Distilled for distinction


With more than 10 million units sold worldwide since its introduction in 1998 the Ford Focus can be considered a popular choice for mid-size car buyers.

But the Golf 6 leads the pack and if the Blue Oval is serious about toppling the powerful German it has its work cut out.

The new Focus comes in either hatch or sedan form, in three spec levels (Ambiente, Trend and Sport) and with a choice of three engines (1,6-litre and 2-litre petrol or diesel).

Design-wise it’s not a radical departure from its predecessor, although it appears far more in tune with the times and has more allure than, say, a Corolla.

The Sport derivative has the most stylish interior and dashboard design, while lesser models make do with a Ford Fiesta-style audio and information interface with its cellphone-style centre console.

So how does it drive?

We loved the previous shape Focus for its intuitive handling. If at all possible, the newcomer feels even more composed if perhaps a little less sporty. Hurl it into a corner and it hardly rolls, but what’s incredible is that it manages to do this without delivering a bone-jarring ride.

Other plusses? We liked the sharp steering, the seating position and the upmarket feel of the interior.

On the downside we missed a sixth gear in the manual transmission as well as paddles behind the steering wheel for manual override in the auto.

Keeping up with the Joneses? Get a Focus and you’ll be ahead of them.


1,6 Ambiente hatch R208 400

1,6 Trend hatch R226 400

2,0 GDi Trend hatch R241 800

2,0 GDi Sport R266 200

1,6 Ambiente sedan R208 400

1,6 Trend sedan R226 400

2,0 GDi Trend sedan PowerShift auto R264 300

2,0 TDCi Trend sedan Powershift auto R281 100

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