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New Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost.

Whilst the Civic was in for a service I popped over the road to the Ford dealership. I had a look around the display cars but unfortunately they were all locked. I went in search of someone who could open the new shape Focus for me. The car is not officially launched here until the weekend but they had one in the showroom and 4 outside. I was pointed in the direction of the dealership owner who asked me if I would like a test drive, an offer that would have been boorish to refuse.

The vehicle in question was a Focus 1.0 Ecoboost (125ps) Estate with Business Edition in a fetching shade of grey. The front end styling is IMO a big improvement over the current model

Things did not start off too well as I banged my head on the roof pillar getting in. I then banged my knee on the steering column. I was able to adjust the seat back about 2 inches and down one inch, my knees were still very close to the steering column. The steering was already set at maximum hight and extended full out. This would not bode well in the event of an accident.

A very brief look around the interior suggested the car was pretty well screwed together and the design is a huge improvement over the hideous current model, the dashboard/centere console of which would be a deal breaker for me.
I fired up the engine and it settled down to a gentle thrum. You could tell it was not the usual 4 pot up front, it sounded a little lumpy and you could feel some vibration. Maybe some of that was due to it being cold and not yet run in.

I pulled off the forecourt and up to the exit, the brakes were very sharp at low speed. Pulling onto the main road the engine sounded very purposeful and delivered lusty performance for a meagre 1 litre 3 pot but still felt way down on the 140ps of my car (pre service) The salesman continually went on about the engine being engine of the year x years running, and wasn't it quiet. The car, once up to speed, was indeed noticeably quiet but sorry the engine just aint quiet. It has quite an appealing sound but could be one you tire of quickly and is way louder than the 1.8 iVtec.

The handling/comfort balance was spot on, as is often vaunted with the Focus but I was unable to fush on as a) the salesman was sat next to me and b) the roads were wet. However, I did exceed the level of grip on offer from the tyres on one bend which elicited a curt look from the salesman. I don't think the Civic would have had a problem on that particular bend.

So in summary, a nice enough car but not one I would trade my Civic in for just yet. Maybe in three years time or so for a 3 year old one. It would have to at least have the 1.5 Ecoboost with 150ps though.

Unless you are on holiday and it is a hire car, I remain deeply unconvinced by small engines that you have to thrash to death to go anywhere. It must be tiring and wearing for everyday use. Unless you drive really slowly, all the time.

A 1.0 in a Focus just sounds wrong.
Eff One

PG wrote:
A 1.0 in a Focus just sounds wrong.

It has more power and torque than the 1.6 in my Focus. I haven't tried the 1.0 engine in a Focus, but I drove the 100bhp version in a Fiesta and was impressed at how well it pulled.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

I've test-driven the 1.0 ecobooooost engine in a B-Max and although you have to rev it to get some performance out of it, you don't have to thrash it to keep up with the traffic around you.  It's smooth and relatively quiet, but I'd rather have a 4-cylinder engine to a 3 any day of the week.

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