Sedans continue to be one of the sought after vehicles in the local automotive industry. A testament to this is the respective car launches by a number of local auto manufacturers. Honda introduced the 10th generation Civic; Hyundai launched the all-new Elantra; while Ford revealed the smarter and more powerful Focus.
With that in mind, Ford Philippines invited us for a test drive event in order to find out what the Focus can offer. As a review, the Focus was launched last November 2015 and it came with a restyled exterior, updated tech, and a new engine.
The 2016 Focus is designed with an aggressive exterior. Up front, it is fitted with a trapezoidal honeycomb grille, sharp-looking headlights, a large bumper, and elongated fog lamps. Turning at the side, the vehicle has a sloping roofline and sits on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels. The rear, on the other hand, is equipped with revamped taillights, a trunk-mounted spoiler, and a redesigned trunk lid.
The interior of the vehicle features a two-tone theme of black and beige along with a three-spoke tilt/telescopic steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, and an 8-inch infotainment system touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC 2. The Focus’ cabin can easily accommodate up to 4 adult occupants with ample rear leg- and head-room.
Under the hood, the Focus is powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost gasoline engine that delivers 180 hp and 240 Nm of torque. It is then mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
The drive kicked off at Ford Balintawak and we were assigned to hop onboard the 2016 Focus Titanium+, the four-door sedan version of the vehicle. The drive’s first location was in the ancestral home of Benigno Aquino in Concepcion, Tarlac. As we made our way to EDSA and onto the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), the Focus’ EcoBoost engine delivered decent power. It shifts smoothly between 2000 and 2500 rpm, which allows the Focus to do swift overtaking. The Focus also comes with a cruise control feature, a system that allows the car to maintain a steady and constant speed. This gives the driver a more relaxed highway driving experience. In terms of fuel economy, the Focus registered 16 km/l while driving at 100 km/h on the highway.
Then, the group prepared for the second part of the drive en route to Abe’s Farm in Magalang, Pampanga. During this part, we were able to drive the Focus onto the provincial streets of Tarlac and Pampanga. Ford’s challenger in the sedan segment has a light steering and handling feel which is beneficial when you’re driving through tight streets. Moreover, engine response was on point and it shifts at 1500 rpm with relatively minimum lag. In terms of ride, the Focus’ suspension leans towards the firm side, but the overall comfort is not compromised as it can absorb uneven road surface.
Aside from the Focus’ driving dynamics, it also has a number of tech features that would justify its P1,278,000 price tag. In case you’re wondering, it has an Active Park Assist, a system that helps the driver when parking. Of note, it can do both parallel and perpendicular parking. When engaged, the system finds a suitable parking space. Once it has detected a parking space, a notification will appear on the 8-inch infotainment screen. Then, the Active Park Assist will steer by its own and park your vehicle automatically. In other words, the system takes control of the car’s steering to guide the vehicle into the space while the driver controls the shifting, braking, and acceleration.
It is also equipped with Active City Stop, a system that can help mitigate low-speed front-end collisions. Through a windshield-mounted sensor, the Active City Stop pre-charges the brakes if the car is approaching a vehicle in front. It actively reduces the Focus’ speed at speeds of up to 50 km/h. With this, urban driving can be safer. For more information about the 2016 Focus’ smart technology read our article entitled, what’s in the Ford Focus that other cars don’t have?
Overall, the 2016 Ford Focus Titanium+ is a vehicle that could very well pose a challenge in the local sedan segment. With its restyled exterior, updated tech, and new EcoBoost engine, the Focus is ready to take on other vehicles in its class.