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87 MOTORING ROAD TESTS BY NICK FLETCHER


OUR MOTORING COLUMN, BY THE EXPERIENCED AND AWARD WINNING LOCAL MOTORING JOURNALIST NICK FLETCHER HELPS OUR READERS CHOOSE THE BEST OF THE LATEST CARS.


FORD FOCUS TITANIUM X


with a 0-60 mph time of 10 seconds. Top speed is 124 mph and emissions are 111 g/km. Average fuel econo- my is very good at 57.6 mpg. This Focus is impressively nippy and agile, with light


20 YEARS AGO, A TOTAL WHICH UNDERLINES WHAT A GREAT ALL-ROUND CAR IT IS, APPEALING TO BOTH FAMILY AND BUSINESS CUSTOMERS. The latest Focus builds on that reputa- tion, offering more space and enhanced driving dynamics. There are petrol and diesel versions with varying power outputs, and eight trim levels, enabling buyers, in effect, to tailor their car to suit their specific needs. Prices start at £18,300 for the entry ‘Style’ version which has adequate standard equipment, though most sales come from the better equipped mid-range models. My test model was in Titanium X trim, costing £23,130 with a 1.0 litre EcoBoost turbo-petrol engine. This three-cylinder unit still delivers a punchy 124 hp


F


ORD HAS SOLD MORE THAN 16 MILLION FOCUS MODELS GLOBALLY SINCE IT WAS FIRST LAUNCHED


THIS FOCUS IS IMPRESSIVELY


precise steering and an excellent suspension set up which delivers ride comfort which arguably is the best in the class. While not quick off the mark, the engine has useful mid-range power which aids safe overtak- ing, and the 6-speed manual gearbox has a slick action. Exterior styling is sleek and the cabin is quite spacious with enough room on the rear seat for three occupants without having to squeeze. Boot space is a generous 375 litres, 50 litres larger than the previous model. The dash- board layout is logical and user-friendly and the overall impression is of a well-sorted car which delivers outstand- ing practicality and versatility. Standard kit on the Titanium X includes


NIPPY AND AGILE


alloy wheels, privacy glass, front and rear parking sensors, cruise control, heated front seats, digital radio, Bluetooth, sat- nav, and smartphone mirroring. Safety features include lane-keeping aid, pedes-


trian and cyclist detection and pre-collision assist. The Focus has many rivals in the family hatchback


sector, most notably the VW Golf. While the Focus perhaps doesn’t have the same cool image as the Golf, it can match it in most other respects and deserves to be on the short-list of anyone planning to buy a new family hatchback. •


OVER THAT PERIOD HAS BEEN REVISED AND IMPROVED SEVERAL TIMES, GRADUALLY TRANSFORMING FROM A VERSATILE FOUR-WHEEL-DRIVE ESTATE TO A SMART FAMILY SUV WHICH STILL RETAINS FORMIDABLE OFF- ROAD ABILITY. It competes in a crowded SUV sector but has a


distinct edge over main rivals with its impressive tough-terrain performance, able to tackle rough roads, mud, snow and ice with relative ease. Forester comes in two versions and the entry level


SUBARU FORESTER XE PREMIUM T


HE SUBARU FORESTER HAS BEEN A FAMILIAR SIGHT ON THE ROADS FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS AND


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