The facelifted Ford Focus will arrive in showrooms this November, featuring more tech, new powertrains and an improved cabin, with prices once again starting at £13,995.
A six-strong trim range is likewise carried over, but now consists of Studio (£13,995), Style (£16,795 - £17,995), Zetec (£18,295 - £19,495), Zetec S (£20,045 - £20,745), Titanium (£19,795 - £20,995) and Titanium X (£21,795 - £22,995). Style replaces outgoing Edge spec, and sees a moderate base price increase, as do mid-spec Zetec and Zetec S, but both Titanium and Titanium X cost £100 less than the current equivalents.
An Estate variant is also available in Style trim and above, and - aside from its most basic guise and two higher-spec variants - costs £1,100 more than the equivalent hatchback model.
Visual highlights include the new-look front end, complete with elongated foglamps, slimmed-down headlights and an Aston Martin-like trapezoidal grille. Inside, Ford has worked hard on quality, updating the centre console by removing the fiddly buttons in favour of an eight-inch touchscreen, alongside redesigned air-con controls and a new three-spoke multifunction steering wheel.
In terms of tech, as well as the current safety and convenience kit, the main change is the optional Perpendicular Parking, a hands-free parking system that works like the existing Active Park Assist. At the touch of a button, ultrasonic sensors can now locate and steer the vehicle into a car park bay, leaving the driver to control the accelerator and brake.
The extra sensors used for this are deployed when leaving a space, too, in the form of Cross Traffic Alert – which warns drivers as they reverse of passing vehicles – and Park-Out Assist, designed to help drivers as the exit from a parallel park.
There’s also the option of Ford’s latest connectivity software, SYNC2. It now offers a split-screen display, and can be used to vocally control audio, navigation, the climate control and smartphones.
Rounding off the technology add-ons is the MyKey aid for new drivers. This debuted on the Fiesta and allows owners to programme a key that limits top speed while in use, reduces the audio system’s max volume and can disable the car altogether if seatbelts aren’t being used.
From launch, the revised Focus will be the first European Ford to feature the new 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol EcoBoost engine. Available with either 148bhp or 178bhp, it slots into the range just above the existing 99bhp and 123bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoosts.
A naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol will be offered, too, in three states of tune: 84bhp, 104bhp and 123bhp – the less powerful unit being exclusive to hatchback only Studio spec. Diesel choices include the 1.5-litre TDCi in 94bhp and 118bhp, plus the 94bhp or 113bhp 1.6 TDCi. Five and six-speed manual gearboxes will be standard, with automatics available as options. The latter can now be specced with shift paddles on the steering wheel.
Other optional extras include 17- or 18-inch alloys depending on the model, with a 16-inch spare wheel available for £100 on Style, Zetec and Titanium trim levels. There are two Appearance Packs as well, plus Driver Assistance and Convenience Packs.
Do you think the new Ford Focus has what it takes to maintain a spot at the head of the family hatch class? Let us know in the comments section below...