Tuesday, 6 November 2012

COLUMN - November 2012

The November edition of the Herald should be on your doorstep by now, and for those who don't have the pleasure then here is Motor Mouth for this month. I wrote about the Ford Focus ECOboost as found on the Car Reviews page, and also gave a little taste of what was coming up in the near future. I hope you enjoyed it...

I still can’t believe the November edition of the Herald has hit your doorsteps already. It really does seem like only two minutes ago I was wishing you a merry Christmas, and yet it won’t be long until I am doing so again. Nevertheless, I shall digress. I have another review for you this month, and it’s of a particularly interesting car; the Ford Focus ECOboost.

Previously if you wanted a Ford Focus and you aren’t a fan of oil-burners, then the smallest option was a 1.6-litre. More importantly though, this engine was notoriously uneconomical. Driving around town you could easily be looking at sub-30mpg. That really is hard to live with in a family car, and Ford realised this.

Their answer is the ECOboost engine, which is “Ford” speak for turbocharged. The engine is a mere 1.0-litre in size, and yes I can imagine your eyebrows are somewhat raised at the idea of a 1.0-litre engine in a car that’s also grown since the previous model. However, I can assure you from first-hand experience that it is more than adequate to get the Focus’ wheels moving. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it’s excellent, and that’s not a word I throw around.

You see, by turbocharging the 1.0-litre it produces 125PS, and that explains why it doesn’t hang about. 0-62mph takes 11.3 seconds and top speed is 120mph, which is nigh-on identical to the 1.6-litre petrol model. However the difference appears in the fuel consumption. The ECOboost claims 56.5mpg, whereas the 1.6 can only offer 44.1, and that’s a big difference. CO2 emissions for the 1.0-litre are 114g/km, putting in in VED band C (£30 per year road tax). And the 1.6? Well that emits 149g/km, and so that’s another brownie point to the ECOboost.

I really get this car. It offers you a viable alternative if you really want a petrol car. It drives well and the 3-cylinder ‘rasp’ even sounds quite nice. The cheapest ECOboost is in Zetec trim, and starts from £16,995OTR which isn’t too bad. However, do be warned because by the time you get up into the Titanium model I tested with a few extras, the price has soon climbed above £20,000. For that money there is a lot of kit, so there is plenty to suit all tastes. I urge you to go and test drive one of these, it’s definitely worth a look.

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