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Review: Ford Focus

By Motor Match • 08/06/2023

The Ford Focus is one of the most popular cars on the market. Let's take a look into what makes it so special.

What is it?

There are few more recognised names in the car world than ‘Ford Focus’. On its arrival, the Focus proved to be a transformative car for the Blue Oval, delivering a package that wasn’t just practical but great to drive as well.

But the job of the Focus isn’t as easy as it once was. The rising popularity of crossovers has made things pretty tricky for this traditional hatchback, so does it still have a place on today’s roads? We’ve been behind the wheel to find out.

Red Ford Focus rear

What’s new?

A recent update of the Focus has seen its design tweaked and refined, while inside there’s been more of Ford’s latest technology included to help keep things current. It’s still very recognisable as a Focus, mind you, with Ford doing little to drastically alter the shape of this ever-popular hatch.

Some clever new tech accompanies this update, too, with advanced speed recognition and over-the-air updates being just two of a vast swathe of additions.

What’s under the bonnet?

One of the core powertrains available on the latest Focus is a 1.0-litre mild-hybrid petrol. It’s assisted by a 48-volt electric system with a small battery which helps to take some of the load away from the engine and, in turn, improves efficiency.

You can get it with either 123bhp or 153bhp, as well as with either a manual or automatic gearbox. There’s also the option to get this 1.0-litre engine without the mild-hybrid assistance in either 99bhp or 123bhp outputs.

What’s it like to drive?

The Focus has always carved a niche for itself as a traditional hatchback that is also great to drive. That’s pleasantly still present and correct in this latest model, which feels exciting to drive down your favourite roads - though it’s still incredibly comfortable and easy to live with.

We tested the Focus with the 153bhp mild-hybrid setup and though it’s hardly the last word in outright performance, it has more than enough power to get this Ford up to speed in an adequate amount of time. It also managed to return 50mpg during our time with the car, so it’s a great option for those looking to bring down fuel bills.

How does it look?

As we’ve mentioned, despite these recent changes the Focus is still definitely just that - a Focus. However, the edits that have been made work well to breathe some new life into the model, with the most noticeable aspect being the fitment of the Ford logo within the grille rather than on the ‘nose’.

Each trim level gets its own unique design, too, with Active models, in particular, standing out due to their chunky cladding and go-anywhere-inspired bumpers.

Red Ford Focus side
Red Ford Focus display

What’s it like inside?

One of the biggest changes that you’ll find inside the Focus is the new screen. At 13.2 inches, it’s massive in comparison to the one fitted to the previous-generation car, while its use of Ford’s latest Sync 4 infotainment system means it’s slick and easy to use as well.

But the fundamentals are covered well. There’s a decent level of space for those sitting in the back, while there’s a well-sized boot too. If you’re after a little more room, then opting for the estate version could be a good idea.

What’s the spec like?

You’ve got a good variety of specifications to choose from with the Focus, though all bring plenty of standard equipment. Sporty ST-Line versions will be the go-to for drivers after a more dynamic-looking Focus, while the Active versions, as we’ve mentioned, bring a more rugged appeal.

Our Active Vignale car came with boatloads of equipment, too, including 18-inch alloy wheels, full LED headlights and a 10-speak Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Red Ford Focus Interior


Though the motoring landscape is knee-deep in crossovers and SUVs, the humble Focus still has a lot to offer buyers. It’s spacious, well made and just as good to drive as ever while additions in the level of technology make it a far more current vehicle than it was previously.

Though it may not have that high riding position offered by rivals, the Focus should still be high up the list of potential cars for drivers looking for something dependable and good to run.

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