Diesel might be going by a tough time, yet it’s still a good choice for people who shelve adult copiousness of miles. And a new Ford Focus EcoBlue is designed to offer that choice to family automobile customers, rivaling all from a Volkswagen Golf TDI to a Kia Ceed CRDi.
EcoBlue will be a new name to many; it’s Ford’s try to piggy-back a recognition of a EcoBoost tiny petrol engines, that have a repute for being efficient, clever performers. In a Focus’s box EcoBlue means a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel, and it’s being offering in a integrate of states of tune.
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There’s a 94bhp (95PS) chronicle with 300Nm of torque and CO2 emissions as low as 91g/km, and afterwards there’s a 118bhp (120PS) book we’re contrast here, that has a same torque figure and emits as small as 94g/km of CO2. The Focus operation also includes a 2.0 diesel, incidentally; it has 148bhp (150PS) and 370Nm, and emits from 114g/km of CO2, depending on circle size.
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There’s another cause that we have to cruise here, yet – and that’s transmission. Because a new Focus is a initial Ford to be offering with a new eight-speed torque-converter involuntary gearbox – a deputy for a Mk3 Focus’s unloved dual-clutch PowerShift set-up. The section is also offering on a incomparable diesel, and a 123bhp 1.0 and 148bhp 1.5 petrols.
So while we can have your Focus diesel with a six-speed manual, we’re contrast a eight-speed automobile here – thereby sampling dual of a freshest elements in a new package.
There’s no mistaking a fact you’re in an automobile when we stand inside – since there’s not even a stubby automobile rigging selector in place of a unchanging six-speed stick. Instead we get a slim rotary dial positioned during a bottom of a centre console. It might not arise majestically into use as a automobile fires adult – as it does in Jaguar’s identical pattern – yet it does giveaway adult a small some-more space between a front seats. And it’s a doddle to use, too.
You’re not expected to mistake a diesel for a petrol when we press a starter button, either, since a initial signs are that it’s a bit of a grumbler. There’s no forward judder to pronounce of, yet it would be too many to contend that a EcoBlue fires adult with a fibre of a petrol car. Rivals do a improved pursuit of disguising your choice of fuel type.
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Still, as we lift away, things improve. The EcoBlue’s manners urge as it warms up, and it has adequate energy and torque to feel wholly gentle in a automobile of a Focus’s distance and weight. There’s force from reduction than 2,000rpm, in fact, and while we can rev a engine out to 4,500rpm if we so desire, we unequivocally won’t need to go there in normal driving.
The new Focus’s doing has already tender us severely in petrol editions and a good news is that a 1.5 diesel (which gets a easier twist-beam behind cessation instead of a multi-link set-up) is really many cut from a same cloth. There’s a small some-more weight over a nose, yet if a automobile is any reduction manageable to inputs – or any some-more demure to indicate a nose towards a inside of a dilemma – it’s by a smallest of margins.
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Pressing a ‘M’ symbol in a center of a rigging selector allows we to use a steering wheel-mounted paddles to control a car’s shifts. You can make fast progress, in fact, since a diesel’s additional low-down torque allows we to lift copiousness of speed by corners and fast recover it if we do remove momentum.
The gearbox isn’t flawless; it’s disposed to a occasional awkward shift, and notwithstanding Ford’s claims about a ability to adjust to both highway gradients and a driver’s character, it can still leave we tantalisingly brief of a engine’s sweeter rev range. Our impression, after a few hours of pushing in town, motorway and on severe B-roads, is that a seven-speed DSG – as seen in VWs, SEATs, Skodas and Audis – is still ever so somewhat crisper.
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But a incremental gains over a aged PowerShift is considerable; a multiple of a EcoBlue engine and a automobile box allows we to strap a Focus’s glorious float peculiarity to make it a serene, gentle cruiser. You could utterly happily turn a change controller to D, expostulate 600 miles and afterwards get out of a automobile yet giving a tour you’ve only finished too many thought. That would be a revelation matter for many executive saloons, let alone a common family hatchback.
The rest of a package has a same core strengths as you’ll find elsewhere in a new Focus range. The behind cabin accommodation is right adult there with a best in class, with room for a integrate of six-footers and no delivery hovel to provoke a third passenger in a behind seats. The foot is bigger than before, too. At 375 litres it’s a smidgen off a ability of a Golf – and it has a bit of a mouth to lift complicated apparatus over – yet it looks some-more than adequate for many uses.
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Image 5 of 16
Quality puts a Focus in a brew with a category leaders, yet in this area, it can’t utterly land a knockout punch on a Golf. But there’s copiousness of reserve kit, as customary apparatus and on a options list, and Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment complement is a plain messenger in possibly of a dual shade sizes offered.
One final word on a choice of gearbox: a automobile carries a cost reward over a six-speed primer of around £1,400 – and maybe some-more importantly, it also hikes a EcoBlue’s CO2 emissions adult from 94g/km to 111g/km – so it’ll cost reduce and higher-rate BIK taxation payers an additional £21 and £41 per month respectively.
Ford already appears to be personification hardball on monthly total for sell customers, though. Stick down a 10 per cent deposition on a automobile we’ve tested here and you’ll compensate around £375 a month on a three-year, 36,000-mile deal. The admittedly some-more absolute Golf GT TDI 150 automobile will set we behind about £40 per month some-more on identical terms.