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Old 11th May 2010, 00:24   #1
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Default Driven, It's Ford Focus Zetec 1.8

Ford India has aggressive plans for Indian market .As it has already launched the Ford Figo with its attractive pricing, next in queue should be the Ford Focus which may come in as a sedan as well as a hatchback. It is widely speculated that the model coming to India will be a sedan model as its generating a volume sales with Figo .
While we Indians eagerly wait for the next release from Ford, I would like to share my experience with a Ford Focus Zetec 1.8. I did say ‘my experience’, as I know that I am just a passionate driver and not really a test driver. I don’t consider my graduate certificate in Mechanical engineering, as the eligibility to comment or verdict machineries (vehicles in this context).

This one, the Ford Focus was the fifth car that I am renting out and I would say that I was lucky enough to get different variants from the same range of hatchbacks all the five times. I initially booked for a VW Golf and went to rental location with the idea of asking them to replace it with a Ford focus as I already drove VW Golf. I don’t know whether the lady who handed me the keys was watching my idea of asking for a replacement, as a bubble which popped out from my head as in comics. She said, after filling out all the forms, Sir, You booked for a VW,and I am giving you a ford Focus, Is that fine?..I had to limit my excitement with a simple smile and with a short question back, to her question to me, as ‘….Petrol or Diesel?On her answer to my question I responded with a wicked smile’…brilliant!!!’. Now you know what this car drinks.

While walking out of the office to the parking area, to find the car, I visualized myself driving into Fuel pumps often for this trip. I think I am deviating from the point of this post and dragging you into my excitements, which most of yyou may not be interested in. So here it goes, starting with a short specification of the car.

Number of doors :5
Cubic capacipty (CCs) :1798
Brake horse power (BHP)[/b] :123
Number of cylinders :4
Camshaft : DOHC
Number of valves :4
Fuel type :Petrol
Fuel aspiration :Normally Aspirated Fuel delivery Multi-Point Injection Driven
wheels :Front Wheel Drive
Number of gears :5 Speed Transmission type Manual
Max torque (lb ft) :121.70
Max torque (NM) :165
Max torque RPM :4000
Fuel tank capacity (litres) : 55.

The numbers say it all. I was driving this thirsty beast for two days and over 900kms.I would say this britains most common hatchback likes more twisted and curvy roads than a town or long stretches. The car handled superbly on narrow twisted roads. The ABS, Passenger air bags,head Air Bags,Side Air Bags, ESP with EBA, only kept my right foot busy with accelerator pad, with assured safety in mind.

In short this is a hatchback that any family man in India would need or want, with its spacious interiors and unmatched comfort. Not to mention, the boot, which is as big as your coconut farm in your native.


On the Performance front, it is quick and fast. I was amazed by the top speed of 130mph which I could attain with 4 heavy passengers excluding me, on a long narrow stretch. There was room for another 20 -25mph, only if my buddies were not screaming with excitement. An empty narrow long stretched road with a lake on my side fueled my brains to transfer the pulses on to my right foot. Other than heavy screams from the passengers I started feeling the instability in handling for the first time. I am not sure whether it was the soft suspension or the tires, the handling started getting scary. The car started wobbling slightly as losing control and it was the indication for me to slow down. Now I would add to my above comment and be specific that this is a car for a family man who loves his family more than speeds.

While leaving the fourth Fuel pump on the way back to Glasgow with a full tank, I appreciated my visualizing/imaginative skills. All those visuals that I imagined while renting the car, were turning into reality. I need to go through the fuel bills and the miles that I covered to put the not so good economy of the car in numbers, but even without a second thought or further calculations I can say that the car is thirsty. Well, it is 1.8 petrol. Never mind!!.
I should also admit that I was pushing it wherever it was possible, so my driving would also have played a role in that high fuel consumption. The fun of driving through never ending twisty roads in this car which, I alone experienced throughout the journey forced me to show no mercy to one of my friends who accompanied me, when he was throwing up literally every 5 miles.

