New Ford Focus dominates Europe’s press this week after the car took centre stage on the Ford stand in Geneva.
Honestjohn.co.uk says new Focus offers “welcome improvements” over the current car, adding: “The engine range has been revised with updated 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines. Both are improved versions of the existing 1.6-litre units, but with better economy. The 1.5-litre petrol will be offered with 150PS or 180PS, while the diesel produces 95PS or 120PS
Furthermore the 1.0-litre EcoBoost has been improved, meaning emissions now come in at below 100g/km – previously only diesel versions of the Focus qualified for free VED. This means lower Benefit in Kind for company car drivers who pick the petrol. Ford says it's the first petrol-powered non-hybrid in its class to come in at under 100g/km.”
AutoExpress.co.uk delivers this verdict: “With some changes to the look of the car, as well as upgrades to the in-car technology and interior, this new Ford Focus is ready to rival the latest Volkswagen Golf. It gets a release date of July 2014 and a price likely to be broadly similar to the current Ford Focus, along with familiar trim levels like Edge, Zetec and Titanium. You might recognise the face of the new Ford Focus: it's just like that of the new Fiesta and the next Mondeo (is due in November), with the Aston Martin-like grille taking centre stage on Ford's newest range of models.”
AutoCar.co.uk says new Focus should be the best handling car in its class. “Ford has crafted the most extensive-ever mid-life revamp to a Focus, with four new body panels, a new grille, revised front/rear lamps and a new touchscreen interior. These changes are no small investment — every single one of Ford’s eight global Focus plants will implement them on a car that now claims to be the world’s single biggest-selling nameplate with around 1.1m sales a year globally. More significantly Ford’s famously able chassis engineers were given a free hand to retune the Focus chassis to regain its crown as best handling car in the class.”
Meanwhile, Die Welt (Germany) is impressed by the technologies available in new Focus: “No less than 18 driver assistance systems can be ordered for the new Focus. Among them is a programmable ignition key that aims to protect novice drivers against driving too fast, for instance. It allows the car’s top speed to be set in addition to the sound system’s maximum volume. The sound system doesn’t work at all, in fact, if all of the passengers do not have their seatbelts on. The system, which is called ‘My Key’ is very popular in the United States.
The Focus is a thoroughly practical car. Because it can automatically park perpendicularly, Ford’s engineers put some thought into an everyday problem: When backing out of a parking spot, it is sometimes difficult to see if there is oncoming traffic. With its sensors in the rear, the Ford Focus is now able to warn the driver. That is something that, until now, was available solely for the expensive systems built into the offerings of premium brands such as Mercedes or Audi. But the Focus has plenty of useful features to offer in addition to its electronics. When opening the door, for instance, a plastic protective strip deploys to protect the door edges against scratches. With the doors closed the protection is not visible.”
EFE (Switzerland/Spain) reports: “Ford has announced that it will introduce the new and improved Focus to the Spanish market in October, coinciding with the launch of the next-generation Mondeo, which will be produced at the Almussafes (Valencia) factory.
The new Focus, more of a facelift than a generational change, was introduced to the media at the Geneva Motor Show by Stephen Odell, president of Ford of Europe, and Mark Fields, chief operating officer of Ford Motor Company.
One of the most striking changes is the large grille, which adopts the form seen on other Ford models. But the modifications are not only cosmetic. The Focus has also gained cleaner engines, the SYNC 2 connectivity system and advanced driver assists.”
Elconfidencial.com (Spain) says new Focus is the “compact car of the future”. It adds: “The Focus has always been a benchmark for handling in the compact category. According to the brand’s engineers, it now achieves a better response and grip thanks to increased structural stiffness, a revised suspension and a new electronic stability program. The electric power-assisted steering was recalibrated to offer smoothness while allowing the driver to feel what is happening in the road. Most of all, we are impressed with the new Focus’ technology. It will be the first model in Europe to offer the SYNC 2 connectivity system, which comes with an eight-inch color touch screen and voice control for the navigation, climate control and mobile devices. Other highlights include driver assists like Perpendicular Parking, Cross Traffic Alert, Park-Out Assist, a more advanced version of Active City Stop, Pre-Collision Assist and MyKey.”