Ford Focus Review & Prices
The Ford Focus looks great on the outside and has had a big tech update inside, but it’s not the most practical hatchback you can buy
What's not so good
Find out more about the Ford Focus
Is the Ford Focus a good car?
For more than two decades, the Ford Focus has been one of the go-to names in the family car business, despite small SUVs being more in vogue these days. But if you don’t live out in the wilderness you probably don’t need a 4x4, making the Focus (and other alternatives such as the Volkswagen Golf and Kia Ceed) a sensible alternative.
In fact, buying an SUV is a bit like wearing your hiking gear to do the weekly shop down Tesco, while the Focus is more like comfortable leisure wear – just a bit more stylish.
Ford has given the Focus a minor update for 2022. It’s much the same as it was, but a huge new infotainment screen, some updated engine tech and minor styling tweaks have freshened things up a little.
The changes are subtle but there’s no denying it’s a sleek-looking thing regardless of whether you go for the hatchback or big-boot estate option.
Again, the interior design has been largely left as-is – except for one obvious addition in the form of a 13.2-inch infotainment display. It’s huge – almost too big for how close it is to you, actually – but it brings the cabin bang up to date and uses Ford’s latest software, which gets modern graphics and is slick to use. You also get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
Ford has done it again: the Focus is superb to drive, is now filled with an impressive level of tech and safety kit and offers good space for families
It’s easy to get comfortable, with plenty of adjustability making for a decent driving position, while all but the tallest passengers should have decent leg and headroom. The rear seats are particularly impressive, being more spacious than most alternatives.
There’s less to shout about in the boot, though. At 391 litres it’s about average for the class, being a bit bigger than a Volkswagen Golf and a bit smaller than a Honda Civic. All are swamped by the cavernous Skoda Octavia’s near-600-litre boot. The Focus’s boot has a useful square shape to make the most of the space, so you’ll have no trouble getting the weekly shop away.
Your engine choices are pretty simple as there are just two variations of a 1.0-litre petrol engine on offer, with 125hp and 155hp and a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes. The more powerful engine is the best pick, because it’s just as economical as the lower-powered model, getting up to 55mpg with the manual, while also offering a bit more punch when you need it.
There’s also a 1.5-litre diesel making 115hp, but at the time of writing this is unavailable because of ‘supply constraints’, while the high-performance ST model gets a 280hp 2.3-litre petrol engine.
The Focus’s party trick has long been a better driving experience than you’d ever expect from a family car, and the latest model continues this trend. If you want to make the most of the handling without going full ST, the ST-Line has a sportier suspension set-up that makes it a little more fun without sacrificing too much comfort.
Faux-SUV Active models have a higher, softer suspension for those who occasionally head off the beaten track, and this also makes it the most comfortable for long motorway trips, too. Whichever Focus you get, though, it’s easy to drive around town while remaining refined at higher speeds.
There’s not much to dislike about the Ford Focus. It’s stylish, comfortable and the upgraded infotainment system has brought the cabin up to 2022 standards. The fact it’s decently practical while also being fun to drive helps seal the deal.
It’s a little bit pricey, though, aligned with cars with more badge appeal like the Volkswagen Golf rather than good value prospects such as the Skoda Octavia and Kia Ceed.
If you’re looking for a great deal on a Ford Focus, check out the latest savings available through carwow, or see our array of used Ford Focus models for sale.
How much is the Ford Focus?
The Ford Focus has a RRP range of £26,310 to £32,660. However, with carwow you can save on average £2,594. Prices start at £23,976 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £298. The price of a used Ford Focus on carwow starts at £11,000.
Our 3 most popular versions of the Ford Focus are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.0 EcoBoost Hybrid mHEV 155 ST-Line 5dr Auto||£27,794||Compare offers|
|1.0 EcoBoost ST-Line 5dr||£25,430||Compare offers|
|1.0 EcoBoost Titanium 5dr||£24,666||Compare offers|
The Ford Focus is no longer a bargain, with many of its rivals undercutting it on price. It’s a bit pricier than a Kia Ceed and Skoda Octavia for example, and is on par with the Volkswagen Golf, which has a bit more badge appeal.
Performance and drive comfort
The Ford Focus is comfortable on the motorway and fun in corners, but there is a little wind and road noise
The Ford Focus is a great size for town driving, feeling light and manoeuvrable in traffic. That said, it’s a little stiffer than most in this class, which is a trade-off for being fun in the twisties.
The ST-Line X, with the stiffer suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels, is about as jiggly as this car gets over bumps – but doesn’t verge on being annoying or a deal breaker.
The more powerful petrol engine feels nippy and responsive. Steering is well-weighted, though those who spend most of their time in town might appreciate it if it was a touch lighter at lower speeds.
On the motorway
Spend some time at 70mph and the Focus is impressively refined, perhaps even more so than a Volkswagen Golf. There’s a little wind and road noise but it’s not too intrusive, so you’re left to enjoy the comfortable driving experience.
