A new Ford Focus is the most complete small family car on the market as it is more versatile than a top-of-the-range Swiss army knife
A new Ford Focus is the most complete small family car on the market as it is more versatile than a top-of-the-range Swiss army knife. The current second generation Focus was introduced in 2005 and new models are available as an estate, three/five door hatchback, and curvaceous convertible – although this latter option is not designed for families.The Focus is available with a wide range of engines but the best 'family focused' choice is the 2.0-litre 134bhp diesel. This model is fast enough to drag itself, the kids, and a boot full of toys uphill without fuss - and returns a cost-cutting combined average of 51mpg. Carbon emissions are therefore 144g/km which means twelve months road tax for this specific Focus costs £125. However, families with an instinctive dislike of diesel may prefer the 98bhp 1.6-litre petrol which reaches 62mph in 11.5 seconds and averages 42mpg. As well as its excellent range of engines this family run-around has class leading driving characteristics. This is evident by the well-weighted pin sharp steering, smooth transmissions, and confidence inspiring brakes. The suspension is also firm enough for level cornering yet sufficiently supple to stop the kids wincing every time you hit a pothole. Should the worst happen the Focus protects its occupants with an array of safety features that in 2004 earned it the maximum five Euro NCAP safety stars. The Ford Focus is listed in Motoring.co.uk's new car database with 'buy safe' sellers from £12,995. However, those who appreciate the finer things in life can purchase the highly specified 2.0-litre TDCi Titanium estate for £23,184.