2017 Ford Focus Ecoboost — Road Test

Posted on Aug 5, 2017 by
2017 Ford Focus
  • Editor Rating

  • Rated 3.5 stars
  • Very Good
AEDAED75,000
  • 5/5 Avg. User Rating

  • Rated 5 stars
  • 1 Review

  • 2017
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: August 6, 2017

Review Summary:

A relatively pricey option in the segment, but the 2017 Ford Focus Ecoboost does boast one of the best engines and dynamics in its class.

Pros

Great engine, good balance of comfort and driving dynamics, better to drive than most rivals.

Cons

Most rivals are cheaper and better equipped.

At AED75,000 this is the cheapest Focus you can buy today and when we say entry level, we really mean that. That said, there are quite a few things to like about it

Exterior

For a segment as middling as this, the cars populating it aren’t actually bad looking at all. Think Mazda 3, Kia Cerato hatch, Volkswagen Golf, Nissan Tiida; they’re all easy on the eye. Okay, the Tiida may be a stretch. While our favourite of the lot is the Mazda, which looks nifty in both body styles, the 2017 Ford Focus has an awkward stance in sedan form (it’s also available in and station wagon formats). The sedan’s front is sharply designed, and we like the Aston-aping grille and headlights, but as the eyes progress further towards the back, things become notably less exciting. It’s almost as if the designers lost interest halfway through the process of styling it. The , meanwhile, is a different story. It’s much more resolved design-wise and the one we’d have if the decision was purely based on aesthetics. Second only to the Mazda 3, of course. But that is a subjective call.

Interior

This being the basic Ambiente trim, there isn’t much to do cartwheels about here. It’s got manually-adjustable fabric seats, there is no satellite navigation, or parking sensors, or automatic headlights but, hey, you do get power windows, however only the driver’s side is one-touch. Surprisingly, it does have Ford’s SYNC connectivity option. So you can make hands-free phone calls and stream music via Bluetooth. The AC, although manual, is very effective and cools the interior right down in seconds; even in the searing heat of our summer.

The cabin itself is fairly well built and doesn’t feel unacceptably cheap; the plastics are soft-ish and all the knobs and buttons sturdy. It’s relatively spacious, too. However, plonk a six-footer in the front seat and the rear passenger will need to put their legs around their ears. Oh, and the driver gets controls for only the front windows.

The seats themselves meanwhile are reasonably comfortable, but offer little in terms of lateral support. But then again you’re not supposed to drive this car like your trouser has been invaded by a colony of pissed off red ants. Or maybe you should…

2017 ford focus

The cabin is well-kitted in higher spec Titanium version, pictured, but the base version is spartan

Driving

Agreed, driving performance is perhaps the last thing on the mind of someone who’s looking for a practical, affordable family car. However, there is no reason to settle for a listless box of metal that wobbles around and trips over its own feet every time it as much as sees a corner. The Focus actually fares rather well in this area. It’s more composed around bends than any car in this segment has any right to. The steering is chunky, and does not feel disconnected from the front wheels unlike some of its Far Eastern rivals.  It’s definitely heavier in comparison, but never uncomfortably so. It strikes a good balance. The chassis too is fairly composed with a well-judged compromise between ride comfort and handling. Although it is a bit too bouncy over large speed humps.

2017 ford focus

The engine is the headline act though. The 1.5-litre inline four-cylinder Ecoboost unit is turbocharged to deliver 150 horsepower and a meaty 240Nm of torque. Which means in a full throttle standing start the tyres squeal and the steering wheel squirms in your hands as the 240 torques overwhelm the front wheels. The six-speed gearbox is fine, although it drones a little too much in Sport mode (Yes, it has one!), but nothing quite as annoying as the Tiida’s CVT setup.

It’s definitely better to drive than the equivalent Kia, Nissan or Toyota. The Mazda? That’s a different story. The 3 is still the best dynamically in its class.

Oh, and at an observed fuel economy is nowhere near the claimed 6.2 litres / 100km.

Practicality

The carrying capacity naturally depends on the body style; it’s 421-, 316- and 476 litres in sedan, hatch and station wagon styles with a compact spare, respectively. The Mazda 3 hatch however has more luggage space at 364 litres, just behind the Volkswagen Golf which boasts a relatively larger 380 litres. So it is in not exactly a segment leader in practicality when it comes to the hatchback style, which is the one that looks the best. So there are compromises to be made here.

Verdict

The base 2017 Ford Focus is hit and miss in many respects. It does a lot of things very well but it is exceptional at none. It’s beaten by the Mazda when it comes to driveability, and it loses out to the Kia when it comes to value for money. Overall though, it is still the fairly solid choice. It is more expensive than the said Mazda, which, if driving dynamics are your priority, is one of your two real choices. If you just need a point A to point B car, we recommend you give the Kia a serious consideration.

One Response to 2017 Ford Focus Ecoboost — Road Test

  1. yu Reply

    August 5, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    the editor who write this is brilliant!

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