It’s been an excellent December for Ford’s Focus ST. The 250 PS performance machine has beaten its rivals in several comparison road tests published in the last week. Transit Custom’s five-star Euro NCAP safety rating is also big news throughout Europe. Elsewhere, B-MAX continues to generate excellent coverage both in traditional press and online...
Ford’s Focus ST got the better of Opel’s Astra OPC when French magazine L’Auto-Journal pitted the cars against each other. It concluded: “The Focus Ford was the winner of this face-off. More expensive (yet better-equipped) and powerful (but not as good of a performer), the Astra is upstaged by the surprising Focus, which stands out for its enjoyable, effective handling and rare versatility. You may prefer the style of one over the other, but there’s no question that the practical advantage belongs to the Ford, which is available as a sedan or station wagon.”
Spanish magazine Car compared Focus ST with BMW M135i, VW Golf R, Renault Megane RS, Audi RS3 and Opel Astra OPC. The Focus ST was the winner of the comparison with an overall rating of 5 / 5 stars. The rest of the models received 4 / 5 stars. After driving these cars on the track, the testers concluded that the ideal GTI would have the engine of the BMW, the transmission of the Golf, the brakes of the Audi, the image of the Astra, the chassis of the Megane and the price of the Ford. However, if they had to choose just one car, it would be the Focus ST, which was described as an extraordinary car to drive. It was praised for being fun, easy, fast and effective, with an outstanding chassis and an engine sound that makes the driver want to accelerate.
Germany’s Auto, Motor und Sport Online is just one of many publications picking up on Transit Custom’s Euro NCAP crash test results. It reports: “Euro NCAP crash-tested the Renault Trafic, the Citroën Jumpy, the Fiat Scudo, the Hyundai H1, the Peugeot Expert and the Ford Transit Custom. The only offering that received the maximum total of five stars was the Ford. Its passenger protection is decent; only in the knee and thigh area were passengers more vulnerable due to protruding parts. In terms of its safety features, the Transit received a score of 71 percent, which was far more than what its rivals received. The ageing Renault Trafic was awarded only two stars, while the Hyundai H-1, the Citroën Jumpy, the Fiat Scudo, and the Peugeot Expert all received a total of three stars.”
Italy’s Veicolicommerciali24.it also runs the story: “The Ford Transit Custom has set a new record as the first one-ton commercial vehicle to earn a maximum five-star safety rating from the independent vehicle safety organization Euro NCAP. The result also applies to the Tourneo Custom people-mover. The Transit Custom achieved best-in-class marks after the Euro NCAP crash tests, including an overall grade of 77% and scores of 90% for child protection, 84% for adult protection and 71% for safety features. Ford also won the first-ever Euro NCAP Advanced rewards for safety technology in a commercial vehicle. The latest recognition (won for Lane Keeping Alert) brings Ford’s Advanced rewards total to seven.”
France’s La Marseillaise is a big fan of Ford B-MAX. Journalist Laurent Seguin writes: “Why didn’t anybody think of this before? It seems so easy and obvious. Opel took a step in this direction with the Meriva’s reverse-hinged doors, but Ford is the hands-down winner of the invention of the year contest. Judge for yourself: with the side doors open, the fresh-faced B-MAX provides a 1.50m aperture to the cabin! It’s a revolution in the minivan world. Quite simply, it means freedom from the contortions (and irritation) associated with putting a baby into a car seat. Getting out of the rear seat is a piece of cake, even in narrow parking spots. The solution? Two classic front doors, two sliding rear doors and no center pillar. All of the sudden, the Citroen C3 Picasso, Renault Modus, Kia Venga and company are feeling rather sheepish.”