I know what you’re thinking: ‘Why are you reviewing a Focus that’s been around since 2018, and why would I be interested in a 1.0-litre three-cylinder version?’ Well lend me your attention for the duration of this short prose and I promise your interest will be piqued. (At least enough to go watch my video review!)
Yes you’ll probably be familiar with the car, but it did get a refresh and update last year with a few tweaks and interior enhancements. Plus big news under the bonnet. Or should that be ‘little’ news. The tiny three-pot motor is actually a mild a hybrid, which is to say its battery power not only smoothes out the stop-start system, but adds a little omph from the get-go.
Two versions are offered: 125bhp and 155bhp, the latter with 240Nm of torque. This equals acceleration from rest to 62mph in 9.2 seconds and a top speed of 131mph (while sipping fuel at combined rate of 53.3mpg (I achieved 47mpg) and emitting 121g/km.
This version in ST-Line guise starts from £25,000, and you want that spec because the already ‘best-looking Focus ever’ is further coolified by the addition of the sporty enhancements. Not that that gets any more respect on London roads from the uninformed drivers of expensive German metal, but that won’t matter to you behind the wheel.
Because while you have literally boot-fulls of practicality, transporting your pals back from the airport, comfortable in the capacious rear, bopping to the Bhangra beats on the optional 10-speaker 675 Watt B&O stereo with thumping base (totally worth £400 extra), you’ll be giggling at off-the-line sprinting that feels far quicker than the quoted figure suggests. Plus you’ll easily keep up on the motorway and stop less often for fuel.
Wait, there’s more. Superbly judged steering feel and response, flat composed but comfortable ride, eager turn-in, grippy follow-through and an engagement factor that’s off-the-scale for anything with a 1.0 badge (technically it doesn’t actually have one) means you’ll be grinning in surprise and delight once you break free of the city limits and keep the throttle buried.
Actually scrap that, it’s one of those rarities that’s as entertaining doing the daily chores from home to office, to the shops, to visiting the family, as it is when the going gets good. Supportive seats, a great driving position, decent visibility, compact size, all contrive to make everything fuss-free as you’d expect, but there’s an X-factor, something of a Focus signature aspect, that still remains when it comes to the driving experience.
Don’t read this out loud, don’t tell anyone, but you know what, I’d consider having one of these over the ST version, it’s THAT good. With this in your drive, you’ll happily volunteer to do any and every errand. So, are we piqued then?