Ford Focus Sport hatch 2014 new car review

Yet another five-door hatch you say to yourself as you saunter towards the test car that’s fully fuelled with petroleum.

Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
Expert Reviewer | Auto Media Group

Yet another five-door hatch you say to yourself as you saunter towards the test car that’s fully fuelled with petroleum.

The good
  • It’s a good package and value for money
  • Convenience of five-doors and ample interior space
  • It’s a Ford and with that practical and everyday
The not-so-good
  • The dashboard operation may be a challenge

Inside and out

The bronze metallic effect of the paintwork enhances the shape and form of the Focus Sport. The colour is officially called Lunar Sky which is available along with Lunar Black, Midnight Sky, Winning Blue, Frozen White and Candy Red covering most bases and tastes.

Short of the excessive rear roof spoiler and a rather out of place letter “S” on the tailgate, you could be looking at one of an endless stream of anonymous tin boxes with colour added. There are hundreds of these to be found in the supermarket car park, and you really do need that remote key to work out which one is yours.

That’s until you take this car seriously because the letter S is the start of many words that can describe this more-than-just-another five-door jam jar.

Slide into the sporty, firm yet comfortable seats, and you will find endless gadgets galore, although in 2014 you really should have the bells and whistles that make a car worthy of ownership. The aircraft-inspired cockpit could compete for the next Eurofighter design, however as the drive time increased the operation of the controls became closer to second nature.

Interestingly the feel of control is solid with the chunkiness of the leather-wrapped steering wheel leaning towards Lamborghini if it weren’t for the masses of buttons and controls festooned around its spokes. Deep set instruments and long dashboards easily con you into thinking you are in something much more serious, but then you turn the ignition key to start the engine and find it’s not a raucous beast but something far more familiar.

On the road

The power pack is the sturdy direction-injection 125kW 2-litre Duratec four-cylinder engine bolted to a smooth six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with more operating options than any driver needs. With D for drive selected and accelerator pedal pressed, the Focus Sport gives a lively reaction and one that many others in the category could only dream of producing.

As with most modern front-wheel-drive cars the handling feels stable and secure although the dead electric power-assisted steering has become par for the course. The high specification Michelin tyres help the package and show that Ford doesn’t fit just by price.

This is an easy car to live with and, after a mix of open road and in traffic, the friendly manner of this Focus is getting applause and returning a reasonable 7.5L/100lm overall.

I also liked the capless fuelling, which means there is no more possibility of losing the fuel cap or fumbling like a fool next time you fill up with petrol at the service station.

Overall

At the mid-range price point, this Focus is a great package if you like to blend into the background, but have fun with it.

Focus really has a competitive range with two models now priced under $30k and the Sport variant as reviewed here is a tad under $35,000. This will have some buyers scratching their heads to whether they save some pennies or reward themselves with cool ride.

The attention to design detail in the Focus is evident when you operate the wipers and they sweep the whole screen giving maximum vision in any condition from mist to a full on winter storm.

This is a good car and very versatile but without the spanking of depreciation that many others experience. Resale should be good as a good Ford readily finds a new owner.

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Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
Expert Reviewer | Auto Media Group

I've been writing about the automotive industry for 16 years, and lead a range of publications through Auto Media Group. I play with my 1984 Toyota MR2 and travel in my downtime.

Opinions are my own and not those of Trade Me.