Ford Focus Review 2022

Ford Focus At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Ford Focus delivers just the right blend of family-friendly comfort, young-at-heart handling, jack-of-all-trades practicality and penny-pinching affordability.

+Cheaper to buy and better equipped than outgoing Focus. Improved ride quality. Larger cabin. 8-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

-No electric or hybrid powertrains. Unusual number of electical and electronic system failures reported.

New prices start from £24,855, brokers can source from £17,950
Insurance Groups are between 13–17
On average it achieves 78% of the official MPG figure

The 2018 Ford Focus has all the attributes that have traditionally made the model one of the UK’s best-selling cars, and has accentuated them even further. Yes, a Skoda Scala is cheaper, and a Volkswagen Golf feels posher. However, no rival is better to drive than the Focus, and the Ford does well enough on all these other points to ensure its popularity. It may be one of the obvious choices in the class, but that’s because it’s one of the best family cars on sale.


Occasionally, Fords get accused of being boring. Ordinary. Common. Humdrum, even. But have you ever stopped to think why that might be?

Could it be because they’re absolutely everywhere? After all, they do say familiarity breeds contempt. However, the reason that Fords are such a common sight on our roads isn’t because they’re boring. It’s because they’re popular. Really popular. And why’s that? Well, it’s because most of them are really good.

Take the Focus. This is one of the UK’s best-selling cars each and every year, meaning it’s also one of the most popular, and it has been for a long time. Is it the most glamorous choice? Nope. Is it the most interesting? Probably not. But is it a good choice? You bet.

Let’s start with the area in which it excels the most, and that’s in the way it drives. This is a car with a level of dynamic polish that many more expensive cars could only dream of.

It changes direction with incredible sharpness thanks to strong grip and tight body control, and the controls - the steering especially - give you lots of information about what’s going on, making you feel part of the action every step of the way. And no, it’s not all about boy-racer handling.

It’s just as much about the feeling of safety the car gives you. Ask any little old lady who owns a Focus, and she’ll tell you that she loves driving it, but she doesn’t really know why. Well, that’s why.

Even more impressively, the Focus manages to combine this handling prowess with a level of ride comfort that’s a match for just about anything else in the class, and that’s not an easy thing to achieve.

Meanwhile, you have a wide range of petrol (named Ecoboost) and diesel (called EcoBlue) engines that give a good mix of power, refinement and economy.

The Focus does a very solid job in other areas, too. The latest version is roomier than ever thanks to increased space in the back, and it’s now among the class leaders on that score. The boot is also very competitive on size, and the cabin comes stocked with a decent amount of standard equipment. Most of the latest infotainment gadgetry is present and correct, along with all the important safety gear.

Granted, there is one area in which it struggles relative to many rivals, and that’s on interior quality. Some of the plastics on show inside the cabin just don’t have the lustre that they do in competitors. Judged in isolation, however, it stops short of feeling cheap overall, and there’s no reason to suspect it won’t be durable.

The Focus isn’t the cheapest family car on sale, either, but it is very competitive on that score, so it does stack up financially. All in all, we can see why the Focus has proved so popular over the years, and that’s because it’s a sound, sensible - not to mention really enjoyable - choice.

Ask Honest John

Ford Focus - how reliable is the PowerShift automatic gearbox?
"How good or bad is the Powershift automatic transmission in comparison to a conventional torque converter transmission?"
We've received a number of complaints about the older Powershift gearboxes fitted before 2017. Most problems can be avoided with a transmission fluid change every four years. I've yet to hear of any major issues with Ford's torque converter 'boxes or the newer versions of Powershift.
Answered by Dan Powell
What is the best automatic car for a £6,000 budget?
"Having just found out my Ford Focus 2013 PowerShift gearbox needs replacing at an extortionate cost, my lovely low mileage car is heading for the scrapyard in the sky. I now have to find another automatic of similar size, or smaller but a lot of oomph, that has a reliable gearbox for between £4,000 to £6,000. What do you recommend? "
Car prices have gone up a lot over the past two years so it might make sense to go a size up in cars – you'll get more for your money that way. Your budget is enough to get a 2010 Honda Accord with less than 100,000 miles on the clock. Honda has an excellent reputation for reliability so I wouldn't be put off by that milages and the Accord's 2.2-litre diesel engine has plenty of punch. Honda Accord review: Another option would be the Toyota Avensis. It also has a 2.2-litre diesel engine and an excellent reputation for reliability, you'll get a car of similar age and mileage to the Honda for the same money. Toyota Avensis review:
Answered by Russell Campbell
What is the average wait time for a new Ford Focus?
"I have just ordered a new Ford Focus Active Auto 155PS Vignale. The dealer has told me to expect delivery for September. This seems a rather long time to me, is he correct ? "
The new car market is still experiencing delays, primarily due to the global semiconductor chip shortage. The average wait time for a Ford Focus is generally around four to five months at present. However, there are some slightly longer lead times depending on the series.
Answered by Sarah Tooze
Ford Focus petrol particulate filter problems - what should I do?
"I purchased a 2018 petrol Ford Focus, changing from a diesel Focus as I had reduced my mileage. Recently, a warning message has appeared telling me that the particulate filter was full. My local Ford dealership have stated that the problem is due to me not using the vehicle enough. This is why I changed from a diesel. Please advise my options and are there newish petrol vehicles that do not have a particulate filter?"
Petrol particulate filters were first introduced in 2016 and have been standard fit since. They work in a similar way to DPFs (capturing particulate matter and burning it off), but petrol filters do not seem as prone to clogging when the car's only used for short journeys. It's worth seeking the opinion of another garage, although it sounds like you may need to replace the filter.
Answered by Russell Campbell
More Questions

What does a Ford Focus cost?

Buy new from £17,950(list price from £23,485)