I have been absent from the forum for a long time. I rarely joined in the conversations but here goes. I previously owned a 1.6tdci mk2 Focus for about 4 years and clocked it up to 130k miles. The engine in this was trouble free but the car itself wasn't perfect. I sold the car to a chap about a year ago and was bombing in a Fiat Doblo van since. I remember the chap who bought the car off me was impressed by the condition of the car inside and out considered it was a 54 reg Focus. I didn't look after the car religiously but I was quite careful with it.
A year later I have found myself in a 1.0 Ecoboost Focus. This is a company car so I could only benefit from a 100ps version of the engine. Prior to me ordering a new Focus I had an extended test drive (4-5 days) in an Astra and a new Focus.
1) Vauxhall Astra 2.0 CDTI : To be honest the car was almost as good as Focus but the engine was a disappointment considered it has 40ps more power than my old Focus. The car also sits low on the ground so it tends to scrape every little bumps and uneven surfaces on British roads. The headroom was also limited so tall people will struggle to get in and out. The ride however I would say was almost as good as the new Focus. This car was important to me as I had a choice, I could either get a new Focus or a new 1.6CDTI engine in an Astra and Astra came very close.
2) After test driven the Astra I took a 1.0 Ecoboost 100ps Focus for a week test drive. I did similar journey from Kent to Devon in this and the Astra so I could do a comparison. While the Focus isn't a rocket fire, the ride in this is a tad better and refined. One thing that set this car off from Astra was the engine. What a sweet engine and a quiet one too. The latest Focus has a low roofline as well but not as low as the Astra. Taller people will still finding it difficult to get in and out. One thing I first noticed when I got into the new Focus is how narrow and small the windows were compared to the mk2. Having done the journey there and back, I pretty much made up my mind. I didn't care much about the badge because both Astra and Focus had similar specs with cruise control, automatic wipers, automatic headlights etc, so they both were comparable. The Focus however had a slight edge over Astra.
Having ordered a Titanium Nav 1.0 Ecoboost, I was given variety of hire cars to drive:
1) VW Polo 1.2 - What a revelation this car was and it actually was really good. The engine has sufficient power and it was fairly easy to drive. The car was very economical too. I don't mind having one of this!
2) Renault Clio 1.2 (new shape) - First impression, looked rubbish and fake touches everywhere. Engine was very underpowered with rubbish built-in sat nav. The huge A-pillar was a big turn off. I had a few near misses in this having not been able to see traffic coming from the right at roundabouts. So it left me long lasting impressions of a Renault, which wasn't good!
3) Peugeot 308 1.6HDI 90ps - A very good car. In my opinion it is better than mk2 1.6TDCI Focus (bar the radio) and the HDI engine was more economical (very economical indeed) as well as it felt more powerful too. The cabin however suffers from the road roar, same as the old Focus were. The radio in this was rubbish as it kept losing signal even over short distance. Other that that, not a bad car.
4) Ford Focus 1.6TDCI Zetec S - Not a good review on this I am afraid. With just over 1000 miles on the clock when I got it, the engine felt tight and wasn't good on fuel. In fact it could never get 400 miles on a full tank of diesel. Something obviously wrong with the engine and it is no where near as powerful as my old 1.6TDCI considered this newer one has a bit more power on paper. So, I was glad when my own car arrived.
Now review of my own car. Having done over 2000 miles on this, I wasn't disappointed. This past week has been a little chilly in the morning. The engine is very quick to warm up so I feel warm almost instantly, the old 1.6 TDCI on the other hand took forever to warm up and that was painful. The 3-pot engine in this makes such a good noise and the 100ps is sufficient to keep up with traffic. It won't win any race nor am I a boy racer. The cabin is quiet, at high speed there is no engine noise whatsoever, the only noise is road roar from the tyres but this isn't a major issue. Other than that I am averaging 42mpg but I am not fussed about this since I was well aware of the mpg issue on this engine prior to getting this car. The built in sat nav is the best I have come across, DAB is however useless but I knew that. In all, it is a very comfortable car to drive and the car soaks in bumps on the roads really well. I also have what they call a moon roof which works well. I would definitely recommend this car and I think it look best in deep impact blue.
I hope this helps anyone who is looking to get a Mk3.