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Ford Focus: the Ultimate Family Car

November 7, 2013

Here in the UK, we love the Ford Focus. In the first six months of 2013, we bought 54,904 of them, making the Ford Focus the nation’s second favourite car (beaten only by the smaller, cheaper Ford Fiesta). For those with families, the Ford Focus is certainly the top option, but what is it about these cars which has made them so successful year after year?

First Gen:

The Focus was first introduced in Europe in 1998 as a replacement for the successful Ford Escort. Designed to be stylish but spacious, the Focus immediately appealed to the family car market. With 3 and 5 hatchback, 4 door saloon and 5 door estate versions on offer, there were models to suit a variety of different needs. The engines available were on the smaller side, varying between 1.4 and 2.0 litres, but responsive handling made the first generation Focuses as pleasant to drive as they were practical. The new Ford Focus was also notable for its use of innovative multi-link rear suspension which saved space at the back of the vehicle and contributed to its excellent handling capabilities while ensuring a smooth ride for the whole family.

Second Gen:

The Ford Focus was an instant success and the basic design remained largely unchanged until 2005 when the second generation model hit the streets. One major change was the introduction of a 10% stiffer bodyshell. This was intended to enhance ride comfort, but cost the second generation Focus some of the superior handling seen in its predecessor.

The new Focuses were also slightly longer, wider and taller than the first generation models, making them bigger inside, but this, combined with the new body shell, resulted in a significantly heavier car overall.

Third Gen:

The second generation Ford Focuses lasted until 2010 and the launch of the third generation 2011 Ford Focus with a starting price of £13,995. These new Focuses had some cosmetic changes on the outside, with a new grill and repositioning front and rear lights, but it’s inside that the biggest changes have taken place.

The third generation Focuses have a completely redesigned interior, intended to make the Focus seem more luxurious and sophisticated than with previous versions. Ford now offers the option of significantly more expensive trims with the bigger engined models, as well as updated entertainment systems reflecting the changing expectations of consumers.

The third generation Focus has also undergone various tweaks under the bonnet, making it more reliable, efficient and safer than its predecessors. This is also the first time Ford have produced an all-electric version of the Focus, with the imaginatively named Ford Focus Electric, widening their potential market even further.

Not that the Ford Focus necessarily needs a wider market. Since 2012, Ford claim the Focus has been the best-selling car in the world, although Toyota dispute this, claiming the title for their Corolla brand. Either way, it’s an impressive achievement.

And so, we come up-to-date with the 2014 Ford Focus, on sale now. ‘What’s new?’ you might ask. Honestly? Not all that much. There’s a new Sports Appearance Package for the SE models, which will get you a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear stick, plus the option of a rear spoiler, but that’s basically it. But then, why change anything when you’ve already managed to produce the world’s best family car?


If you want to get your hands on the nation’s favourite family car, but don’t have the money just lying around, you’ll probably need to think about your car financing options. Let the experts at The Car Loan Warehouse help find the money you need for the car you want at a rate you can afford. It’s car finance, without the hassle.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.