Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Clever Motoring

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Clever Motoring

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBIN ROBERTS

IT'S one of the biggest selling cars in Britain, but the newest Ford Focus now gives you less ... lower fuel bills and running costs thanks to its ECOnetic technology. Using state-of-the-art electronics to cut off fuel when it's not really needed and recharging the system to reduce the strain of frequent restarting, as well as beefed-up mechanicals to withstand intensive use, the Focus ECOnetic is designed from the outset to maximise economy without a light-footed approach from the driver.

If you take an ordinary Ford Focus and drive it in a deliberate way to extend economy, you may well match or exceed the figure obtained without any direct driver input behind the wheel of the ECOnetic, but it is much easier to let the clever new car do the work. As it is, the Focus ECOnetic is a very easy to drive model with good starting system, reasonable pull and very relaxed cruising ability. The engine is smooth and quiet, the clutch pedal light and the gearchange direct and effortless.

Underfoot, the brakes needed light effort to affect strong and progressive deceleration and the parking brake securely held it on a test slope while the steering had a good turning circle for ease of town use, but I would have liked greater feel on open roads.

The secondary controls were all neatly grouped around the wheel and column. Heating and ventilation is straightforward, works well and has good direction and output.

For families, the Focus has plenty of oddments room in the cabin.

Access for users is good, with wide opening doors and low hip-height to the seats. The boot opens from bumper level, reveals a low sill and is sensibly shaped to take big items. The seats easily fold down to gradually raise the capacity from 385 litres to 1,247 i tres. The comfort and support of the seats is very good for a family car, the front pair have a really useful adjustment range for tall to short drivers, and even in the back, the room is reasonable. …

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