Appearing in local showrooms in 2002, the first series Focus attracted lots of comment with its cutting edge look. Now there’s an all new second generation, and while it retains some of the original’s design cues its styling is definitely more restrained. Buyers will have a choice between five door hatch and four door sedan, the three door not coming our way this time. Major improvements include a more powerful 2.0litre Duratec engine fitted to all models plus additional standard safety features. Across the board price reductions over the LR series will give buyers some added incentive to check out the newcomer.

“Roomy” is an easy tag to apply to the Focus. Substantially wider and longer than the previous model, there is excellent space front and rear. In fact the car makes you question what is a small car these days? In a practical departure from most new cars the glovebox can take a full size street directory and have room left over. This makes up for the narrow front door pockets and small centre armrest compartment. While there aren’t any rear door pockets, small moulded trays next to the seat look after your knick knacks. Large and heavy, the rear hatch opens quite high, in fact you need to be a bit careful with it. Once open it can require a bit of muscle to get back down. The good thing is it gives great access to the large boot area. Another plus is the 60:40 split rear seat which folds completely flat for big loads, and you can do it without removing the rear head restraints. Great when you’re in a hurry.

For all of its interior space the firm front seats are quite narrow in the cushion, and there’s quite a gap between the seat and door. They’re certainly comfortable enough, especially over longer stints, but offer little in the way of lateral support . Even set at its lowest position the driver’s seat is reasonably high; fortunately there is plenty of headroom for taller people. The steering wheel has a broad range of adjustment for both tilt and reach. A 25mm longer wheelbase translates into excellent rear legroom, and with its wider, taller body, both head and shoulder room aren’t an issue. As usual the rear seat only provides real comfort for two. It’s nicely shaped, a centre armrest making longer trips painless.



Post a Comment