The all-new Ford Focus is lighter, sleeker and more advanced than its predecessor, offering excellent safety and connectivity features, as well as a new range of petrol and diesel engines.
Pricing has already been announced for the UK, where the all-new Focus range (5-door and estate body styles) will start at £17,930, some £2,000 less than the outgoing model. European deliveries are set for September as orders can already be placed.
What about North America?
Sales in the U.S. will start in the second half of 2019, with details on available body-styles and powertrains to be announced closer to the launch date, though don’t expect to see the wagon come over here.
A clean sheet design
Ford is calling the 2019 Focus their most “accomplished and technically-competent Focus ever”, with the car boasting a new human-centric design philosophy meant to unite exterior styling with class-leading aerodynamics and a more spacious and well-built interior.
“We wanted our all-new Focus to be a product customers fall in love with, and stay in love with,” said Ford Europe design director, Amko Leenarts. “Inside and out, our new design philosophy is about creating memorable moments of interaction that build and maintain the relationship between human being and machine.”
By extending the wheelbase a full 53 mm (2.08 inches), designers managed to position the wheels higher up into the sheet metal, thus reducing the perception of overall length and mass. Add the short overhangs and rearward cabin position and you end up with a dynamic-looking hatchback, one that is said to deliver “class-leading aerodynamic efficiency”. As for styling, even though Ford went with a recognizable front fascia, the rest of the car looks significantly different than the outgoing model, regardless of version.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Speaking of versions, right now the all-new Focus can be ordered as a Vignale, ST-Line, Active and Titanium, in either 5-door or Estate form. The Vignale was given elegant ornamentation such as the satin aluminum finishes for the roof rails, fascia and rocker inserts, as well as a signature grille mesh. The ST-Line on the other hand looks more aggressive with its large diffuser and functional roof spoiler – it also comes with signature lower wing elements.
Customers will be able to order their new Focus in one of 13 exterior colors, including Orange Glow, Desert Island Blue and the Vignale-exclusive four-coat dark Mulberry.
Moving on to the interior, this is where passengers should notice the less cluttered design, giving way to a more calming atmosphere, or at least that’s what the automaker would have us think.
Visually though, the entire dashboard looks more straight forward than before, which in turn should make the cabin feel more spacious. There are soft touch materials on the upper instrument panel and doors, while polished glass and brushed finishes can be found on the door trims and air vent registers.
“Those ‘busy’ areas where different structures and materials meet within a space are gone,” added Leenarts. “Instead, materials are specifically chosen to better blend and complement each other, emphasizing the improved craftsmanship and quality.”
Safer than the average Ford
The all-new Focus features a wide range of advanced technologies, among them Level 2 automation and several systems meant to make driving the car a more comfortable and less demanding experience.
For example, Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies enhance safety, driving and parking, while ACC with Stop & Go, Speed Sign Recognition and Lane-Centring will make long journeys less stressful. The ACC works at speeds of up to 200 km/h (125 mph).
Then there’s the Adaptive Front Lighting System with Predictive curve light and Sign-based light. This tech pre-adjusts headlight patterns for maximum visibility before reaching a curve, intersection or roundabout. The new Focus is also the first Ford vehicle in Europe to feature a Head-up display (HUD). The automaker says their HUD is among the brightest available, adjustable in 16 increments up to 10,000 candela per meter squared.
As for the rest of the car’s active safety features, here’s a quick rundown of what’s going to keep you safe: Active Park Assist 2, Park-out Assist, Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Evasive Steering Assist, Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, Rear wide-view camera, Wrong Way Alert, Ford MyKey and Post-Collision Braking. Ford expects the all-new Focus to earn a 5-star safety rating during crash tests. They’re basing their expectations, in part, on the 40% increase in front crash load capability coming from the new C2 platform.
The infotainment system
On the connectivity front, the 2019 Focus introduces FordPass Connect for European customers, thus turning the car into a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, as passengers can connect up to 10 devices. By using the FordPass mobile app, you then get Vehicle Locator, Vehicle Status, Door Lock Unlock, Remote Start (for models equipped with the 8-speed auto) and eCall functionality.
If you just want to relax, know that Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system (with its 8″ touchscreen) supports wireless charging and is compatible with both Apple CarPlay as well as Android Auto. Then there’s the new B&O PLAY sound system, boasting 675 watts, 10 speakers, a 140 mm (5.5 in) boot-mounted subwoofer and a mid-range speaker in the center of the dashboard.
