Jul 21 2009 Peter Hayward
Focus all-round winner
FORD hard a hard job replacing the much-loved original Focus and although the later model did not have the same cutting edge look, it's a great car to drive and to live with.
It got excellent reviews from most motoring writers, including me, and I still enjoy driving them tremendously.
It's huge fun, with excellent handling and road holding which makes it more sporting than such a family car has a right to be. The ride is also right up there with the best.
There are hundreds of models, so choose your engine size and then try and find the one that suits your pocket.
Petrol engines range up from a 78bhp 1.4 and a 98bhp 1.6 to a 142bhp 2.0-litre Zetec.
The diesels are 88 and 108bhp 1.6s borrowed from Peugeot and a 134bhp 2.0-litre.
The steering is superb in them all and even the 1.4 offers reasonable performance with good economy.
Interior space was improved with this model built from 2005 and the boot is a decent size which can be made larger using the split-folding back seat.
Trim levels start with Studio and go up through LX, Style and Zetec to Ghia. All have electric front windows and central locking, plus front and side airbags.
Ford Focus 1.6 5dr
Price: Pay £4,600 for an '05 05-reg LX, £6,300 for an '06 56-reg Sport or £8,000 for an '07 57-reg Zetec auto
Mechanical: 98bhp, 1,596cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving the front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 118mph
0-62mph: 11.5 seconds
Combined mpg: 42
Insurance group: 6
CO2 emissions: 159g/km
Main rival: VW Golf