‘The new Focus proves Ford can still build great cars’

With the Focus back to its best, Ford has shown that it’s capable of much more, writes Jonathan Burn

Opinion Ford Focus

You won’t read a more important group test in the pages of Auto Express this year than on Page 34 of this week’s issue. The Focus is a staple of Ford’s range, always in the UK’s list of best-selling cars, and in the Golf and Astra it faces two other titans of the market.

I’ll leave you to read our definitive verdict yourself, but I think it’s safe to say the new fourth-generation Focus shows Ford is back to its absolute best. It’s an excellent family car that packs value, practicality and genuine driving enjoyment into a hatchback.

Best hatchbacks on sale 2018

In the Focus and Fiesta, Ford has two exceptional cars, both designed and engineered in Europe for European customers. But walk into any Ford dealer and you’re faced with a rather conflicting picture, because the rest of the line-up simply doesn’t meet the standards set by its hatchback superstars.

The Kuga and Mondeo are feeling and looking their age, while the EcoSport and Edge SUVs were developed under the One Ford philosophy – created for a global market without a specific customer in mind. Neither meets the high expectations UK and European buyers demand of their cars.

And yet while Ford of Europe made losses of 73 million Euros (£65.3m) from April to June, the Focus demonstrates it can still build and engineer brilliant cars; and gazing into the near future, it looks as if the hatch could mark a turning point for the company.

Last week it issued the first official image of the upcoming, fully-electric Mach 1 SUV. The Mustang-inspired model will be on sale in 2020 as one of 16 EVs hitting dealers in the next four years.

If Ford’s next generation of cars and fleet of EVs can follow the formula set out by the Focus, there should be an exciting future ahead for a brand capable of doing better than it is today.

Read our review of the 2018 Ford Focus

Recommended

Ford Focus review
Ford Focus facelift - front cornering
Ford Focus

Ford Focus review

The Ford Focus is a great-handling family hatchback that matches its rivals on interior quality and cabin space
17 Mar 2022
New Ford Focus 2022 review
Ford Focus facelift - front
Ford Focus

New Ford Focus 2022 review

Mid-life update aims to keep the Ford Focus family hatch at the front of the pack
14 Mar 2022
Best new car deals 2022
Best new car deals - header image
Best cars & vans

Best new car deals 2022

Thinking of buying a new model? Check out our list of the best new car deals right now
2 Mar 2022
Best used hatchbacks 2022
Best used hatchbacks - header
Best cars & vans

Best used hatchbacks 2022

We provide a round up of the best used hatchbacks - cars that are great for practicality, running costs and comfort
11 Jan 2022

Most Popular

New Range Rover Sport ride review
New Range Rover Sport - front tracking
Road tests

New Range Rover Sport ride review

We get taken for a blast around Goodwood motor circuit in the new Range Rover Sport
27 Jun 2022
New MG 4 electric hatch arrives with 280 miles of range
New MG 4 2023
News

New MG 4 electric hatch arrives with 280 miles of range

The all-electric MG 4 hatchback rivals the Volkswagen ID.3 and introduces MG’s new MSP electric platform
28 Jun 2022
New Honda Civic 2022 review
Honda Civic - front
Road tests

New Honda Civic 2022 review

The all-new hybrid Honda Civic has finally arrived, but what’s like from behind the wheel? We find out…
28 Jun 2022