Thanks to the car’s increased dimensions, front seat occupants can enjoy 1,421 mm’s (55.9 in) worth of shoulder room, while knee clearance in the rear is improved by more than 50 mm (1.96 in), offering a best-in-class 81 mm (3.18 in). As for the Estate model, the load height in the boot has been increased by 43 mm (1.69 in), while overall capacity is 1,650 liters (58.26 cu.ft). Also, in order to open the boot, all you need to do is perform that kicking motion underneath the bumper.
A range of new and efficient petrol and diesel options
Future Focus owners can choose between Ford EcoBoost petrol and EcoBlue diesel engines, said to meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards. They can be mated either to six-speed manual transmissions or a new eight-speed automatic.
Opt for petrol and you’ll find yourself having to choose between a 1.0-liter EcoBoost (107g/km CO2) or a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost (122 g/km CO2). While the former is offered with 85 PS (83 HP), 100 PS (98 HP) and 125 PS (123 HP), the latter is more punchy at either 150 PS (148 HP) or 182 PS (179 HP).
The diesel options are as follows: new 1.5-liter EcoBlue (91 g/km CO2) with either 95 PS (93 HP) or 120 PS (118 HP) – both offering 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) of torque, and a 2.0-liter EcoBlue (112 g/km CO2) good for 150 PS (148 HP) and 370 Nm (273 lb-ft) of torque.
Ultimately, it’s only the 125 PS 1.0-liter EcoBoost, 150 PS 1.5-liter EcoBoost, 120 PS 1.5-liter EcoBlue and 150 PS 2.0-liter EcoBlue units that can be mated to Ford’s new 8-speed automatic. Everything else will only work with a 6-speed manual.
We’ll have to wait a few months to learn which engines will be on offer in the United States and Canada.
UK Pricing & Specs
Customers in the UK can choose between seven variants from launch. The previously mentioned entry-level price tag of £17,930 is for the Style model, while the Zetec starts from £19,300, ST Line from £21,570, ST-Line X from £24,050, Titanium from £21,550, Titanium X from £22,820 and the Vignale from £25,450.
The Style spec comes standard with 16 inch alloys, air conditioning, DAB digital radio with Bluetooth and Emergency Assist, electronic parking brake, autonomous emergency braking, tire pressure monitoring, Hill Start Assist and Lane-Keeping Aid. Zetec on the other hand adds SYNC3 DAB Radio with a 6.5-inch touchscreen (Apple CarPlay/Android Auto), cruise control with speed limiter, front fog lights and the QuickClear heated windscreen.
With Titanium models you get front and rear parking sensors, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, an 8-inch color touchscreen, sat-nav and FordPass Connect wireless connectivity. Titanium X presents itself with partial leather trim, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, privacy glass and 17-inch alloys.
If you like your hatchbacks looking sporty, then you should aim for either the ST-Line or the ST-Line X. The former offers a unique upper and lower grille, as well as a bespoke rear spoiler and polished twin tailpipes. Inside you get a flat bottom steering wheel, black headlining, aluminum gear knob, alloy finish pedals and red stitching, although if that’s still not sporty enough for you, go for the ST-Line X which adds 18-inch alloys, red brake calipers and some of the Titanium X’s better features.
Finally, the flagship Focus Vignale is the one that boasts unique front grille and body styling, 18-inch wheels, full LED lights (front and rear), leather upholstery, head-up display, rear view camera, heated steering wheel, the 675-watt B&O system (a £350 option on Titanium, Titanium X and ST-Line X) and the exclusive Dark Mulberry body color.
What? There’s a Sedan version too?
Yes indeed. Except that this will be a market-specific model, so it won’t be joining its 5-door and Estate siblings all throughout the world. For starters, it will land in China later this year, where compact sedans still account for 35% of all passenger car sales.
The 2019 Focus Sedan should also make the rounds throughout Europe, especially Eastern Europe, where it’s proven to be quite popular. So while it may not be coming to the UK, we expect to see it in markets such as Hungary or Turkey.
Focus Active: watch out Subaru Crosstrek
Then there’s the Focus Active, with its bespoke front end design, more ground clearance, protective black wheel arch and rocker claddings, plus front and rear skid plates and rocker inserts in contrast silver.