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Should Ford have gone further?

Created on 13/12/2015 @ 11:03
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Test Report by Graham Breeze

The new Ford Focus Zetec S Black or Red Edition is a dazzling newcomer with a choice of colour and styling – but why hasn’t Ford gone further down the personalisation road?

Many manufacturers have spotted the current trend with buyers keen to add as many personal tastes, particularly colours, but Ford has decided to restrict choice to either black or red.

The results are great with a choice of striking two-tone paint schemes and a styling kit with sports bumpers, side skirts and rear spoiler, as well as 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels. But should they have offered a wider choice of colours, only time wil tell.

Painted either Race Red with black roof or Panther Black with red roof, both models feature contrasting colours for the mirrors, and the Black Edition tested also features contrasting front bumper detail and grille surround. Red painted brake callipers are also a winning feature for me.

It’s the same inside too where the contrasting theme continues with a black painted centre stack; black leather sports steering wheel and gear lever gaiter with red stitching; black leather handbrake lever and gaiter with red stitching; black floor mats with red stitching; and charcoal black sport seats with contrasting red stitching.

Of course the new Focus models are following closely on the heels of the Fiesta Zetec Red and Back Editions which have proved popular enough for Ford bosses who clearly think limiting choice to the two offerings is enough.

And unlike the Fiesta where power units are restricted to 1.0 litre the Focus comes with a choice of 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 litre engines.

The 1.5 Ecoboost S Black Edition on test certainly looked the part standing on 17” alloys and with the upper and lower front grilles in attractive black honeycomb design power and there was performance to match.

Through a responsive six speed manual gearbox the 182PS unit produces a top speed of 138mph and there’s 0-62mph in just 8.6 seconds. Fuel figures are also surprisingly good with combined totals of 51.4pg and as much as 61.4mpg on the extra urban cycle.

Focus has always been a class leader when it comes to handling and this model is an equal to anything out there with sports suspension, Electronic Stability Programme, Traction Control and Emergency Assist all combining to ensure you can stay on the road.

There’s plenty of steering and seat adjustment to ensure a comfortable driving position but some of the opposition out there boast better leg room for rear seat passengers. Boot space is fine with just enough room for the golf clubs.

Sports brake pedals and red stitching on the sports-styled seats, handbrake and steering wheel add to the attraction and the fascia is typically Ford with an 8” touchscreen control centre and DAB audio system.

You get privacy glass and power folding door mirrors, Halygon headlamps and LED day running lights and I’m a huge fan of Ford’s quick-clear heated front screens, why aren’t they standard on every car?

On the safety side Ford is leaving nothing to chance with all-round airbags, keyless start, hill-start assist and Thatcham category 1 alarm.

Ford has been carefully pricing its fleet in recent years ad this model is very competitive at £22,520, though Sat Nav and parking sensors pushed the price of the test car up to £22,995.

There’s a growing market out there for the colour co-ordinated and this Focus fits the bill. Expect to see plenty on our roads.

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