The new Ford Focus is a male package for the sporty alpha male

You’re not serious, Ford. When the parking brake is engaged, the computer display serves up the service message ‘parking brake activated’ above a slowly filling download bar, as if installing a brake app online. You also seem to be able to press ‘ok’ to confirm that you approve the procedure.

Did the buyer have to be told that his old-fashioned Focus runs on state-of-the-art software? Another absurdity: after adjusting the tire pressure, the warning ‘tyre pressure low’ appears on the screen, accompanied by a lit indicator light. Turns out I have to confirm my intervention with the command ‘initialize tire pressure’, so that Ford knows for sure that it was my will. Pressed ‘ok’, panic light off. Hassle for nothing.

While we’re complaining, what’s the start button doing in that impossible gap to the right of the steering column? Was the common sense bucket empty? Not quite, because sliding crossbars in the cup holders keep all cup sizes in place most conveniently. Logic apparently works part-time at Ford; mixed impressions on all fronts. There used to be too many buttons on the center console, now there are too many on the steering wheel. While the dashboard itself compared to the previous Focus is a huge improvement. The layout is orderly and the operation clear. Last complaint concerns the navigation system. As with other brands, it is poignantly behind the free navigation software of your smartphone. It does not know that the roundabout at Joure has disappeared, not that the A1 has been moved. Still a pity that Google Maps knows better on my written off Samsung Galaxy than new cars from a brand that prides itself on its innovation factor.

shark fin antenna

Now the car that, against the first impression, is very good and very present. My screaming firefighter red Focus is an ST-Line Business. The ST-Line is the Male package for the sporty alpha male, ‘Business’ stands for its natural destination: a business car. The presentation seems to interfere with its function, but you see that wrong. Those formidable rims and spoilers, the dual exhaust, the blacked-out rear glass and the shark fin antenna on the roof are there to reconcile the model citizen with his humiliations. He is the sales force who arrives on a blue Monday with a hangover from his bowling outing at a suicidal representative hotel, where in the conference room Frits Philips runs an even bigger brush than he does with his dusty sales techniques. The ST pack gives him the strength to leave his torture session with Focus head held high. Whatever he lost, not his fat fire truck. The militant armor of the male pack indicates at least 200 horsepower, and no one except his fellow sufferers notices that there are only 125. Every little bit helps.

The Ford patient has not had it that bad. His Focus is made for people. The knee room and the interior width in the rear have been increased in such a way that adults can also sit really well, a rarity in this segment. Traditionally, no car in its class drives better and the new Focus takes it one step further with its impressively direct and precise steering. The rigid tuning required for its cornering talent does not become an assassination attempt on the chassis, which absorbs potholes and speed bumps in any way sedately. It means that the Ford man with his small three-cylinder turbo can still harass those higher up in the car pecking order terribly, if he skills has at home. That motor isn’t that bad, by the way. The power source has a small message at 1,220 kilograms curb weight and the six-speed gearbox with its short transmissions spreads torque and power tightly and quickly over the speed range.

The Focus can also brake very hard if it has to. A bit too high is the Schwarzenegger level of the power brakes, a kind of institutionalized emergency braking. Braking seems to be his favorite activity anyway. He does it on command of a trio of security systems, if necessary himself when he provides trammelt. The automatic emergency brake of his Pre-collision Assist now also applies to pedestrians and cyclists. Of Evasive steering assist he can avoid vehicles in front in the event of an approaching collision. Coming is a Wrong Way Alert which, when the navigation is switched on, warns against wrong-way driving, for example if the driver mistakes a motorway exit for a driveway. cheers. The Ford man has his talisman, his security for everything.