5-litre petrol and diesel engines. The best part though, is that this car still remains as rewarding to drive as it’s always been. The Focus might have grown up but it certainly hasn't lost its spark.
So, what’s it like? More responsive than any other family hatchback you’ll have driven is the answer. As with Ford’s larger Mondeo, this is one of those cars you get into and drive that feels just right, even in the first 100 yards.
On this updated model, the chassis has been strengthened to make the car stiffer and aid refinement. The dampers get more advanced valves that bring a slightly softer ride. And there are tweaks to the suspension to reduce unwanted wheel movement under load.
I’m trying Ford’s clever three cylinder 1. 0T EcoBoost petrol unit, today in 100PS guise, this the most popular choice across the range for private Focus buyers. You can see why, this combination offering the promise of sprightly performance and diesel economy
It's only when you put this improved Focus next to the original third generation version that you realise just how much more expensive this model looks. Ford’s objective was to take this car closer to its arch-rival Volkswagen’s Golf in terms of visual sophistication and make switching into a Focus a little easier for those afflicted with any degree of badge snobbery. The most obvious change is the addition of this Aston Martin-style trapezoidal front grille, there to give the front end a more distinctive look also emphasised by subtle chrome detailing and these slimmer, smarter front headlights and re-styled foglamps.
As before, you’re sat in front of a three-spoke leather-trimmed multi-function steering wheel through which you view a pair of deeply recessed blue-lit instrument dials that look good and are easy on the eyes at night.
The addition of extra infotainment screen technology has certainly played its part in helping the designers simplify the control layout, with plusher trim levels getting this smart 8-inch colour touchscreen, the portal for controlling ‘SYNC2’, the latest version of Ford’s award-winning SYNC infotainment system. Through SYNC2, you can control audio, navigation, climate control and ‘phone functions via voice or touchscreen buttons.
This is the world’s best selling global nameplate – with good reason. Has any car had more of an impact on modern era motoring than the Ford Focus? With over 12 million global sales on the board, it’s hard to argue the point. What I like most about it is that despite the drive towards better efficiency, improved safety, greater practicality and beefier build quality, it remains, underneath it all, the rewarding steer it’s always been – an entertainer at heart.
I wonder just how many owners will ever discover that? Perhaps it doesn’t matter. This car after all, no longer depends solely on handling supremacy to justify its position at the top of the sales charts. Smarter and more sensible, it is, more than ever, number one for a reason.