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Road Test: Ford Focus Active

A little extra height turns Ford’s popular hatch and estate into a soft-roading crossover, finds Craig Thomas.

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SECTOR Hatchback   PRICE £21,900-29,250   FUEL 41.5-62.8mpg (WLTP)   CO2 96-136g/km (NEDC)

Ford has joined the crossover fray, adding Active variants (in both hatch and estate guises) to the Focus line-up. With a 30mm increase in the ride height, plus some exterior styling features to make it look more rugged, the Focus Active looks every inch like a soft roader. The extra height doesn’t offer the same kind of command driving position of an SUV, so there’s no significant extra down-the-road visibility benefit.

Neither is there any change to the cabin and boot capacities, both of which are identical to the regular Focus – which means that there’s enough room up front for driver and passenger, and in the rear for a couple of adults (three’s a squeeze), plus between 341 and 1,320 litres (575-1,620 litres in the estate) of boot space.

The cabin fit and finish are the premium-aspirant levels that we’ve come to expect from Ford, while the infotainment comes from the company’s Sync system, which works well enough (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring are included).

There are switchable driving modes to change the on-road characteristics of the car, but with the addition of Slippery and Trail modes for some mild greenlaning or when away from the tarmac. The increase in the car’s ground clearance has little effect on the ride and handling of the Focus Active, though, so it still feels settled and agile.

The engine line-up is straightforward, with two petrol EcoBoost units (125PS 1.0 and 150PS 1.5) and two EcoBlue diesels (120PS 1.5 and 150PS 2.0). All are usable and relatively efficient.

In short, the Focus Active is a Focus for buyers who want a little extra off-road capability and/or more rugged looks. In all other respects, it’s the same new Focus – even in cost, as it’s positioned at exactly the same price points as Titanium and ST-Line (with Active X models the same as Titanium X and ST-Line X).

Rating: 4/5

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Craig Thomas

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