There’s now only one way to go for car makers : hybridization, even a minimal one, is now compulsory. It’s a good way for them to be seen as « modern » and even better as « eco-modern » companies. Ford doesn’t cut corners… had the Brussels Motor Show taken place, we could have discovered the revised Fiesta and Focus. Micro-hybridisation is now standard on them, along with subtle aesthetic changes and state of the art connectivity. However, this will be effective later because of but the current war in Ukraine.
Both Fiesta and Focus now feature a cleaner, sharper and brighter design with a new face, thanks to new LED combined head and fog lights. Both the bonnet and grille were redesigned. At the rear, the lights have been darkened and top of the range versions can get LEDs as well. The Fiesta is now available in four versions : Connected, Titanium, Active (enhanced for a more rugged look) and ST-Line (sporty look). It’s the same with the Focus, except that no « Connected » version is available.
Hybridisation on a small scale
The Fiesta is still available with the old 75bhp 1.1i lump as well as the 100bhp 1.0 EcoBoost engine. Both the 125 and 155 HP three-cylinder 1.0 EcoBoost engines get 48 volt electrification and can be mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic gearbox. The 200bhp Fiesta ST fitted with a 1.5i EcoBoost engine and manual gearbox tops the range. It’s only available as a 3 door hatch and prices start from €26,935. The Focus range starts with A 120 HP 1.5 EcoBlue Diese,l fitted with an 8 speed auto box. The petrol engine range includes the 1.0i EcoBoost MHEV mated to a 6 spped manual box, both in 125 and 155bhp guises. The 280bhp 2.3i EcoBoost ST still tops the range for the more discerning drivers… Yours truly is over the moon !
The evils of globalisation
The 2022 Fiesta and Focus also got revised interiors. The smaller car now features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that can be fully customized. Fortunately, the driving position remains perfect and the thick steering wheel rim is a real pleasure for the hands. The Focus cars we drove briefly all boasted the new 13.2-inch central touchscreen featuring an intuitive interface.
Unlike some of its competitors, adjusting heating and ventilation through it is easy. Unfortunately, that beautiful screen upgrading the Focus comes from a Ukrainian factory… which means that it will not be available for the foreseable future, not until the war is over and the situation is back to normal.
The (green) Devil is in the chassis!
On the beautiful roads around Namur, both the new Ford Fiesta Active and the Focus ST gave us a lot of pleasure. Even fitted with the modest 125hp lump, the former was always up to the job and proved to be lively and serene in all circumstances. As mentioned above, the car is very comfortable to drive and data displayed on the new driver-facing screen is easily selected through the switches located on the steering wheel spokes. The 155 HP Focus also put a smile on our face, even though its larger size demands more attention on narrow roads.
Once again, its chassis works wonders and comfort is not in the least impaired by its dynamic behaviour. The balance is absolutely perfect. We will soon thoroughly test both cars. By the way, if you like the Mean Green Puma ST color, it is now available on the Fiesta ST too. New Performance seats with integrated headrests and 14-way adjustment are available on both ST models. We can’t wait to try them!
The figures that matter
The new 125 BHP 1.0i EcoBoost mHEV Fiesta fitted with a manual 6 speed box in Connected trim starts at €22,555. The 3-door body is only available with the ST-Line trim, from € 23,955. The Focus range comprises the Titanium, Active and ST Line trims. It starts from € 31,245 with the same 125 BHP 1.0i EcoBoost mHEV engine mated to a manual 6 speed box. Estate versions are a mere €1,000 on top of the hatch prices while the 7 speed autobox costs € 1,700. The Focus ST starts from €42,695. (Translation: Dimitri Urbain)