For 2015, the popular and newly restyled Ford Focus sedan range arrives with a new power plant to make it even more attractive. The Ford Focus model is huge seller worldwide and has been gaining a lot of fans in North America thanks to its slick hatchback, sedan variants and the high performance ST version featuring a fiery 252 hp 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine. Ford has not rested on its laurels in this case and now offer a bold new exterior redesign, interior refinements and advanced technology features. There is a purposeful edgy, eager look to the Focus with its restyled front lend and cleaner rear fascia and lights clusters. The interior has also received a makeover with a more modern integrated look and satin finish chrome detailing The big news is the availability of Ford’s tiny 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine to the line up to the join the 2.0 lite four cylinder mill. This tiny turbocharged 123 hp three-cylinder engine is an award-winning engine and has garnered Ford the coveted annual title of “International Engine of the Year” for a consecutive third time. The superbly built and engineered 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine is a wonder in the compact Focus sedan. This is the smallest engine available in the compact segment, but still produces an incredible maximum power output at 160hp at 6,500 rpm and generates peak torque at 146 lb.-ft.
The EcoBoost engine is available only on the Focus sedan with the SE trim, mid-level between the base S and top-end Titanium. The hatchback comes in SE, Titanium and ST trims, The EcoBoost engines come with the six-speed manual, while all others have either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.
Speaking of the SE trim line, This was our test model for the week. The Tectonic silver metallic tester SE (Base priced from $18,849) looked very slick and sporty with nice 17 inch machined finish wheels and full body kit and spoiler. Our 1.0-litre EcoBoost engined loaner also came with a six-speed manual transmission and the $1,600 SE EcoBoost package that also included: an engine block heater, fog lamps, and the full body styling kit, rear spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels. Also added to the spec was a Winter Package ($700) that included heated seats, heated steering wheel, power heated mirrors and all weather floor mats, reverse sensing system ($350) and stainless steel scuff plates ($150). Total options comes to $2,900 boosting the cars tally to $21,749 plus $1565 with destination and delivery charge of $1,565, for a final tally of $23,314.
On the road, the tiny engine has no issues as far as I could detect in powering the Focus along. With six gears, the turbo makes good use of the engines torque. I think the manual transmission is the best choice with this engine as an auto box would sap power and make it sluggish. Natural Resources Canada figures for the car are 8.1L/100 km city and 5.9 L/100 km highway. In comparison, the 2.0-litre Focus S with a manual transmission delivers 10.2/7.3 L/100 km, according to Natural Resources Canada testing.
The Focus is also incredibly well equipped with a rear view camera as standard across the board in the Focus lineup, appearing either on a 4.2-inch screen, which our tester featured, or an eight-inch screen that comes with the optional MyFord Touch. Also amongst the option is Ford’s BLIS system that uses radar beams to identify vehicles entering blind spots at the rear of the car.
This is especially useful for identifying cross traffic when backing out of a parking spot. A lane-keeping system is also available that gives steering wheel vibrations when the vehicle drifts out of the current lane without the turn signal being activated. Active park assist is another driver-assist program offered on the Focus for 2015. All in all, if you value fuel economy and amazing feature packed Fords of late, you can’t go wrong in the Focus Ecoboost. Superbly recommended.
2015 Ford Focus SE Ecoboost Sedan. Base priced from $18,849. Price as tested $23,314.