Ford Focus review

Inside

As it is inside?

Before this refreshed Focus, we always commended Ford for keeping its good old switches and avoiding the trend of buttonless interiors. The cockpit may lack the refinement of some more upscale rivals, but proper buttons meant everything was thoughtfully laid out and easy to use.

Well… oh my God. All but the base Trend models now come with the SYNC 4 infotainment system that packs everything into a giant 13.2-inch touchscreen that is, of course, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible. It’s a big screen; the graphics are good and it’s responsive to your inputs (are you listening, VW?), but that means the climate controls are now housed in a strip along the bottom. They’re still easily accessible, but you’ll have to take your eyes off the road for longer than you would if they were proper buttons. Shame.

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Vignale trim levels get a much more successful 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, with clear information and different displays for your different driving modes.

In the fourth-gen Focus, the dash itself is more advanced than previous generations, but not so far that you can’t reach the high-mounted touchscreen. Important pieces of its architecture are molded in soft-touch plastic. The door bins are also carpeted to silence rattles, while an electric parking brake provides useful space in the console for cup holders.

The front seats are a bit flat on the cushion, which is a shame, although ST-Line does bring some slightly upgraded ones, but otherwise it’s fine. The longer wheelbase, however, means it’s incredibly roomy in the rear, while a flatter rear floor means no one in the middle seat suffers from a lack of foot room. The trunk space is 375 useful liters with the seats raised too, five less than the VW Golf.

Drawbacks? Well, despite the new, more minimalist look, there’s still a lot of plastic here, and it loses out on luxury to some of its competitors. But it’s a very nice place to be and proves that sometimes less is more.

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