The Ford Transit family and new Ford Focus all feature prominently in the press this week.
L’Argus (France) is one of many publications reporting that Transit and Transit Connect won the Arctic Van Test: “The new Ford Transit and Transit Connect were declared the winners of the Arctic Van Test after five days of driving on icy trails and traveling more than 700km in freezing temperatures in northern Finland. Each Ford won the trophy in its respective category. The Transit confronted models from Mercedes, Opel and Volkswagen, while the Transit Connect went up against rivals from Citroen, Renault and Volkswagen. The Arctic Van Test is organized by industry journalists from Germany, Finland, Ireland, Norway, Russia and Sweden.”
“Self-assured and brilliant” is how Vado e Torno (Italy) describes the handling of the new Ford Transit Custom. It adds: “The Ford Transit Custom combines the qualities of a midsize van with low fuel consumption, a modern, elegant design and a generous equipment package.Boasting personality, grit and grace, this model isn’t just the Transit’s younger sibling! The Transit Custom is not about to be relegated to the role of lady-in-waiting to the more famous model in the Blue Oval’s product line. It demands its own role, and certainly not a supporting one, because it has excellent qualities geared towards transportation professionals. In fact, the Transit Custom aims to be a point of reference in its category.”
Solo Furgo (Spain) is a big fan of new Transit: “As soon as you get behind the wheel, you’ll realize that the new Transit borrows elements from high-end passenger cars. This is the sensation transmitted by the equipment, dashboard, controls, material quality and finishes. Ergonomics, comfort and safety were fundamental premises for its design, and Ford demonstrated the model’s reliability through 11 million kilometers of testing in all conditions. The automaker left nothing to chance, designing a high-strength steel body and installing advanced safety systems.”
Germany’s Deutsche-Handwerks-Zeitung.de is similarly impressed: “It is visually appealing - and it boasts good drivability as well: Both the rear-wheel-drive and the front-wheel-drive versions of Ford’s panel van proved to be astonishingly agile and comfortable during our first test. The six-speed transmission is accurate and easy to shift and the gear ratio is optimized for a driving style that requires plenty of pulling power. But the van also runs smoothly at low revs. What’s remarkable is that very little noise makes its way into the interior. The Transit’s ride is smooth and its body roll behaviour is exemplary.”
“High-tech and frugal” is La Mia Auto’s verdict on new Focus. The Italian publication reports: “The Blue Oval’s compact car adopts the style introduced by the Fiesta and Mondeo, featuring a trapezoidal grille, slimmer headlights and ribbing on the hood. Ford also refreshed the interior, which has improved soundproofing and the SYNC 2 infotainment system with voice control and an eight-inch touch-screen. The revised engine series has received the new 1.5-liter Euro 6 diesel (in 95PS and 120PS versions), while the three-cylinder, 1.0-liter engine comes in two versions. One has CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km, and the other is more powerful, delivering 125PS.”
Ansa.it (Italy) reports that Ford will launch a diesel-powered Focus ST this summer: “It promises to make life difficult for the Volkswagen Golf GTD. In fact, the Focus ST diesel should be more powerful than its German rival, delivering 184.9PS opposite the Golf’s 183.5PS, whereas both cars should have 380Nm of torque…The Focus ST diesel will have the same suspension and software as the gasoline-powered ST and a revised steering system.”
And finally, L’Hebdo Bourseplus (France) draws this comparison between the Focus and the Ford Model T: “The third-generation Ford Focus is a global success. It’s particularly popular in China and the United States, where it holds a wide lead over the Golf, Cruze and Corolla. In Europe, where the Golf is under attack by the 308, the Focus 3’s facelift won’t help matters for Volkswagen. The Focus is sold in 140 markets and assembled in eight factories worldwide. It’s the new Ford Model T.”