Ford Focus

10 Apr, 2007 1:00am Sam Hardy

The Focus CC-3 is good value and fun to drive but it's short on interior space and performance

Verdict

3
Even in range-topping CC-3 guise, the Focus drop-top is not one of Ford's best cars. It's awkward to look at, short on interior space and suffers from poor performance - especially with the 2.0-litre petrol engine in our model. It's still fun to drive, while there's plenty of equipment. This flagship is also good value, costing £3,265 less than a similarly equipped VW Eos. But overall, it just doesn't feel very special or desirable.
Summer is literally just around the corner. So what better time to buy a new convertible? These days, virtually every car manufacturer has joined the profitable coupé-cabriolet ranks, and there's plenty of choice available.

All of which could make life more difficult for the Ford Focus CC. It's a late arrival to the market, but as with all Ford products, it looks a capable contender, with entry-level versions undercutting both the Vauxhall Astra TwinTop and VW Eos on price.

Yet when we tested the Focus CC diesel against those rivals in Issue 954, the results were disappointing, and the Ford was relegated to last place in the race for honours. So can this flagship 143bhp 2.0-litre petrol CC-3 do a better job of impressing us?

You might think that with styling by Pininfarina, the Focus would draw admiring glances everywhere it goes. But we found that wasn't the case.

While many of its key competitors employ three-piece hoods, the Ford adopts a less compact two-section version, which has left the car with an ungainly rear end and a huge deck. Factor in some glitzy chrome on the bootlid and awkwardly large tail-lights, and the model isn't a recipe for head-turning on the high street.

Inside, there's no change in the dash layout over the standard Focus. Optional tan leather trim brightens things up, but you'll have to pay a £1,000 premium for the privilege. Up front, the driving position is good, yet the way the steeply raked windscreen arcs back over the driver can mean it's easy to bang your head when getting out with the top down. In the back, both headroom and legroom are in short supply. You can blame the bulky two-piece roof for the latter. This also robs boot space, as the luggage area shrinks to only 248 litres with the hood folded from a healthy 534 litres when it's in place.

There are a number of pleasant touches, though. Fail to shut the bootlid and electric motors pull it closed so you don't have to worry. The hood operation is equally smooth - fully automatic, it stows away neatly in just under 30 seconds.

On the move, the first things you notice about the CC are how good all-round visibility is and the preciseness of the steering, brakes and gearbox. Over bumps, the whole structure feels reassuringly stiff. That's because the all-new Ford has piled on the pounds; as a result, the CC doesn't provide the agility or steering delicacy of the hatchback model.

What suffers most, though, is the performance. The 2.0-litre petrol unit struggles, with its 184Nm of torque feeling weak compared to the TDCi diesel's 340Nm. Yet it's smooth, and has low overall noise levels.

Equipment on the top CC-3 spec is generous: climate control, 17-inch alloys and six-CD changer are all standard. But even with keen prices, Ford's new coupé-cabrio does little to stand out in an already crowded market.

Disqus - noscript

I AM A PROUD OWNER OF A CC3 AND I LOVE IT. WITH ITS BLACK LEATHER INTERIOR AND THE FAB DRIVE ITS JUST GREAT.... AND I HAVE TO SAY IT IS A HEAD TURNER NOT LIKE THIS ARTICLE SAYS THAT IT ISN'T... IT'S JUST FAB LOVELY TO DRIVE AND THERES PLENTY OF ROOM IN THE BOOT WHEN THE ROOF IS DOWN... I LOVE THE FACE THAT I DONT EVEN HAVE TO THINK ABOUT MY LIGHTS OR WINDSCREEN WIPERS IT DOES IT ALL FOR YOU...

BRILLIANT AS ALWYS FROM FORD LOVE IT AND SO DOES ALL MY FAMILY.. THANK YOU FORD.

As I am from Italian family I jumped in to buy the Pininfarina CC3 in brilliant red. what a mistake. This must be the worst car I have ever owned and I have changed my car every year for 15 years. First week : water leaks from roof , oil sump loose spilling oil on driveway, loud creaks from roof. week 2 ;steering column fault causing oil on driveway,fault in steering linkage, water leaks from roof. Week 5 (when returned fron dealership) CD player/radio packs up,roof realigned by specialist in Scotland. week 8;when roof and window down the wind whips up the rear seat belts to a frenzied noise as seat belts fasten the opposite from any others. week week 24 ; after repeated requests to dealership to alleviate roof creak I used wd40 and veseline. Apparently the seals dry out very quickly. week 26 ; traded in car for a 2 year old X type Jaguar. The dealer who is a friend of mine told me today that when he showed prospective buyers the car with the roof down they loved it. When they asked to see the roof up 4 bolts sheared off from the roof along with a large part of the plastic trim surround. Thankfully no one was in the back seat. An ill conceived and designed car that gave me nothing but problems. Perhaps it thought it was an Alfa Romeo.

i have recently bought an 07 CC3 to replace my Saab 95, upon entering bristol street motors i adamantly said that they would have no car to get me out of the saab. The handling and poke on the saab would make me smile every time i got in to drive it, then i saw it jet black and sexy, i hate the ford focus and would never have one even if it was free, i even told Dave that as he smiled and nodded and asked me why i hated fords. This is the best car i have ever driven, sling it in to a corner at 40 and it will just laugh at you and ask "is that all you got", handles like a dream, with the roof up it looks quirky, roof down it looks gorgeous. Yes the noise of the seat belt flapping in the back is a problem, answer? turn the sterio up and cruise. This car has taught me to love a ford focus, as the previous comment suggests he has had loads of problems, but with any car you can get a lemon, dont tar them all with the same brush, all thats left to say is roll on the sunny days, i still have the roof down in the cold, just not the rain!

I HAVE THE CC3 WHICH I THOUGHT WAS A DREAM. NOT ANY MORE THE ROOF HAS A MAJOR FAULT AND HAD FIGHT ON MY HANDS FOR FORD TO FIX IT! THEY SAID ITS DAMAGED, I ASK HOW CAN IT BE DAMAGE BY JUST PRESSING A BOTTOM THEN PART OF THE ROOF FLY'S OFF AND THE ROOF DOES NOT SIT UNDER THE BOOT PROBABLY??? THEN NOT ONLY AM I TRYING TO SORT THIS OUT BUT AS MYSELF AND MY 7 YEAR OLD SON ARE TAKING ITEMS OUT OF THE BOOT IT SLAMS DOWN I HAD TO SHOUT TO GET MY SON OUT OF THE WAY WE ARE SO VERY LUCKY WE DID NOT HAVE ARE ARMS CRUSED........ WEEKS TO WAIT FOR FORD TO SORT THE PROBLEM OUT, IN ALL ITS BEEN A NIGHTMARE.

Key specs

* Price: £18,795
* Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl, 143bhp
* 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds (est)
* Top speed: 129mph (est)
* Transmission: Five-speed manual, four-wheel-drive
* Economy: 37.7mpg
* CO2: 179g/km
* Service intervals: 20,000 miles
* Standard equipment: Driver, passenger and side airbags, 17-inch alloys, cruise control, six-CD changer, auto lights andwipers, heated windscreen
* On sale: Now

Issue 1346
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