Ford 2015 Focus Titanium EcoBoost review

Ford 2015 Focus Titanium EcoBoost review

The Focus Titanium truly represents the race to ubiquitous premium spec. We’ve crossed the event horizon towards the black hole of ever-increasing technology and complexity up to the point where every day cars will soon be driving themselves. But we’re a little way off that being in your mid-priced family hatchback.


Ford Focus Titanium 2015 frontNew owners will have to steel themselves to get acquainted with the numerous technological features. I’m not one for reading manuals for two reasons: the media has convinced me I’m a bloke and don’t need to and, to be honest, user interfaces these days should be so easy that you shouldn’t need to.

That doesn’t soften the blow of parameter Ford Focus Titanium 2015 sat navfatigue when you get into the menu section.

Fortunately they’re all deftly hidden behind an eight-inch touchscreen, and displayed either on that screen or on a small screen between the speedo and rev counter along with functions like the trip computer.

Usability is generally good except for the navigation (I’ll get to that in a minute). You can set up your phone for Bluetooth audio streaming, and there are AUX and SD card Ford Focus Titanium 2015 dashboardslots. Overall, the dashboard is much better and classier than the outgoing model.

Whatever Ford has done with technology to enhance the driving experience has made the Focus a thoroughly engaging ride. It feels similar to a Fiesta.

You can, at times, tell there are a million transistors helping out in the corners, warning you to brake if a vehicle slows suddenly in front, and keeping you in the Ford Focus Titanium 2015 front interiorlane but even in spirited driving these are for the most part unobtrusive and the Ford is as nice to cruise around town, or head out to a remote beach on a gravel road.

A 1.5-litre petrol turbo engine provides 132kW and 240Nm, driven through a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The amount of power is enough for general driving and having some fun; try the ST version if you need more. The gearbox provided occasionally shuddery shifts into first gear from either reverse or neutral.

Ford Focus Titanium 2015 ecoboost badgeFord quotes the fuel economy as 6.9l/100km; my leaden foot meant mine was in the mid-9s, and unfortunately the Focus takes premium gas.

It achieved a EuroNCAP 5-star crash test rating and comes with driver drowsiness detection, hill launch assist, trailer stability control (you can tow up to 1100kg, but how many people would buy a Focus Titanium for towing?!), emergency brake assist, ABS, traction control, electronic brakeforce distribution, electronic stability program and six airbags.

Driver assistance features abound with active city stop (automated braking to help prevent fender-bender crashes), a parking assistant for both parallel and perpendicular parking, adaptive cruise control, and blind spot monitoring.

There is also rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist (helps steer you back into the lane), parking sensors all around, and a reversing camera.

You would have to be particularly inept to cause a crash in the Focus.

The Focus has a roof line that is shorter than it looks because of the top spoiler.

From the side, the rear part of the car looks a little untidy with the rear light wrapping over the top of the fuel filler cap and causing a clash of lines with the rear quarterlight. But from every other angle it looks pretty sweet.

Ford has chosen the right tyre and wheel combination for this car with some 18-inch alloys wrapped in 235/40R18 rubber. This width means plenty of grip in the corners.

The Daytime running lights are nicely integrated either side of the chrome-ringed grille like luminescent eyelashes on the headlights.

There are some minor problems with the Focus. If you have tall children, the rear of the car is not going to be fun on long journeys for them unless you are a short driver, and the boot space is not class-leading at 316 litres with the rear seats up.

The navigation is horrible; use your cellphone in a cradle and you will avoid this abomination of clumsy address entry. I used it twice, and both episodes were frustrating.

The first time I tested it I asked it to go to Riverhead and it directed me completely the wrong way so I ignored it, and the second time I wanted to go to Muriwai, but I couldn’t enter ‘Muriwai’ into the navigation because it only accepts street names and numbers, so I resorted to Google Maps on my phone.

The nav system also has traffic alerts which meant that in Auckland I was getting constant notifications that the average speed on the motorway was less than 40kph or 30kph. I couldn’t figure out how to turn it off.

We get to drive a huge number of different cars; in a way we are spoiled. Perhaps 90% of the time I give a car back having not been convinced it’s particularly special, or not being able to see myself owning one.

My evaluation for this is always one of price vs image vs practicality. Despite the little foibles mentioned above the Focus Titanium is one of the 10%: I actually could be quite happy owning one of these if only I could find someone else to read the manual.

Price: Range starts at $35,340, Titanium price is $46,840 and the hotter ST is $52,840

Pros

  • Engaging driving dynamics
  • Equipment levels only usually seen in premium vehicles

Cons

  • Awkward navigation – buy a cradle and use your phone instead, or commit to reading the instruction manual in-depth
  • Rear seat and boot space is not class-leading
  • Premium fuel required and this ain’t a sports car


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