Just half a year ago, we sampled the rather heavily facelifted Ford Focus 1.5L EcoBoost. It’s here now, and Sime Darby Auto Connexion (SDAC or Ford Malaysia) is offering it in three trim levels – Trend (Hatchback), Sport+ (Hatchback) and Titanium+ (Sedan).
Only one engine will be offered, though. Like it or not, the Focus comes with a more powerful turbocharged 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine that makes 177 hp and 240 Nm of torque. The old dual clutch transmission is replaced with a hardier six-speed SelectShift automatic gearbox.
|Name||Ford Focus Trend||Ford Focus Titanium+||Ford Focus Sport+|
|Engine||1,498cc; turbocharged inline-4, DOHC|
|Transmission||6-speed SelectShift automatic with paddle shifters|
|Max Power||177 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Max Torque||240 Nm @ 1,600 – 5,000 rpm|
|Price (before taxes and insurance)||RM118,888||RM139,888||RM139,888|
Looks wise, it’s not a big leap forward from before, but the minor aesthetic tweaks really do stand out. Both the front and rear bumpers have been restyled, the headlights are now slimmer and the tail lamps have also been retouched. Like the Mondeo, the gaping front grille is akin to that of an Aston Martin, but that’s just how most Fords look like today.
Standard across all trims are halogen reflector headlights with manual levelling adjustability, front and rear fog lamps as well as Active Grille Shutter. Both Trend and Sport+ hatch variants sit on 17-inch wheels shod with 215/50 R17 series rubbers. The former however, priced at RM119k, doesn’t come with LED daytime running lights and heated side mirrors.
For RM20k more, the Sport+ gives you sports suspension, LED DRLs, auto-folding side mirrors with puddle lamps, follow-me-home lighting, LED rear tail lamps and rain sensing wipers. The sedan however (Titanium+), sits on a smaller set of 16-inch wheels (205/60 R16 tyres) and loses out on the sports suspension and LED tail lamps.
The most notable change on the inside is the removal of the 4.2-inch display of old, and in its place is a new 8-inch high-res touchscreen panel (which comes with 9-speakers). However, the Trend trim won’t get this, and settles for the familiar 3.5-inch dot matrix SYNC system with 6-speakers. Ford’s SYNC2 system takes care of all connectivity-related operations, most of which can be done via voice command. The multifunction leather wrapped steering (polyurethane for the Trend) wheel is also new, and it’s meatier too, which means it will feel better in your hands.
There’s also dual zone climate control and leather seats (black for the Sport+, beige for the Titanium+), but reserved only for the more expensive duo. The Trend makes do with a manual electronic control and fabric seats. Completing the interior kit for the Sport+ and Titanium+ variants are electrochromatic rear view mirror, overhead console with sunglass holder and “Submarine Sight”, scuff plates, ambient and footwell lighting.
Ford claims that the interior is now better insulated thanks to use of acoustic windshield glass, thicker side window glass, thicker carpets, improved engine insulation and more rubber seals around the car doors.
As mentioned earlier, all three variants will be powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 177 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 240 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 5,000 rpm. The engine features an integrated intake manifold which is said to reduce turbo lag, while power is sent to the front wheel through a new six-speed SelectShift automatic torque converter.
What makes the Focus an appealing alternative to the Mazda3 are two things – its best-in-class engine performance and suspension setup. The front is managed by McPherson struts, whereas the rear arm is managed by independent control blades. All variants get disc brakes on all four corners.
The safety equipment is rather extensive to say the least, but most of them are absent in the base Trend variant. Standard though, are ABS with Electronic Stability Programme, Hill Launch Assist, Passive Anti-Theft System, Ford MyKey (programmable smart key), rear parking sensors and Post-Crash Alert system.
The pricier variants benefit from four additional airbags (the Trend comes with two front airbags only), keyless entry with push-start button, perimeter alarm system, front parking sensors, Blind Spot Monitoring System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert, cruise control with speed limiter, Enhanced Active City Stop and everyone’s favourite – Enhanced Active Park Assist. This improved system can now perform parallel, perpendicular and park-out parking.
As an early bird promo, SDAC is offering a RM3,000 cash rebate which lasts only till 30 April 2016. There are six exterior colours to choose from – Frozen White, Panther Black, Ingot Silver, Candy Red, Magnetic and Winning Blue. All Ford vehicles come package with a 3-Year or 100,000km warranty, although this could be extended to 5-Year or 200,000km coverage.
To recap, the Trend is priced at RM118,888 whereas the Sport+ and Titanium+ are given the same price tag of RM139,888. Want our advice? Pick the Sport+. It’s a no brainer!
Update: Sime Darby Auto Connexion announced that the RM3,000 cash rebate is only valid for existing and current Ford owners who purchase the new Ford Focus from now until 30 April 2016.