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Car reviews - Ford - Focus - range

Overview

Can Ford's second-gen Focus sedan and hatch better its groundbreaking forebear?

15 Jun 2005

IN dynamics and design, the first Focus was a landmark car worldwide but not in Australia, forcing even VW to reassess how to engineer the Golf V. But in Australia it was a case of too little, too late. The previous Focus was down on performance and features compared to the segment leading Corolla, Astra and Mazda3/323, and appeared dated because the Focus first appeared in Europe way back in 1998, predating the KQ Laser it finally replaced locally four long years later. But that was all in the past, as the formidable new LS model proves.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Model release date: 1 June 2005 to 1 May 2007

Previous model

Ford LR Focus

Released: September 2002
Ended: May 2005
Family Tree: Focus

The LR Focus’ weight of expectation after four stellar sales years in Europe and America was immense, particularly after three generations of lame Laser models. And it didn’t disappoint if sharp steering, superb handling and standout styling mattered. But an early engine-power mishap and high initial pricing hurt the Focus’ reception here, and it never really recovered. Five models arrived – CL, LX, Ghia sedan, Zetec and ST170, with the latter two also offering three doors alongside the others’ four or five-door variations. Engines included an 85kW 1.8 and 2.0, a more efficient 96kW 2.0 in the Zetec and the 129kW ST170.

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