inserts are around all the buttons. However, the other two models have silver plastic inserts, which are far better. To be honest, the dashboard was a slight let-down. Sure it has everything the driver needs, but it just feels as if it was put together quickly and without much care.

Some niggly things got to me. Slight gaps here and there, and the overall feel of the dashboard is not up to scratch. But for their prices, it’s easy to overlook all that.

The engine line-up includes an all-new 2.0-litre GDi (gasoline direct injection) petrol engine; a 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi common-rail turbodiesel engine; and the entry-level engine is a 1.6-litre Duratec Ti-VCT petrol unit which only comes with a manual transmission.

Overall the new Focus is an impressive car. It offers great comfort and features a sporty and dynamic ride and good looks.

It’s not at all perfect and I doubt it will draw drivers away from the popular Volkswagen Golf. However, at a starting price of R208 400 for the base model and R281 100 for the top-line Sport model, this new Focus is going to make a lasting impression and it can’t be ignored.

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