Ford Focus Trend Hatchback 2013 Review

Ford Focus Trend Hatchback 2013 Review

There’s a theory that is used to explain why people can sometimes be extremely productive late at night. The fact is that the majority of tasks we have to perform are often mundane and don’t require that much of our brainpower. Consequently we get distracted by pictures of cats on Facebook. As we get more and more tired, our ability to process information diminishes and the tasks that once took up, say, 60% of our brainpower now take up much closer to 100%, and therefore the room for distracting thoughts is less.

ford-focus-trend-hatchback-2013-rqThat’s why I’m writing this article at 2:33am on a Sunday morning after first playing a gig in my band, then going to karaoke for a couple of hours for some post-gig socialising. It’s all about focus, which neatly segues into what this article is about: the Ford Focus Trend Hatchback.

ford-focus-trend-hatchback-2013-front-interiorWhile other guys are out chasing hot girls, I’m in writing about a hot hatch. I haven’t used the expression ‘hot hatch’ recently because I hadn’t felt like I’d been surprised. I’ve driven cars you could classify like that, but I didn’t expect to get into the mid-range Ford Focus and get the same feeling as an older Golf GTi or a sporty Renault Megane. The steering is crisp, the gear changes are sharp, and the engine revs willingly.

Despite the perky two-litre petrol engine, Ford reckons you’ll get 6.6l/100km. I didn’t even try because I was having too much fun keeping the six-speed PowerShift gearbox in Sport mode where it runs up and down the gears with a speed of change that feels a little like VW’s DSG. However, Ford does recommend you quench its thirst with

95 RON fuel, so that’s going to hit you in the wallet a little if you like liberating all 125kW and 202Nm frequently.

ford-focus-trend-hatchback-2013-bootBacking up the engine performance is independent MacPherson strut suspension up front and multi-link control blade suspension with large dampers and an anti-roll bar at the back. These work together to give a tight turn-in and confident mid-corner attitude. The steering is electronically assisted and, while weighty enough at speed, at manoeuvring speeds you can feel the jittery nature which is common in this type of setup. It’s a little light, too, at lower speeds.

ford-focus-trend-hatchback-2013-rear-seats

My entire time with the Focus consisted of five stellar days of blue skies so I didn’t get to drive it in the wet. It seemed to have a large amount of grip – larger than I was prepared to seriously push the limits of – and a neutral balance. It rides on 16-inch alloys with 205/60R16 tyres.

The Focus has a 5-star crash test rating and comes with six airbags, antilock brakes, emergency brake assist, dynamic stability control, adjustable speed limiting device with cruise control, hill launch assist, rear parking sensors and electronic brakeforce distribution. An immobiliser is standard.

If you don’t want to listen to the engine there’s a six-speaker stereo. It’s nothing to write home about, but does the job. You can connect your phone via Bluetooth and there’s voice control.

Five years ago it was notable if a car had automatic lights and wipers; now it’s notable if they don’t. The Ford Focus (along with the Honda Jazz that I picked up right after it) are two that don’t, and for $36,430 I was expecting it to be standard, but you need to go up a model to the Sport which is a significant $6000 more.

The only other beef with the Focus is the woeful rear legroom. There really is a lot less than any car I’ve driven recently.

But, everything else felt very Focused, a bit like my writing is feeling now. I started this article at 2:33am and it’s now 2:56am for the first draft. Sure, it’ll change slightly before I put it live, but I just written 696 words in 23 minutes (it takes me twice that time if I try and do this mid-afternoon). That’s what focus is about. The Ford Focus Trend is similar. The experience doesn’t come with that many fripperies. It’s pared down to its essence and it is doing one thing well: delivering a focused driving experience. I’m now going to focus on getting some sleep.

Price: $36,340

Pros

  • Feels like a hot hatch

Cons

  • Missing some expected features like automatic lights and wipers

Words and photos:

« | »

Let us know what you think

Loading Facebook Comments ...

Road Tests

Silver Sponsors

Car and SUV Team

Richard-Edwards-2016Richard Edwards

Managing editor

linkedinphotoDarren Cottingham

Motoring writer

robertbarry-headRobert Barry

Chief reporter

Ian-Ferguson-6Ian Ferguson

Advertising Consultant

debDeborah Baxter

Operations Manager

RSS Latest News from Autotalk

RSS Latest News from Dieseltalk

Read previous post:
holden-commodore-evoke-2013-fq
Holden Commodore VF Evoke Sportwagon 2013 Review

The weight and thickness of the boot floor gives away that this Commodore can carry a serious amount of kit....

Close