DaveT70

MK4 1.5 Ecoblue Titanium Review

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As the title, I thought I'd just give you all an impression of how I'm getting on with my new Focus MK4 1.5 TDCi Ecoblue Diesel Titanium Manual.

Previous model: 2016 MK3.5 Sync 2 Titanium Nav 1.5 TDCi Manual

I have now covered nearly 4,000 miles since purchase in March.

Good Points:

Rear space (but I don't sit in the back😶), my eldest is 6 foot though and he says it's better.

Steering is much improved over MK3.5

Brakes are excellent, probably the best car for brakes I've ever had.

Sync 3, obviously, over Sync 2

Now get keyless entry, power fold mirrors, DRLs, HTD seats and LED rear lights standard over MK3.5 spec.

Seats are much more comfortable than MK3.5

Rear end road noise is much improved over MK3.5

Now for the bad points.

Build quality is nowhere near as good as MK3.5!

Both front door casings creak when you touch them (probably the rears do too) and rattle when playing music

Sound quality is nowhere near as good as on the MK3.5

The clutch pedal creaks every time you push down and lift off (driving me up the wall !!!)

I really don't like the dash board compared to the MK 3.5, can't stand the afterthought touch screen position

Headlamp performance is still poor

The Engine!

If you're going to do a clean sheet redesign of the engine then you would expect it to be an improvement over the version it replaces (wouldn't you?), otherwise why waste £billions of investment on it?

Performance:

In Eco Mode, forget it, flat as flatulence, quite scaringly so.

In normal mode, not much better, loads and loads of lag still though. You have to really work to get it to pull off without stalling.

In sport mode, a bit better, still some lag up to about 1,800 RPM but a lot more responsive after that, but no more, really, than the MK3.5, but it drinks fuel like it's going out of fashion in sport mode.

Fuel economy:

I drive the car in exactly the same style, at the same speeds on the same journeys as the old one.

The old one used to average 56-58 MPG

This one is struggling to break 50 MPG! NOT IMPRESSED.

It's very, very noisy.

It's noisier than my old 1.6 TDCi MK2.5! about as noisy as an old 1.8 TDCi, unbelievable!

The engine BOOMS through the cabin, it's worse in round town driving

Also, it clatters like mad (as if the idler shaft bearings are shot)

So, that's about it, really.

Not very impressed I'm afraid so when it gets to first service time I'm afraid I'll be ditching it.

Sorry Ford but BMW beckons.

My friend at work, who I lift share with, has a BMW X1 120D automatic and that is getting 55MPG which for a 2.0 automatic is pretty damn good and it's faster.

Hope this helps anyone who is thinking of purchasing the 1.5 Ecoblue Diesel

Looking forward to your comments.

  

 

 

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1 hour ago, DaveT70 said:

I really don't like the dash board compared to the MK 3.5, can't stand the afterthought touch screen position

Sorry to see you're so disappointed, Dave.

The touch screen is the thing most people dislike about my Fiesta - I've lost count of the number who've pointed at it and said they don't like the look of that, looks like a cheap tablet stuck on, etc! I'm not a great user of " infotainment" and would normally switch off the screen when not in use to reduce distraction - but if you do that with this system the time is not displayed anywhere. On my last VW group car you could display the time in the otherwise blank screen, as you could on a Hyundai i30N I was test driving recently. 

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To be fair most cars have the sticky up screen these days.  Merc A and C class, and the BMW 1 series.  they all look a bit like an afterthought. 

I don't mind it but I wish it also had a rotary dial that you could use to navigate as well as touch.

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59 minutes ago, Guy Heaton said:

To be fair most cars have the sticky up screen these days.  Merc A and C class, and the BMW 1 series.  they all look a bit like an afterthought. 

I don't mind it but I wish it also had a rotary dial that you could use to navigate as well as touch.

I suspect it's part of modern "elf and safety" on the basis that the higher up the display is mounted, the closer the driver's eyeline is to the road when looking at the display.  I'm not saying I like the look but seeing as many manufacturers are doing something similar on their latest vehicles then there must be a reason why.

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It's good to get a long term, detailed owners review like this, instead of relying on magazine articles that have  only spent a few days with the car. :smile:

I'm not sure you can compare it to a BMW though, they're not in the same price bracket are they?

I'm not surprised about the build quality and noise, that's something we'll all have to get used to for less weight.  But I must admit I'm surprised by the lack of MPG, I don't think I've had any diesel hatch do less than 50mpg in the last 10 years and most have been 1.9/2.0. Although admittedly the 1.6 TDCis I had were only as good on fuel as the bigger engines instead of being any better.  Do you think there's any particular reason for it with the EcoBlue?  It sounds like they may be so lacking in torque you're having to work it hard all that time?

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50 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

I'm not sure you can compare it to a BMW though, they're not in the same price bracket are they?

I would have made that point once, now I'm not so sure. For example, the new petrol Focus ST is £31,995. Looking at the new BMW 1-series due later this year, the M135i is going to be around £36,000 - a lot of cash certainly, but for that you get 306bhp, 4wd, and 8 speed auto. It will be interesting to see how they compare on PCP etc.