The wide front windscreen gives an excellent wide range view on what is ahead of you. The seats are very much comfortable with a plush fabric and adjustable heights. There are plenty of storage compartments including the space under the left arm support which is aptly placed and constructed. It comes with an extra power socket as a surprise hidden inside the arm rest storage space, which makes it possible to charge your phone while the main power outlet is engaged with the SatNav. The sharp red and white backlighting and a silvery outline for the dial pack add to the peppy touch.

The car looks big and heavy to match its spacious interiors. The front end and the headlights faithfully resemble the Mondeo.The design and looks appears ‘dynamic’ in overall. The front and back wheel arches are more prominent. The contoured sides, the hexagonal rear screen and the matching tiny spoilers blend well with the overall design of the vehicle.

My take on this Hocus Focus…

For :
Makes you feel glad to be alive to own and drive one.
Spacious and classy interiors with a lot more….
Tall and big boy look.
Solid and sharp exteriors.
Fast, Quick,durable and powerful with good Safety features.

Against :
High Fuel consumption.
Undesirable handling at high speeds.

The Diesel version of this strong Hatchie will definitely erase some of the points in the ‘Against’ section above. I know this 1.8 won’t make it to Indian roads any soon, but a TdCi stripped down version may. So I say… this is a hatchback that any Indian family man with plenty of kids would love to own,if he likes taking his family for getaways very often.
It is Ford Focus…….

Driven, It's Ford Focus Zetec 1.8-untitled-1.jpg
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Old 11th May 2010, 06:58   #2
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I am very sure we wont be getting a hatch version (As the Figo is already there).
In India large hatches dont sell and thats the problem.
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Old 11th May 2010, 10:51   #3
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Nice review. I love the Focus. One of our members from Bombay has a Focus RS. The hatch will not be making is way to India. We will get the sedan most probably with a 2.0L Duratec making about 140 BHP. Should be brilliant.
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Old 11th May 2010, 12:31   #4
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Nice review, Ford have a sedan variant of Focus which they could bring to India and place it against Corolla, Civic.
BTW You are lucky that you were not caught while over speeding, from your description you were doing 130mph on a 60 mph limit, you could easily get your license suspended (if you have a UK license)
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Old 11th May 2010, 12:47   #5
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Nice review. I've driven a Ford SMax diesel 1.8 from London to Leeds, and man, it was surely fun to drive, despite being a 7-seater.

The max I've driven was 95 mph, after which the steeing was wobbling a bit, perhaps due to improper balancing of the wheels. I was surprised to see most cars going at 90 mph in England. Is there no speed limit? In US most cars don't even cross 70 mph.

The only precaution I took was to make sure I slow down to 50 mph whenever I saw speed limit boards---mostly near big cities.
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Old 11th May 2010, 12:58   #6
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@ampere: Yes, I was looking at the pictures of Figo and it looks like a younger sibling to Focus.There are a lot of similarities here and there. So definitely Ford wont bring this down as Figo is already selling good in the market.

@Gilead: Thanks.I saw the pictures of that RS you are talking about.I do see the same blue colured RS here. They really looks beefy and powerful.Even I think that ford may bring the sedan version ( which is sold here as Mondeo) to India.

@rajtheindian: Thanks. I know that its very easy to get caught with speed cameras every two to three miles, on motorways.And it gets serious as well, if get caught, they can even put you in jail for a couple of weeks,other than suspending your license.Not justifying what I did, but I was taking that risk on a secluded long,narrow road in an Island,where there are no speed cameras at all.Thanks for the concern, anyway.
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Old 12th May 2010, 01:07   #7
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@vnabhi: It is indeed a serious offence and there are speed cameras everywhere in the motorway.Thankfully there are 'Speed camera boards' and if your satNav is updated it will warn you as well, with the speed camera locations.
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Old 12th May 2010, 15:41   #8
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IIRC the hood & Head lamps of Focus have drawn cues from Volvo models and the front airdam of Figo.
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