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Is a used Ford Focus a good buy?
The Ford Focus is a car that ticks pretty much all the boxes that anyone looking for a family hatchback or estate could ask for. From competitive pricing to spacious interiors, a good standard of safety equipment to a widespread dealer network for easy servicing.
And while you’re looking at models from any of those carmakers, it will be difficult to avoid coming across SUV models. Cars like Ford's own Ford Kuga, the very popular Volkswagen Tiguan and the Peugeot 3008 offer a high-riding alternative to a hatchback, though you can typically expect to pay a higher price.
What is certain though, with this latest generation of the Focus having been around for a couple of years now, you should expect to secure a good deal when you start delving into the used car market, whether that's for a model that's been around a fair bit, or a pre-registered car that's barely seen the light of day.
Which used Ford Focus should you buy?
There's no shortage of Ford Focus models on the used market and with no bare bones models around, even the entry-level Ford Focus Zetec comes with things like cruise control, alloy wheels and air con. These are plentiful so you should have no problem finding one local to you. However, our money would go on a Ford Focus ST-Line model with its sportier looks. As for engines, it's hard to look past the 1.0 EcoBoost petrols - the 125hp version is the sweet spot.
What used Ford Focus trim levels are available?
Ford has always offered a wide range of trims from affordable entry-level models to higher spec versions such as its Vignale models. These are the trim levels available with the Ford Focus.
Ford Focus Zetec
Zetec trim level is where the Ford Focus range starts, priced at just over £20,000 when it launched. Zetec trim has traditionally been quite popular, meaning there should be lots of models to choose from and it is available in both hatchback and estate body styles.
The engines available at this level are a 1.0-litre, 100hp petrol unit, a 125hp version of the same motor, a basic 95hp 1.5-litre diesel and a more powerful 120hp version, with the option of an eight-speed automatic on the more powerful versions of both. Later models can also be spotted with a 1.0-litre mild hybrid setup.
For the money, you get 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic lights and front fog lamps which also light for tight turns, a heated windscreen, tyre-pressure monitoring and a lane-keeping system with an autonomous emergency braking function. Ford also includes a trip computer, space-saver spare wheel, manual air-conditioning, lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat, cruise control and selectable driving modes.
Connectivity and smartphone integration is taken care of by the media system, with an eight-inch touchscreen and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus a two-year contract with what the company calls FordPass Connect, an app that lets drivers connect with their car remotely. It also includes a three-month trial of a Wi-Fi hotspot using a 4G connection.
The estate version of the Focus adds remote-release buttons for folding the back seats, a false floor in the boot area and a pair of roof rails that will be ideal for anyone that needs to attach a bike rack or roof box.
Ford Focus Titanium
When it comes to a plush feeling, Titanium is the trim to go for. It offers a more elegant alternative to the sportier Ford Focus ST-Line, which sit alongside one another rather than in a hierarchy.
Above Zetec trim, Ford Focus Titanium brings LED rear lights, power-folding door mirrors with welcome lighting, automatic wipers, a self-dimming rear-view mirror, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, ambient lighting, keyless entry and ignition, the same media system as ST-Line Nav models with sat-nav and a digital display for the driver’s instruments.
Ford Focus Titanium X
Ford Focus Titanium X models introduce 17-inch alloy wheels, tinted rear glass, part-leather trim and an electric driver’s seat. Topping off the range is Vignale. It brings 18-inch alloys, LED lighting, an automatic parking system, a head-up display, leather trim, a heated steering wheel and a B&O sound system.
Ford Focus ST-Line
Stepping up to Ford Focus ST-Line trims opens up the choice of engines, with more powerful petrol and diesel units featuring in the line-up.
At this level, you can find more powerful engines and in later models, a pair of mild hybrids with 125hp or 155hp. In addition to the equipment provided with Zetec models, ST-Line comes with larger, 17-inch alloy wheels, an ST-Line bodykit, subtly sportier suspension tuning and some slight cosmetic changes to the cabin.
Ford Focus ST-Line X
Go for a Ford Focus ST-Line X and the equipment include 18-inch alloy wheels, power-folding mirrors with welcome lighting, tinted back windows, automatic wipers, part-leather trim, electric adjustment for the driver’s seat, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, a more sophisticated media system with sat-nav and a 4.2-inch digital driver’s display in place of analogue dials.
Ford Focus Active
As the name suggests, the Ford Focus Active trim level is supposed to give the Ford Focus a more rugged look, a little like crossing trainers with walking boots. But it comes at a price, with these models costing more than the standard versions.
Compared with Ford Focus Zetec, the Active version comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a ride height that’s raised by 30mm, a styling kit that includes tinted rear windows, black roof rails, skid plates and selectable driving modes that include a Slippery & Trail setting. There’s also the same media system with sat-nav as in ST-Line Nav trim and a 4.2-inch digital driver’s display.
Ford Focus Active X trim brings 18-inch wheels, a panoramic glass roof, front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers, partial leather trim, an electric driver’s seat, heated front seats and dual-zone climate control.
Go the whole hog and opt for Ford Focus Active X Vignale and the Focus comes with LED lights, an automatic parking system, leather upholstery, a head-up information display beamed onto the windscreen, a heated steering wheel and a punchy B&O audio system.
Ford Focus ST
The flagship of the Ford Focus range, especially when it comes to performance, is the Ford Focus ST – Ford’s rival to the VW Golf GTI. Introduced in 2019, it comes with either petrol or diesel models available in hatchback and estate body styles. New, you can expect to pay over £30,000 for one of these, but hop onto BuyaCar's search page to knock thousands off this price.
Other than the 280hp petrol and 190hp diesel engines available, sports suspension and brakes, an electronic limited-slip differential for boosting grip when accelerating and a racy body styling kit, your money is buying the sort of gadgets and gizmos you’d expect from an up-to-date hot hatch.
In addition to the ST-Line X equipment, there are 19-inch alloy wheels, alloy pedals, a rear-view parking camera, adaptive cruise control, a B&O sound system, Recaro part-leather seats, a heated steering wheel and Ford’s KeyFree keyless entry and start system.