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Car reviews - Ford - Focus - Sport


Ford's impressive Focus Sport is a worthy alternative to the Mazda3 and VW Golf

30 Mar 2016

WHEN the third-generation Ford Focus launched in 2011, it came close to being the best small car around. As they say, though, coming close doesn’t result in having a chomp of Joe Hockey’s cigar.

Burdened by an undersized 1.6-litre engine as its entry point, the step to the 2.0-litre models brought more of a premium than the equivalent Mazda3, which Australians purchased in droves.

In 2012 – the first full year the LW-series Focus was sold – the small Ford recorded 18,586 sales the Mazda tallied 44,128 units. By 2015 a miserly 7112 Focus hatchbacks and sedans were sold, 53 per cent down on the year before and a fraction of the 3’s 38,644 sales.

Context is important, as this facelifted LZ Focus aims to right the few wrongs of the LW-series while offering more compelling pricing to lure in buyers. The middle grade Focus Sport is now $700 cheaper than before, but includes a more efficient and powerful 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic.

The now-entry grade Focus Trend shares this new drivetrain with the Focus Sport tested here, but it fails to deliver the showroom appeal of the model with a red ‘S’ badge on its bootlid. This could be the sweet spot of a facelifted range that is trying to win back buyers.

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Model release date: 1 September 2015

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