FORD FOCUS MK 3
In welcoming the arrival of the new Focus’, Ford Ireland had good reason to celebrate the claim to be Ireland’s most successful ever car when sales surpassed the 100,000 mark. The milestone has been achieved in less than 13 years, making the Focus the fastest selling car in Irish motoring history.
First introduced in 1998, the Focus immediately won over the plaudits for its unprecedented handling and road behaviour; characteristics which have become synonymous with the Focus nameplate ever since. Now in its fifth incarnation, launched just last week, the Focus has twice won the Semperit Irish Car of the Year award, as voted by the Irish Motoring Writers Association, and also took the European Car of the Year accolade. In the years since its launch it has been a No.1 seller among the Irish driving public on 10 occasions.
The Focus credentials are wide–ranging: Ireland’s first allergy-friendly car, first mass-produced biofuel car, and first in its class to have ESP as standard. At the same time the model has reached iconic status off-road, with no fewer than 36 World Rally Championship victories since 1999.
Available as a 5 door hatch, 4 door saloon and 5 door estate, in petrol or diesel and 4 different levels of trim. Prices start from €20,825.
In previous incarnations the hatchback was the most stylish, this time round it must give way to the saloon a nd the estate in the when it comes to the wow factor.
With its deep front bumper, rounded bodywork and wrap around headlamps,the hatchback is quite cute and in many ways like a big Fiesta. The interior is functional and comfortable, the seats are very supportive, and the major controls are neatly arranged.
With the new Focus, Ford is introducing a range of new and really useful smart technologies, most of which are being made available for the first time to motorists who drive cars in this segment. These include: Active City Stop that will automatically bring the car to a halt in the event of a low-speed collision; Auto-Start-Stop which effectively turns off the car’s engine once the car has remained immobile and in neutral for a period of 0.5 seconds, thus saving fuel and reducing emissions; and Torque Vectoring Control which greatly improves cornering as the car reacts to the road 100 times per second resulting in more grip and ultra-precise handling.
ON THE ROAD
The basic underpinnings of this Focus are carried over from the previous-generation car. However, much burning of the midnight oil has gone in to tuning and beefing up various suspension components to improve ride comfort, refinement and roadholding. The electric steering is light at low speeds, and delivers a progressive increase in weight as speeds build. It’s smooth and super-accurate.
Along with the precise steering, strong progressive brakes and neat, accurate gearshift makes the Focus feel full of life. When you just want to sit back and enjoy the journey, however, the excellent isolation of road- and wind noise mean it is a highly accomplished high-mileage toure.
The range of engines for new Focus is as follows: 1.6 TDCi 95PS and 115PS Band A diesel (with fuel efficient Auto-Start-Stop technology); 1.6 VCT 105PS and 125PS Band B petrol; and 2.0 TDCi 115PS 6-speed Powershift automatic Band B.
FOR THE VET
Measuring 1.5m high, 4.4m long and 1.8m wide, the new five-door Ford Focus is 16mm lower, 21mm longer and 16mm narrower than the car it replaces. Best of all, there’s more headroom and legroom for rear passengers than before. However, boot space is been reduced to increase the amount of room on offer. At just 316 litres, it’s barely big enough for two suitcases, but should be good enough for urban practices. The saloon has a bigger boot, but accesss to all the veterinary paraphernalia is compromised by the small boot lid. Best option for the country vet is the estate. And Ford may also introduce a Focus commercial, and this gegneration will be a five door, as a three door Focus hatch no longer exists in the Focus range.
Specification details for the range is as follows:
The entry-level Focus features: ESP with traction assist; Ford Intelligent Protection System; body colour bumpers, mirrors and spoiler (5 door); electric front windows; power door mirrors; remote central locking with flip key; stereo radio / CD with USB connectivity; and capless refuelling.
Focus Edge (in addition to Focus): air conditioning; trip computer with fuel computer and eco mode driver information system; radio steering wheel toggle controls; leather trim steering wheel; power heated door mirrors; body colour door handles; and comfort front seats.
Focus Zetec (in addition to Focus Edge); 16” 5×2 alloys; front fog lights; Quickclear Windscreen; sports tuned suspension; driver lumbar support; sports style front seats; premium centre console with arm rest and Z-design handbrake.
Focus Titanium (in addition to Focus Zetec): 16” 10×2 alloys; dual-zone electronic temperature control; automatic wipers; automatic lights; auto-dimming rear view mirror; hill start assist; and cruise control with automatic speed limiter.
Prices for the range is as follows:
1.6 VCT 105 PS petrol priced from €20,825 (Band B)
1.6 TDCi 95 PS priced from €21,325 (Band A)
1.6 VCT 105 PS petrol priced from €21,675 (Band B)
1.6 TDCi 95 PS priced from €22,175 (Band A)
2.0 TDCi 115 PS automatic Powershift priced from €27,425 (Band B)
1.6 VCT 125 PS petrol priced from €23,325 (Band B)
1.6 TDCi 95 PS priced from €23,025 (Band A)
1.6 TDCi 115 PS priced from €23,875 (Band A)
2.0 TDCi 115 PS automatic Powershift priced from €28,275 (Band B)
1.6 VCT 125 PS petrol priced from €24,475 (Band B)
1.6 TDCi 95 PS priced from €24,175 (Band A)
1.6 TDCi 115 PS priced from €25,025 (Band A)
2.0 TDCi 115 PS automatic Powershift priced from €29,425 (Band B)