A lower stance, more aggressive look, and a shift to all-turbocharged engines are the highlights of the 2016 Ford Focus range. It’s also a lineup that sees the price-leading Ambiente base model deleted, with prices now starting at $23,390.
You’ll be familiar with the prominent front grille on the new Focus: it’s a characteristic of the One Ford design language that we’ve already seen on the Fiesta, Mondeo, and updated Falcon. There’s also more subtle revisions to the bumpers and light graphics to keep things fresh.
The elimination of the fleet-focussed base model means the Focus range moves upmarket inside. All cars receive a large eight-inch touchscreen. It’s a system based on Ford’s SYNC2 technology, and it bundles satellite navigation plus a rear view camera on all models.
The most interesting changes happen under the bonnet. The aspirated two-litre Duratorq engine from the previous Focus has been displaced by a punchy, 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol. The new unit twists out an impressive 132kW of power and 240Nm of torque. The TDCi diesel option has not returned: less than 5% of buyers of the previous car opted for diesel power.
Concerns over the double-clutch automatic gearbox in the old Focus have seen that Powershift unit removed. The six-speed automatic option returns to a torque converter arrangement—the self-shifter is standard on sedan models, and a $1,000 option on the hatchbacks, which are fitted as standard with a six-speed manual.
Efficiency improves over the Duratorq two-litre, with the new turbos returning between 5.8L/100km and 6.4L/100km.
The Trend base models ($23,390-$24,390) feature 16-inch alloys, cruise control, lumbar adjustment, and hill start assist.
Stepping up to the mid-range Sport ($26,490-$27,490) buys larger 17-inch wheels and a sportier suspension tune. The Sport is more distinctive outside, with LED tail lamps and daytime running lights, while inside it features leather on the steering wheel and gearstick, plus a nine-speaker Sony sound system with DAB+ digital radio.
The Titanium ($32,690) continues to compete with the Volkswagen Golf Highline by offering 18-inch wheels, front parking sensors, leather-trimmed sports seats, and more advanced safety technology: the Titanium has blind spot assist, rear cross traffic alert, and autonomous city emergency braking.
Until the high-performance Focus RS arrives later this year, the Focus ST hot hatch remains at the top of the range, priced at $38,990. The ST uses a two-litre turbocharged four-cylinder.
2016 Ford Focus: Australian price
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