Ford Focus Zetec S 1.6 TDCi – Driven

Had you walked into a Ford dealership a few years ago looking to order a Focus Zetec with a diesel engine the salesperson would have undoubtedly given you a peculiar look. Nowadays more than three quarters of all cars sold in Ireland are diesels and so now the concept of a sporty diesel Focus Zetec starts to make an appearance on more people’s radar.

Ford have changed their approach slightly with the new Focus, no longer making it in a three door form instead pushing its five door to being a ‘world car’. Aesthetically it remains quite recognisable as a Focus and in this Zetec S form that extends to a sporty rear spoiler, a more aggressive looking front bumper, side skirts and an RS-like rear diffuser. The 17 inch split-spoke alloy wheels do look a little small in the wheel arches, a set of 18’s or even 19 inch wheels would really finish the car off nicely.

Ford Focus Zetec S rear

“Even with some harder driving the Ford engine remains economical”

On the inside the it is a familiar story to all of the current crop of Fords. The dashboard is a busy affair but after a couple of days soon becomes familiar and rather intuitive while the view of the dials through the multi-function steering wheel is unobstructed. Unlike some of its rivals, Ford has stuck with a conventional handbrake which is neatly packaged in beside the driver. One feature that I didn’t like was the heated windscreen, which although is no doubt very practical in the winter months, does slightly distort oncoming traffic lights at night, which might be only a small niggle but was something that began to annoy me.

Ford Focus Zetec S side

The 95hp 1.6 litre TDCi engine is actually quite a nice motor, offering decent levels of torque and performance. It does tend to be a little big agricultural when pulling away first thing in the morning, but once up and running likes being let run on in second and third gears to give the Zetec S some decent performance. Even with some harder driving the Ford engine remains economical and for those that like their driving but do a lot of mileage this will make total sense.

Ford Focus Zetec S low

“it remains quite recognisable as a Focus and in this Zetec S form that extends to a sporty rear spoiler, a more aggressive looking front bumper, side skirts and an RS-like rear diffuser.”

Handling wise the Focus is a car that Ford really have tried to make for everyone and so the steering is pretty neutral. It is up to the job when you push the Focus on a little harder. The suspension is still set up a little soft which makes the Focus that bit more conformable than a more full on version like the Focus ST.

Ford Focus Zetec S light

As long as the buying public remain convinced that buying diesel is the seemingly the only way to go then this diesel Zetec S Focus will keep the buyer who wants a sportier number quite happy. Stylish touches like the red painted brake calipers and rear privacy glass do add to making the Focus a good looking car, especially in the Frozen White.

Road Tax band: €190 (A3)

Price: From €20,315 (€25,997 as tested)

Available: Now

@LordHumphreys

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