Used Car Buying Guides - Ford Focus

Ford Focus (2015 - 2018)

NCAP Rating 5 / 5

INTRODUCTION

In 2014, Ford facelifted its third-generation Focus , which had launched in early 2011. This was a comprehensive alteration of the looks: while the pre-facelift model had a three-aperture lower front bumper and a narrow radiator grille above, framed by large headlight clusters, the facelifted car (often known as the Mk3.5, so comprehensive was the update) had one trapezoidal radiator grille, sleek lamps and a wholly re-sculpted front airdam. As ever, the Focus was available as a five-door hatchback, a four-door saloon and a five-door estate.

MODEL RANGE

There was a normally aspirated Ti-VCT 1.6-litre petrol engine in the Focus Mk3.5 line-up but, in the main, the petrol and diesel engines are all turbocharged and are all largely excellent, too. The 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol is a real gem, offering up to 140hp, but the 1.5-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder (which replaced the old 1.6-litre EcoBoost four) is a brilliant all-rounder, offering good power without breaking the bank to run. Over on the diesel side, the 1.6 TDCi Duratorq four-cylinder engine was replaced by the 1.5-litre TDCi Duratorq, but the two actually ran side-by-side between the introduction of the 1.5 in 2014 and the final phasing out of the 1.6 in 2016. A large 2.0-litre TDCi Duratorq was offered with either 150- or 185hp, the latter derivative being the one found in the engine of the performance ST TDCi model (available as a hatch or estate). Focus Mk3.5 buyers could also opt for an ST with a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine rated at 252hp, while – in 2016 – the ultimate Focus Mk3 arrived: the monster RS, employing a 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine (also used in the Mustang in a lower state of tune), which delivered 350hp to all four wheels.

BEST BUY

Any version of the RS could be an investment piece, as they typically appreciate in value, but the high-performance Focus Mk3.5 is really expensive to buy and run, so it’s not an ideal second-hand purchase for everyday needs. The sweet spot is therefore that 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol if you can find one; go for an estate for maximum practicality, although the hatchback is a fine car too.

THE NUMBERS

Ford Focus 1.5T EcoBoost Titanium X Hatchback

Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol

Power: 182hp

Maximum speed: 222km/h

0-100km/h: 8.6 seconds

Fuel consumption: 5.9 litres/100km

CO2: 127g/km

GOOD POINTS

 • Sharp chassis

 • Much improved looks with facelift

 • Strong turbocharged engines

BAD POINTS

 • Lacklustre infotainment

 • 1.0-litre models fun but not very frugal

 • Saloon looks ungainly

SUMMARY

The Ford Focus has always been there or thereabouts, challenging for C-segment class honours, ever since it first launched way back in 1998 – and while the Mk3 was a good car from the off in 2011, the 2014 facelift really improved the formula. Loads of good choice on the second-hand market makes this a really impressive used buy.