Zetec S 1.6 EcoBoost 5-door Hatchback
be able to buy Fords
long-awaited turbocharged Focus
five-door hatch until July 2012;
a sportier-looking Focus
after, you dont
have to wait
the virtually identical
Focus Zetec S looks just as sharp...
CAN BUY A ZETEC S with one of four engines two petrol (123bhp
1.6 and the 'halo' 177bhp turboed 1.6 EcoBoost) and two turbodiesels (113bhp
1.6 TDCi and 160bhp 2.0 TDCi). For the record, the latest technology petrol
engines deliver much improved economy and lower CO2 emissions
and they're cheaper to buy.
Whatever your preferred power, if you want your sporty-looking Focus now rather
then next summer then you should seriously consider the cheaper turbocharged
177bhp 1.6-litre EcoBoost.
Priced at £20,494, this turboed petrol engine drives through a six-speed manual
gearbox to deliver a 138mph top speed along with zero to 62mph acceleration
in 7.9 seconds. Quick enough for most. Officially, the Combined Cycle figure
is 47.1mpg with impressively low given the power and performance
CO2 emissions of 139g/km. You'll pay £115 a year for your road tax and business
users will fork out Benefit-in-Kind tax of 17%.
as quick and as fast (legally) as possible over the busy winding roads around
Goodwood, I saw 36.5mpg; a spell hammering the same car around the Goodwood
racing circuit knocked this back to 28.6mpg the worst mpg figure you're
ever likely to see.
Theres no question
that the new Ford Focus
is the finest handler
in its market sector.
Its beautifully balanced
and very predictable, and
the changes to the
suspension have resulted
in even tighter control
with plenty of grip from
the front wheels during
very fast cornering...
If speed is on your mind, liberal use of the gearbox is needed to keep the engine
spinning in the long-legged fifth and sixth gears. However, the joy of this
unit is its free-revving character: the maximum 177bhp is delivered at 5,700rpm.
At 177lb ft, and available from 1,600 through to 5,000rpm, peak torque looks
good on paper. Overboost from 1,900rpm sees this temporarily increase to 199lb
ft ideal for an extra short boost to whip past slower traffic.
However, the tall gearing does stifle the midrange urge and in this particular
area the 160bhp/250lb ft 2.0-litre TDCi turbodiesel unit is more responsive
and better suited for quickly overtaking 50mph traffic, despite having
a marginally slower 0-62mph acceleration time.
Price-wise, the Zetec S with this 160bhp diesel unit costs £850 more but the
road tax is the same. Miles travelled per gallon are also better than for the
petrol: over the same test route the 2.0 TDCi returned 46.5mpg against its official
So, a horses-for-courses decision. To make choosing harder, both engines are
first rate. While the diesel seems more in tune with our congested roads, the
EcoBoost petrol felt very much at home driven very hard in third and fourth
gears on the Goodwood circuit on the track the engine thrived on its
revs, while the turbocharger provided an ongoing strong, smooth and constant
The exterior body styling kit boasts a unique front spoiler and splitter, lower
sill extensions, sports rear bumper and rear tailgate spoiler and makes the
Hatchback really very attractive. Keen drivers will be pleased to discover that
it's not just good in the looks department it delivers dynamically on
the road, too.
There's no question that the new Ford Focus is the finest handler there is in
its market sector. It's beautifully balanced and very predictable, and the changes
to the suspension have resulted in even tighter control with plenty of grip
from the front wheels during very fast cornering.
helps that the Zetec S gets a lowered sports suspension featuring stiffened
springs and dampers it's now 28% 'stiffer'. This does, of course, firm
up the ride although not so much as to make it uncomfortable; even the bigger
17-inch wheels don't seem to amplify road noise or vibration from poor road
surfaces into the car.
Driven as quick and
as fast (legally)
as possible over the
I saw a first class
a spell hammering the
same car around the
Goodwood racing circuit
knocked this back to
28.6mpg the worst
mpg figure youre ever
likely to see...
Part of a long list of Zetec S added spec are front sports seats and
they provide good support. Other items of S trim equipment over lesser Zetec
models include a Power starter button, upgraded centre console, aluminium-style
sports pedals and LED tail lights.
Other standard-fit items include AirCon, leather-wrapped steering wheel, electrically-operated
and heated door mirrors, heated windscreen, DAB audio system with Bluetooth
voice control and front fog lights.
Options include a Zetec S interior pack (£800) with Inferno Red partial leather,
heated front seats, power-operated driver's seat and electric rear windows.
Other extra-cost equipment includes the technology-laden Driver Assistance Pack
and cruise control with Active Speed Limiter.
For? This is the sportiest Focus currently on offer (at least, until the ST
arrives) and it's fun to drive thanks to good performance and tight and predictable
handling with lots of grip. It's also relatively economical with low tax and
it looks great.
Against? Our only niggle was the tall gearing that dulls midrange engine response
for overtaking pace.
While the new ST version due next summer is a model I'm eagerly awaiting, this
Zetec S with the new 1.6 EcoBoost petrol engine is a good option for those who
just can't wait another six months. David Miles
Focus Zetec S 1.6 EcoBoost 5-door Hatchback | £20,495
Maximum speed: 138mph | 0-62mph: 7.9 seconds | Overall test MPG: 36.5mpg
Power: 177bhp | Torque: 177-199lb ft | CO2 139g/km