Ford Focus Active Review 2024

Ford Focus Active At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The crossover-style Ford Focus Active gives you everything that’s great about the regular Ford Focus with a smoother and more comfortable ride, thanks to its raised suspension.

+Lovely smooth ride. Capacious boot in the estate version. User-friendly technology. Great to drive, despite extra ride height.

-Would you rather have an SUV? The hatchback’s boot is quite small. A fair bit of body-roll when cornering.

New prices start from £26,425
Insurance Groups are between 11–18
On average it achieves 77% of the official MPG figure

The Ford Focus Active is a bit of a head-scratcher at first. It’s not immediately obvious what sort of car this actually is. In simple terms, though, it’s a Focus hatchback (or estate) with raised suspension and some tough-looking body cladding to give it a crossover-style vibe. It’s similar in spirit to a Kia XCeed.

Now, you may be wondering exactly what the point of such a car is? The core of the Ford Focus Active’s appeal is greater ride height, which offers a notably smoother ride on Britain’s ruined roads. The seats are also positioned further off the ground than they are in a regular Focus, but lower than in the taller Ford Kuga SUV. This could be really helpful if you have mobility issues.

Otherwise, the Ford Focus Active is pretty much exactly the same as any other Ford Focus, which means it’s one of the best do-everything cars you can buy.

Inside, there is room for four six-foot-tall adults to sit together comfortably, so the average family is very well accommodated. The hatchback’s boot is a bit small for a car this size, though. Indeed, the Ford Focus Active hatchback’s boot is a couple of shopping bags smaller than that of the regular Focus model.      

If you need a bigger boot, there is always the Ford Focus Active estate, however. Its 575-litre luggage space will swallow an enormous amount of stuff.

Travelling in the Ford Focus Active is a great experience. The ride is supple and smooth, the seats are brilliantly comfortable, and it’s nice and quiet. The interior is a pleasant place to be as well. It feels quite upmarket – like it’s built to stand up to family life. There’s plenty of in-car tech, too.

From behind the wheel, you can sense a bit more body-roll in corners than you’ll find in a regular Ford Focus, but the Active remains a very nimble car with light, accurate steering. It’s really engaging, too: you get all the information you need about what the road is like and what the car is doing through the steering wheel and seat.

You can choose from several versions of Ford’s fantastic 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, either with a manual or dual-clutch automatic gearbox. The more powerful options are a better bet; not only are they faster, they’re actually a little more fuel-efficient.

If you do a lot of miles, though, it’s worth checking out the 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel. With a standard-fit automatic gearbox, performance is a bit leisurely, but it can return plenty of miles per gallon, particularly on the motorway.

There are two trim levels to choose from: Ford Focus Active and Ford Focus Active X. Both come with Ford’s latest SYNC 4 infotainment system, which has sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone connectivity, and is brilliantly user-friendly. The top-grade Active X gets some extra gadgets and luxurious Sensico leather-style upholstery.

The Ford Focus Active may appear like an odd prospect – not quite a regular car and not quite an SUV. But it combines many of the best bits of both, for a vehicle with quite a compelling appeal of its own.  

Ask Honest John

Can I use E5 or E10 petrol in my Ford Focus?

"I have a 2020 Ford Focus Active X 1.0 EcoBoost 125. Can you advise on the best petrol to use in this car, please - E5 or E10? "
Your 2020 Ford Focus will be perfectly fine using either E5 or E10 petrol - it has been designed to cope with the increased ethanol content of E10. The occasional tank of E5 may benefit performance and economy slightly, plus help reduce carbon build up inside the fuel system.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

Ford has suddenly stopped selling the 1.5-litre Focus I ordered. Is the replacement 1.0-litre engine any good?

"I ordered a Ford Focus Active X 1.5 Ecoboost prior to the Covid crisis. Ford have now informed the dealer that the specification will be changed to a 1.0 mild hybrid ecoboost without explanation. The dealer hasn't been very helpful, suggesting that the 1.5 Ecoboost is no longer available. Any ideas what might be going on here? Also, is the mild hybrid drivetrain any good in the Focus?"
There are lots of strange things happening at the moment, with manufacturers seemingly dropping engines at random in order to meet upcoming CO2 emission targets. That's probably what's happened here. We'd be frustrated with your dealer's laissez-faire attitude but, if Ford's no longer producing the car you want with that engine, there's not much they can do. If you really want a 1.5, there are some pre-registered examples currently advertised with Ford dealers - put pressure on your dealer to source you one, or cancel your order and pick up the phone yourself. Most will be happy to deliver. That said, the 1.0-litre's an excellent little engine. We've tried it with mild-hybrid tech in the new Puma and it punches well above its weight.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Ford Focus Active cost?