The seats are supportive and the great driving position means you feel fresh getting out after a long journey.
Cruise control is standard-fit, but it’s slightly disappointing that the pricier X trims don’t include the adaptive system that can control your distance to the car in front. This is included in the £575 Driver Assist Pack instead.
On a twisty road
Although the Focus is comfortable and refined on the motorway, it’s winding countryside roads where it really excels. It is by far the best handling car in its class, particularly in ST-Line guise, where it holds on in corners and does not get unsettled by bumps and crests in the road.
You’ll notice a little more sway and a little less road holding ability in the Active, but even then it’s more fun in the twisties than just about anything else in this class.
Naturally, if handling prowess and punchy performance is your primary concern, you’ll want to step up to the ST hot hatch model. This gets lots of trick technology and mechanical upgrades that make it just as at home on the race track as it is on the school run.
Space and practicality
The Ford Focus is impressively spacious for passengers, particularly those in the back, but the boot could be bigger
From the driver’s seat the Ford Focus is clearly well-thought-out, feeling pretty spacious even for taller drivers, thanks in part to the excellent driving position, while all of the controls fall easily to hand. Although the trim is dark it doesn’t feel claustrophobic up front, with good space to rest your clutch foot on longer stints.
The centre armrest lifts to reveal a deep space for items you perhaps use less often, while a shallow tray can be placed on top to keep smaller items you don’t want to lose. Ahead of this is the cup holder tray, which can hold two bottles of varying sizes thanks to the clever adjustable arms. This can also be covered to keep smaller items out of sight if required.
Beneath the dashboard is a mobile phone tray that should hold even the largest modern smartphones comfortably. This is also where the wireless charging pad is located on high-spec trims. Alongside the usual 12-volt socket sits both USB-A and USB-C slots, meaning all smartphone cables should be covered without the need for adapters.
Space in the back seats
Space in the back seats is pretty good in the Focus. It’ll easily carry a couple of adults in the rear with decent leg and headroom, though if you opt for the panorama roof option taller people might find their hair brushing on the roof.
Carrying three adults is a bit of a squeeze, though it’s more spacious than most alternatives. There’s also a small hump in the middle of the floor which can make foot space a bit tight when someone is sitting in the middle.
The Ford Focus has an average-sized boot at 390 litres, which is a bit bigger than the 380 litres found in a Golf and smaller than the 400 litres found in the Honda Civic. It’s a good, usable space, though there’s no underfloor storage.
Pop the rear seats down and you get 1,350 litres, which again, is on the high side of average. Ford has managed to rejig the layout in the facelift, removing the annoying lip that appeared in older models when the seats were folded. This creates a flat floor and makes it easier to push items in.
Interior style, infotainment and accessories
The updated infotainment system is a big improvement for the Focus, but otherwise the cabin has quite a dark and uninspiring design
The Focus has a stylish exterior but the interior is less flashy. It’s smart, if a little dark and subdued, with plenty of squidgy materials in places you’ll touch and scratchy plastics typically reserved for places you won’t.
The 13.2-inch infotainment display now dominates the cabin, and while it feels a bit close to you considering its size, you quickly adjust. Either way, it’s a massive upgrade on the 8.0-inch system in pre-update cars, while the new Sync 4 software has clean, modern graphics and is easy to use.
Standard cars get analogue instruments with a small display between them, while X cars get a fully digital instrument display. These high-spec cars also get wireless phone charging, which is particularly useful considering you get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
MPG, emissions and tax
One of the upgrades for the facelifted Focus was the addition of mild-hybrid technology on engines with automatic gearboxes, which is designed to help a little with fuel economy. As such, the manual version of the 125hp petrol gets no electrical assistance, giving it the same 55mpg fuel economy figure as the 155hp manual (which does get mild hybrid assistance). As for automatics, the 125hp engine gets up to 53mpg and the 155hp can hit 54mpg.
The manual 155 has the lowest CO2 emissions, with up to 134g/km, while the automatic 125 has the highest, at up to 149g/km.
When the diesel engine goes back on sale, official figures suggest it can hit up to 64mpg with CO2 emissions of 139g/km.
Safety and security
When the Ford Focus was tested by Euro NCAP it received the full five stars, scoring particularly well for its occupant protection.
Standard driver assistance technology includes front and rear parking sensors, lane-keeping assist and a pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian/cyclist protection.
Extra kit is included in option packs, such as a reversing camera, a blind spot indicator, a head-up display, traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control.
Reliability and problems
Ford generally has a pretty good reputation for reliability, but pre-update models, which were on sale between 2018 and 2021, faced a lot of recalls. These included various issues including a problem with the brake pedal, an oil separator in the engine, and the rear doors opening when the window was lowered.
The facelift hasn’t been on sale long enough to know whether it will be plagued with recalls like the car it replaces, but it’s worth checking the government’s online recall checker before buying.
As standard the Ford Focus comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, but you can buy an extended warranty for four years/80,000 miles or five years/100,000 miles.
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.