If you're in the market for a hatch, you’re absolutely spoilt for choice. But, while the market may overflowing with options, many of the potential alternatives are, to be honest, a bit boring. If you're after something with more character, something a little more special with some sporty undertones, you need to take a look at the Ford Focus Sport.
The Focus range had a facelift in 2015, but this Sport edition has taken that nip and tuck another step further with lowered suspension, a subtle body kit and 17-inch alloy wheels. While additions like these had the potential to turn the smart looking Focus into something from Fast and the Furious, Ford’s design team have managed to accentuate its natural good looks and avoid any boy-racer connotations.
The update continues inside with a new dash and fascia treatment, and Ford’s brilliant new Sync 3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Displayed on an 8-inch touch screen display, Sync 3 allows you to not just mirror your iPhone or Android device, but allows you to use many of your phone's apps like Spotify and Pandora and also includes excellent voice-activated satellite navigation, phonebook searching and climate control.
The driver and passenger seats are supportive and comfortable with plenty of adjustment, and the Focus Sport is highly practical up front with large door pockets and a double-depth centre console for storing items under the cup holders.
The rear seats are more than accommodating for a couple of adults, and although three across the back may start to become intimate, for a car this size, the room in the back is excellent. Storage in the boot will easily swallow a couple of large suitcases with 316 litres to play with.
So does the Focus Sport live up to that Sport badge? Yes. To be fair it’s not an all-out focused performance car like it’s ST and RS siblings, but the Sport's 1.5 litre, 132kW and 240Nm turbo engine is a muscular little engine and punches well above its weight. Being a 1.5 litre, it’s very fuel efficient (with a claimed 6.2L/100kms) but being a turbocharged engine means it’s also deceptively quick.
Our test car came with the 6-speed manual gearbox, but a very smooth 6-speed auto is also available, and combined with the lowered more dynamic suspension, direct steering and 17-inch alloy wheels, the Focus Sport more than lives up to its badge claims.
The Focus Sport is a genuinely fun car to drive while still being comfy and smooth over the bumps.
The good news doesn't end there. Ford offers lifetime capped-price servicing and a free loan car when your Focus Sport is being serviced during its three year/100,000km warranty.
There are nearly as many hatchbacks as there are dodgy Tinder profiles and, like Tinder, a few of the options might be a little underwhelming. The Ford Focus Sport is that rare gem. It more than meets up to its expectations. It’s a definite swipe right.
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