What was needed was a C-segment hatch or sedan, good fuel economy, good running costs and comfortable highway cruising. Our trade in was a Focus so it was fairly logical to check out the new LW model.
The Ambient looked like great value but the lack of (even the option of) cruise control was a killer for us. So we had to move up into the Trend. I like the look of the sedan although after seeing the boot opening, it was ruled out. I’d struggle to fit my travel bag through even though the boot itself is reasonably sized.
Inside Ford have moved ahead of the previous model in leaps and bounds. The dash plastics feel solid, of reasonable quality and the layout of the audio and air-con controls is sensible. The doors have a solid feel to them and that feeling is matched by the road holding.
Out on the open road it feels solid and comfortable with vastly better levels of refinement over the previous model. I’d put it on par with the VW Golf but what really hurts the Golf is the higher purchase price as well as servicing. Ford’s capped priced servicing and free roadside assist certainly put it ahead of the (otherwise brilliant) Golf.
The 2.0 petrol has more than adequate performance and returns reasonable fuel economy figures. The 5 speed manual is well suited to it although I feel as though fuel economy would be helped with another gear.
We looked at the Holden Cruze but the interior plastics seemed cheap and it didn’t feel as solid as the Focus. The Hyundai i30 was amazing value, but it felt as cheap as it was. The contrast in road handling and NVH between it and the Focus was almost humorous!
In summary, the Focus did everything well and at a reasonable price.