Caroline and the new Ford Focus Active!
Caroline and the new Ford Focus Active!

Caroline drives the new Ford Focus Active!

Ford has expanded the Focus range in Ireland with the arrival of the new Focus Active. Priced from €25,344, the Focus Active aims to bring crossover style to the compact class.

To that end, the Focus has been raised by 13 mm and styling has been tweaked for a more rugged look – grey skid plate front and rear, roof rails, new plastic cladding, dark grille with unique mesh pattern and special alloy wheel designs.

Inside, the Focus Active has unique seat upholstery, new trims and ‘Active’ scuff plates. The Active version also has two new drive modes, perfectly tuned for adventure – ‘Slippery’ and ‘Trail’!

The Ford Focus Active hatchback is crossover inspired
The Ford Focus Active hatchback is crossover inspired

What are my options?

In Ireland the Focus Active is available as a hatchback or estate (from €26,414) and engines include Ford’s acclaimed 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine and 1.5-litre TDCi diesel. My test car was a Ford Focus Active 1.5 TDCi with a 6-speed manual gearbox, priced from €27,353.

Standard equipment includes 17″ 5-spoke two tone painted aluminium wheels, pre-collision assist, electronic parking brake, keyless start, LED daytime running lights, front fog lights with cornering lights, air con, cruise control, radio with 8″ touchscreen display with DAB, Ford SYNC 3 with Voice Control, plus Bluetooth® and USB connectivity, navigation and six speakers.

Visually the the new Focus Active does carry a strong appearance and image thanks to the styling tweaks and slightly raised ride height. However, unfortunately this character hasn’t found its way much into the interior of the car. It’s rather plain inside. Changes are negligible though the Focus has a fine cabin with the latest technology features and seamless integration with smartphones. The car is nicely sized and accommodating, having improved interior space over the previous generation of the Focus.

The interior of the new Ford Focus Active
The interior of the new Ford Focus Active

Driving the new Ford Focus Active

Ford has modified the chassis of the Focus Active with unique springs, dampers, stabiliser bars, and front and rear knuckle geometries, to account for the raised ride height of the vehicle. On the road, the Focus Active still feels like a Focus though it’s not quite as sharp with a less sporty, hunkered down feel through corners. Still it’s athletic and good to drive – comfortable and smooth on the motorway, compact and agile around town. The 1.5-litre diesel performs well with 120 hp providing adequate rather than blistering power. Over a week of driving my fuel consumption averaged at an economical 5.1 l/100km.

Ford has also added a little more capability for adventurous souls. In addition to the Normal, Sport and Eco Selectable Drive Modes equipped as standard on all Focus models, the Focus Active now introduces Slippery mode, which adjusts ESC and traction control settings for increased confidence on surfaces with reduced grip such as mud, snow and ice. There’s also a new Trail mode, which helps maintain momentum on soft surfaces such as sand.

The Ford Focus range now offers a number of different ‘flavours’, like the classic Titanium, the sporty ST-line and now the outdoorsy Active.

The crossover makeover has worked very well on the new Fiesta Active, with a great presence and spec at good value pricing.

However, for the Focus it has sacrificed a little of its sporty edge in the process. No surprises then that the ST-Line is still my favourite Focus!

The car follows market trends with crossover-inspired styling. In this regard, the Active makeover departs a different look for the Focus that is bound to garner it a few fans.

The Focus Active is available from €25,344
The Focus Active is available from €25,344

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Ford Focus Active 1.5 TDCi
Price:
€27,353 (Range from €23,364)
Engine: 1.5-litre turbo diesel
Power: 
120 hp
Torque: 300 Nm
0-100km/h: 
10 seconds
Top speed: 196 km/h
Fuel economy (WLTP):
4.5-4.9 l/100km
CO2 emissions:
93 g/km
Motor tax: 
€180 per year