Harbour Bonfield Garage

Ford are on to a winner with the introduction of a 1.0-litre engine for the Focus

26 Apr 2013 07:47

WE all know about downsizing – it nearly qualifies as a national sport in these tough economic times.

 

Ford Focus Zetec S 1.0T EcoBoost 5drFord Focus Zetec S 1.0T EcoBoost 5dr

But isn’t a Ford Focus powered by a tiny 1.0-litre engine going a step too far?

The short answer is no. And the reason is this minute bundle of mechanical effervescence is no normal engine. It delivers the sort of power you would expect from a 1.6-litre unit, but with far better economy than you might anticipate.

What’s more, it has just the three cylinders. It’s called the EcoBoost and has been named engine of the year and, during its first month on forecourts, clocked up 17 per cent of all Focus sales, which is a pretty convincing beginning.

Start up the turbo unit and it immediately sounds different – quieter than all but the most silky six, in fact.

It’s different in physical size, as well, the engine block being about half the size of a tabloid newspaper, and it weighs less than 100kg.

On the move, you will be surprised at the eager response and the sporty engine note. Its qualities are a good match for the established Focus merits of sharp steering and nicely balanced handling – making the family hatch feel like a rounded, well-thought out package rather than an economy measure.

The version I drove was the Zetec S five-door EcoBoost, which pumps out meagre CO2 emissions of 114g/km.

 

Ford Focus Zetec S 1.0T EcoBoost 5drFord Focus Zetec S 1.0T EcoBoost 5dr

 

Although the obvious economy gains – the official combined figure is 56.5mpg – will be a prime attraction to potential buyers, the latest Focus packs much wider benefits in refinement, character and dynamics.

It comes with body-coloured spoiler, air con, body-styling kit and rake/height adjustable steering column.

The statistics tell part of the story – 0-62mph in 11.3 seconds and a top speed of 120mph. Both respectable results but nothing out of the ordinary for an average 1.6-litre family saloon.

They do, however, become pretty outstanding when you discover that 999cc engine under the bonnet.

The current Focus shape has a very usable cabin that has ample room for four and even five at a pinch.

The hatchback boot is family-sized and rear seats fold to boost luggage capacity.

The interior is well-finished with good quality mouldings.

The Focus is probably the best family hatchback on the market and, in EcoBoost form, priced at £19,545, it is even better.

 

Model: Ford Focus Zetec S 1.0T EcoBoost 5dr

Engine: 1.0-litre petrol

Power: 123bhp

Top speed: 120mph

0-62mph: 11.3 seconds

Average mpg: 56.5

CO2 emissions: 114g/km

Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles

Price: £19,545

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Daily Record: 26th Apr 2013 15:11:00

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