Ford Focus Review

Ford Focus Rear Side (2012)

Ford Focus Review

Ford Focus ReviewFord Focus Road Test

Body roll is minimal and the enhanced handling has not been achieved at the expense of ride harshness

Ride and Handling

Behind the wheel is where you are most aware that this is a rather special Focus. The Zetec S has been tuned by Ford’s engineers to optimise its ride and handling, and increase the car’s appeal to drivers looking for something a bit beyond the normal offering. The ride height is the same as other Focus models, but the spring and damper settings are 25 per cent firmer.

This is the best-handling Focus, with suspensions tweaks that enhance its taut clinginess on the bends and make it even more engaging to drive than standard versions. Body roll is minimal and the enhanced handling has not been achieved at the expense of ride harshness. On a lengthy drive on twisty B-roads across rural Hampshire the Focus Zetec S hung on to the corners and sopped up the bumps and undulations with reassuring aplomb. It does feel quite firmly sprung but is more compliant and comfortable than you would normally associate with a sporty hatchback.

The steering is quick to respond to inputs on the wheel, and has reasonable feel for an electric rather than hydraulic set-up. The overall feel is of what you might call a “driver’s car”.

Ease of Use

By keeping the Zetec S as a five-door, Ford has ensured that its practicality is intact. Access all round the car is good. Ford’s famed use of an ‘age suit’, designed to let its young engineers experience the creaky stiffness of life for many older drivers and passengers, seems to have paid off comfortably weighted controls and door apertures that do not unduly restrict your movement when getting into and out of the car.

The standard split-fold rear seat lets you vary the ratio between passenger space and luggage room to suit your needs. With the back seats in place, the boot is a reasonable 316 litres, and when the seats are folded it increases to 1,101 litres. The Focus Zetec S makes a good tow-car too. It is capable of hauling 1,500 kg.

Ford Focus ReviewFord Focus Road Test

The information contained within this Ford Focus review may have changed since publication on the 7 February 2012. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Ford dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018