By Ian Strachan
Close on £30,000 for a Ford Focus? It sounds expensive, but the likes of Audi and BMW have been selling medium sector cars with that sort of price tag for quite a few years, and the new Ford Focus Vignale is certainly a cut above.
Apart from attractive styling and a classy leather-clad interior, you get just about every extra imaginable on this car, which is packed with technology and creature comforts.
The range starts at £25,800. The Vignale with a 180 bhp 1.5 EcoBoost petrol engine comes in at £28,150.
The Vignale has a quality feel to it inside and out. It feels substantial, both to sit in and to drive. The doors close with a satisfying clunk – always a good sign.
The chrome-laden Vignale is certainly a good looker – every bit as attractive as some of its more exalted competitors. It has a strong side-on presence, helped by hefty 18 inch nicely-designed alloys.
Inside, the car has a lot of class about it. The Vignale-trimmed black leather upholstery is of a very high quality. The dash is simple and attractive, with sensibly placed, easily accessible controls and a centrally-mounted eight-inch touchscreen and head-up display. You get an electronic park brake and a six-way powered driver’s seat, as well as heated front seats and that now indispensable heated steering wheel.
Other standard features include LED headlights and front fog lights with cornering function, ambient lighting, powered door mirrors with puddle lights, park-assist, lane keeping aid with lane departure warning, hill start assist and cruise control.
Interior space is good, and can be further improved with the folding split rear seat. The impressively high specification includes all-round parking sensors with a rear wide-view camera, satellite navigation, dual-zone electronic climate control, a good DAB radio with MP3 compatibility, Apple CarPlay, voice control and Bluetooth.
I drove the 1.5 litre petrol version which gives a more than adequate 180 bhp. Linked to a smooth six-speed manual gearbox, this is a good unit, offering plenty of power with little noise or fuss. Acceleration is pleasingly brisk without being neck-snapping.
The £28,150 price tag is reasonable for such a high specification. You get a lot of car for your money. Extras fitted to my test car included powered panorama roof (£995) hands-free tailgate (£450) , adaptive front lights (£425) blind spot and cross-traffic alerts (£400) and a wireless charging pad (£100)
It’s difficult to fault this offering from Ford. It’s an improvement on earlier models, and offers attractive styling, comfort and extra refinement..