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Old 09-10-2004, 07:50   #1 (permalink)
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cool First Road Test of the new Focus

Well here it is, the first real road test of the new focus

This review is written by Ken Gibson for The Sun:



You will have your own views on the ďsame againĒ styling of the new Ford Focus Ė but from a driving point of view itís right on the button.
Last week we unveiled the first pictures of the latest version of Britainís best-selling car.

This week we have an exclusive first drive of the most important new car of the year.

And I can tell you that this is the most sophisticated and comfortable family hatchback EVER to hit the road.

It feels like being behind the wheel of a junior executive car ó as a driverís car, itís as good as the new BMW 1 series and the Audi A3.

In fact the ride comfort is better than both, while the handling retains the outstanding levels of the current car, which was always top of the class.

Itís equally impressive inside ó perhaps not up to BMW or Audi standards, but definitely on a par with the new Golf and Astra.

But donít take my word for it ó I got current Focus owner Alan Woodhead, who drives 40,000 miles a year, to assess the new model.

His verdict: ďItís a major step up on quality in the interior. Iíve had no complaints with the current car except the quality of the interior trim, but the new car is spot-on.Ē

Alan, of Sleaford, Lincs, was also impressed with the styling of the new model, although he thought it looked smaller than the present car.

He said: ďIt looks similar but more classy, and I like the fact that thereís more space in the back seat and the boot.Ē

Critics who claim the new car is not a bold enough departure from the current Focus may have a point.

You do have to look hard to spot the subtle differences.

But put the two cars side by side and you appreciate the changes and how more grown up the new car looks.

It is the same story on the inside, where the new model is a class above in every way.

From the quality of the trim and the plastics to the new layout, it just feels much more upmarket.

In the metal, the new Focus looks even more like the Mondeo from the front, but the rear has the biggest change, with its dramatic sloping coupť roofline.

What buyers liked very much about the first Focus was its superb handling ó it was an outstanding driverís car.

Ford have retained all the sharpness of the handling and the precise steering, but have added an even more comfortable ride that is perfect for both long journeys or town driving.

The new six-speed gearbox is as smooth as silk and adds to the driving pleasure, while the two-litre turbo diesel I tested confirmed how far diesels have progressed.

Ford expect the diesel engines to form a big part of the new carís sales.

Although it still has the telltale diesel noises at lower speeds, the quicker you go the more refined the engine becomes and with more than 55mpg it is light on the wallet.

There is also a lively new 1.6-lite petrol engine that offers better performance and fuel economy, as well as a full line-up of engines to suit every budget.

I was taken by the big sloping new windscreen that gives great visibility, and despite the sloping rear screen there is actually better rear vision than in the present car.

But what impressed me most was how relaxing the new Focus is to drive. It really does feel like a far more expensive car.

As for pricing, Ford have been ultra-competitive, with the entry-level 1.4-litre Studio at £10,895 ó thatís £250 cheaper than the current equivalent model.

The new car sales for August show the current Focus is top yet again.

Having driven the new car Iím confident that Ford have got all the ingredients to retain the top spot when it hits showrooms in January.




And to round it all off, this is what all the new brochures etc will be using as the focus logo



Cheers

Chris
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Old 09-10-2004, 08:22   #2 (permalink)
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Re: First Road Test of the new Focus

Typical i go out and buy a Brand new Car... and they bring out a new better CHEAPER MODEL!!! But on second thoughts it will prob take them 5 years to bring it out here!!! :)
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Old 09-10-2004, 17:38   #3 (permalink)
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Re: First Road Test of the new Focus

Nah meant to be here next May :)


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Old 09-11-2004, 23:19   #4 (permalink)
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Re: First Road Test of the new Focus

Nice, good find Chris. Interesting new Logo, I like it!

Regards, Tim!
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