PRICE Starting money is $25,990 plus on-road costs for Trend grade, an increase of $1600 on the previous model. The VW Golf 110TSI Trendline is $27,490 and Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport is $24,370.
TECH Standard safety spec includes AEB and lane keep assist. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and adaptive cruise are bundled into an optional Driver Assistance Pack, at $1250, on Trend and ST Line.
PERFORMANCE The 1.5-litre turbo triple produces similar numbers to its four-cylinder predecessor but the new eight-speed auto, replacing a six-speeder, gives it stronger acceleration and more refined cruising. Fuel consumption rises slightly and it requires premium.
DRIVING Ford has taken the low-cost rear suspension option. A torsion beam replaces the previous model’s independent set-up, bringing the Focus back to the pack in terms of handling. Stiff springs make the ride a bit too firm for an everyday drive.
DESIGN New ST-Line variant looks pukka sporty. This fourth-generation body is now one of the most spacious in the class. The dash looks like something out of a 10-year-old model.