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1 hour ago, TomsFocus said:

It's good to get a long term, detailed owners review like this, instead of relying on magazine articles that have  only spent a few days with the car. :smile:

I'm not sure you can compare it to a BMW though, they're not in the same price bracket are they?

I'm not surprised about the build quality and noise, that's something we'll all have to get used to for less weight.  But I must admit I'm surprised by the lack of MPG, I don't think I've had any diesel hatch do less than 50mpg in the last 10 years and most have been 1.9/2.0. Although admittedly the 1.6 TDCis I had were only as good on fuel as the bigger engines instead of being any better.  Do you think there's any particular reason for it with the EcoBlue?  It sounds like they may be so lacking in torque you're having to work it hard all that time?

It's got quite tall gearing TBH and the gap between 1st & 2nd is very long.

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1 hour ago, TomsFocus said:

I'm not sure you can compare it to a BMW though, they're not in the same price bracket are they?

You can get a nearly new 120D for Focus money, easy peasy

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31 minutes ago, DaveT70 said:

You can get a nearly new 120D for Focus money, easy peasy

Probably fairer to compare new - a 190ps Focus ST is £29,495, a new model 190ps 120d Sport is £32,470, but, again, that is including 4wd and auto as standard.

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Well I've had my 1.5 petrol  (182ps)Vignale since November now and can honestly say it's one of the best cars of its class I've ever owned. It doesn't suffer from any the problems the OP seems to have .Athough of course the spec is higher in some areas its still the same car underneath. I would have said the build quality is superior to the previous model with no rattles or creaks on mine .As for the "floating display", although at first I wasn't sure about it ,in practice it's much easier to view and use and less distracting than when mounted lower down.

As for the engine well after many years with diesels I went back to petrol and still cant believe the performance from this 3cyl lump. Very smooth with a sporty sound and decent fuel consumption. I wouldn't go back to oil burners now. It's a pleasure to drive

Not really sure comparing with BMW is fair but at launch many of the critics were saying it was as good as the benchmark VW golf and not far behind BMW.

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25 minutes ago, Comares2001 said:

Not really sure comparing with BMW is fair but at launch many of the critics were saying it was as good as the benchmark VW golf and not far behind BMW.

Given where prices are nowadays, particularly on PCP and other finance plans, I think it's perfectly reasonable and a compliment to Ford, to do a comparison with "premium" brands.

I was having a look at a new Audi A1 the other day, and was far from impressed with the interior, which seemed to have more hard plastics than the Fiesta. I was amused that this example of quality German engineering was actually built at the SEAT plant in Martorell, while my Fiesta was assembled in Cologne!😀

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Aye, what makes a "German" car?

Having driven my nephew's a class, it was nice but no nicer than the focus. I wouldn't pay up for a premium brand unless it was to get back into rwd.

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13 hours ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

 

I was having a look at a new Audi A1 the other day, and was far from impressed with the interior, which seemed to have more hard plastics than the Fiesta. I was amused that this example of quality German engineering was actually built at the SEAT plant in Martorell, while my Fiesta was assembled in Cologne!😀

And the Focus 4 comes from Saarlouis in Germany 

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At least the service intervals are further apart on the MK4 , 2 years or 18k. ........ Except the 1.5 ecoblue . That's gone down to 1 yr or 10k .  That shows how the 1.5 is struggling with the the emmisions regulations, and with adblue! 

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12 minutes ago, iantt said:

At least the service intervals are further apart on the MK4 , 2 years or 18k. ........ Except the 1.5 ecoblue . That's gone down to 1 yr or 10k .  That shows how the 1.5 is struggling with the the emmisions regulations, and with adblue! 

There's no ADBLUE on the 1.5 Ecoblue, I'm not sure about the 2.0 though.

Yes, I was also very dissapointed that the service intervals have dropped to 10,000

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I'm struggling to see any benefit of the 1.5TDCi here?  Is it particularly cheap to buy compared to the 2.0?

Tax is now the same (after 1st year), insurance is basically the same, MPG seems poor, no power or torque and very short service intervals, presumably with expensive oil as well... :unsure: 

 

As for the question about German cars, it's not about where it was made (Focus's have been made in Germany for over a decade!) and you can't include the small, crap cars that are built to a budget and bought on badge alone by people that have no interest in cars (the A1 is an excellent example of this, it's a horrible car yet for some reason people still buy them over cheaper alternatives that are just as bad).  You have to move up to at least mid size hatches to notice any difference, but personally I do find the Golfs and Passats are better built than Focus' and Mondeos.  No rattles or creaks on the interior, no broken scratched or loose trim even at 3 figure mileages, everything works inside, no random electrical glitches every few days, they fit actual brakes instead of tiny discs and rear drums that Ford love to fit to small engined model, seats are far more comfortable, better driving position and pedal feel, smoother drive with the clutch & mapping, more progressive suspension, and they grip the corners as well as the Fords these days, Ford had the edge on handling against the Mk4 Golf with the loss of some ride comfort but not after that, and with the Fiesta suspension they're fitting to the small engined Mk4 I'd expect both ride and handling to be even worse now.  Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of things about German cars I don't like (the Golf is terribly boring to look at, both inside and out, it's so bad we regularly get people with Mk7s joining the Mk6 group because there was hardly any styling change!), but the difference in refinement is so noticeable between them, and that's what makes a German car...move up to BMW & Merc (again the bigger models, not the low end ones) and that refinement is even more noticeable. :smile: 

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1 hour ago, TomsFocus said:

I'm struggling to see any benefit of the 1.5TDCi here?  Is it particularly cheap to buy compared to the 2.0?

