‘You’re kidding me!’ – the reaction was the same (though not always as polite) with every single person I played the Guess the Size of the Engine game with when I was test driving the new 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine in the Ford Focus.
The 1.0-litre EcoBoost is a clever little invention from Ford which offers the feel and drive of a far more powerful engine but the economy of a 1.0-litre.
It’s a truly amazing feat of technology. The Ford Focus is not a small car, but never did I feel the engine struggle.
In fact, I loved driving it. There’s something about a petrol engine, and this one sounded like a sports car, with a lovely quiet grrr to it.
Our route took us on a mix of urban and motorway roads and the Ford Focus handled really well on all. It’s very fast, with great acceleration from 0-120kph on the motorway.
Coupled with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, the Stop-Start technology, which cuts the engine when you’re idling in traffic, made it very economical.
The Ford Focus is a beautiful, sleek-looking compact and the Frozen White exterior of the hatchback model we were driving, combined with the dark rear privacy glass, made it even more eye-catching.
I have always been a fan of the current model Ford Focus and while the test car was the most basic version I’ve driven (to allow us to focus on the engine) this did not negatively impact on my view of it.
It’s a very comfortable car, with good legroom, both back and front. The boot is also a decent size, and cargo space can be increased by lowering the rear seats.
The model I was driving also had a USB and an AUX port, although hidden away in the glove compartment, they were not very accessible.
I also found the radio to be quite fiddly, but the steering wheel mounted audio controls were well laid out and functional.
I absolutely loved driving the five speed manual petrol test car. Gear changes were smooth and it was really fast at the lights.
The engine was a revelation – you would absolutely never guess it was a 1.0-litre.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with the EcoBoost engine which beautifully complemented the sleek family car that is the Ford Focus.
Ford is introducing the EcoBoost engine across its range and it is also available in the new Ford B-Max.
The Ford Focus is available now, with prices starting from €19,865. The Ford Focus Edge model with 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine I was driving costs from €21,485, with the BlueTooth/USB and Edge pack optional extras.
Engine: 1.0-litre 100PS direct injection turbo-powered EcoBoost (petrol)
Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 12.5seconds
Maximum Speed: 185km/h
Combined fuel consumption: 4.8l/100km
CO2 emissions: 109g/km
Annual road tax: €160 (Tax Band A)