On a Titanium, it's about £1450 less than a 2.0TDCI (150ps), about £450 more than a 1.5 petrol, and about £900 more than the 1.0 petrol. But It has the lowest CO2 figure (93 on the Titanium, a bit less on the lower spec models) which could be important for some company car users? - bit rusty on car taxation these days but I think that would be about £20/month less than the 2.0 TDCI at standard rate?😀 

Other members on here have given good opinions of the 1.5 TDCI in Fiestas and C-Maxes for instance - have they done something to spoil it in the Focus 4?

 

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The Mk8 Fiesta handles very, very well.   Fords have always handled better than many a premium car.

Having had a Focus Mk1.5 and Bora (basically Golf mk4) I can say the Focus had more grip yet more comfort. 

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49 minutes ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

On a Titanium, it's about £1450 less than a 2.0TDCI (150ps), about £450 more than a 1.5 petrol, and about £900 more than the 1.0 petrol. But It has the lowest CO2 figure (93 on the Titanium, a bit less on the lower spec models) which could be important for some company car users? - bit rusty on car taxation these days but I think that would be about £20/month less than the 2.0 TDCI at standard rate?😀 

Other members on here have given good opinions of the 1.5 TDCI in Fiestas and C-Maxes for instance - have they done something to spoil it in the Focus 4?

 

Ah, I don't know about company car tax.  Although the 10k servicing will quickly eat into the savings with the high mileage that company cars tend to do... :unsure: 

11 minutes ago, Guy Heaton said:

The Mk8 Fiesta handles very, very well.   Fords have always handled better than many a premium car.

Having had a Focus Mk1.5 and Bora (basically Golf mk4) I can say the Focus had more grip yet more comfort. 

Did you fit big wheels or coilovers to the Bora?  As standard, they're much more comfortable than a Mk1 Focus!  But the handling was utter rubbish, understeer on every corner regardless of entry speed, but as I said above after the soggy Mk4/Bora, VW upped their game and the Mk5&6 had both comfort AND handling...  

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No,  no suspension mods.  I did remap it from 130-170bhp and 290 odd lb ft of torque.  3rd gear acceleration was awesome. 😀

 

 

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11 hours ago, DaveT70 said:

There's no ADBLUE on the 1.5 Ecoblue, I'm not sure about the 2.0 though.

Yes, I was also very dissapointed that the service intervals have dropped to 10,000

Ah, must be the 2.0 tdci then. I wasn't paying attention yesterday when I saw the adblue cap behind the filler flap on the vehicle. 

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20 hours ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

Other members on here have given good opinions of the 1.5 TDCI in Fiestas and C-Maxes for instance - have they done something to spoil it in the Focus 4?

 

Yes the old 1.5 TDCi was a brilliant car, but the MK4 is the new Ecoblue, worse in every aspect:

NVH

Performance

MPG

I would not recommend the 1.5 Diesel in the MK4

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2 hours ago, DaveT70 said:

Yes the old 1.5 TDCi was a brilliant car, but the MK4 is the new Ecoblue, worse in every aspect:

When you read a write up on it there's an impressive list of modifications which are supposed to enhance power and torque and reduce emissions. I suppose it's mainly to do with the latter which from experience, in reality, rarely amount to "improvements" from the drivers point of view. VW for example seem to be having lots of "kangarooing" issues with their 1.5 petrol engine since the introduction of gpf.

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18 hours ago, Guy Heaton said:

No,  no suspension mods.  I did remap it from 130-170bhp and 290 odd lb ft of torque.  3rd gear acceleration was awesome. 😀

 

 

Lol, me too...Blacksmoke.co.uk remap cost £40, applied myself with a cheap Galletto and old laptop, instant 180bhp and over 300lb/ft before any supporting mods!!  The good old days of cheap tuning!  :biggrin:  

I haven't had anything anywhere near as torquey since, yet it still averaged 60mpg on every tank as well...  Was not impressed with the torqueless 110bhp 1.6TDCi Focus only managing 55mpg average after that! :laugh: 

Sadly I blew the turbo soon after, then the clutch & DMF, and then the camshaft wore out and smashed the lifters which I was told never happens on the 130 hence buying one over a 150... :rolleyes: 

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Those old PD engines were a bit rough but strong.

That said I remapped my Focus mk1.5 1.8TDCI from 115bhp to 140bhp, torque to aboue 220 lb ft I remember, and that shifted too.

The remap actually improved cruising mpg on both cars.

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