“The Focus is comfortable, compact and certainly has a convenient engine size for the city.”

Every 90 seconds, Ford sells a Focus somewhere in the world.

That’s a pretty staggering fact.

And since the Focus’s introduction to the market in 1998, the North American automaker has sold 1.5 million units per year thereafter.

Again, another sizeable number but it’s not always about big numbers. Let me familiarize you with the Focus 1.0L EcoBoost: the smallest displacement engine the Ford brand offers in North America.

It was seen first in Canada on the Fiesta in 2014 and now makes its way into the automaker’s compact sedan. The humble powerplant – complete with three cylinders – breeds 123 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque.

Those aren’t really numbers that send car enthusiasts’ hearts racing, but for a lot of people, less is more. That saying holds especially true if the bulk of your driving consists of commuting to and from work.

Chances are, a chunk of that drive time might just be comprised of inching along in the urban jungle or perhaps cruising along at highway speeds. Either way, the Focus 1.0L can accommodate your driving style.

Its estimated fuel economy in the city is 8.1L/100km and 5.9L/100km on the highway.

Even with my lead foot, I managed to use an average of 7.5L/100km, which was better than the estimated city fuel economy, since I did most of my driving around town.

If looking for big horsepower and not as ideal fuel economy results, the Focus ST will be your best bet right now. Initially, I was skeptical about this particular model’s abilities.

In the Fiesta – which is a smaller and lighter vehicle – it seemed to fit symbiotically. But adding additional weight and bulk to an already small engine had me thinking if it was going to work out as well as it did.

I must stay I was pleasantly surprised. For daily commuting, this Focus does the job and does it well.

Though you also have to take things at face value with this car. It’s not going to accelerate particularly quickly. So, if your plan is to try and merge ahead of other motorists from a stoplight, you might want to choose Plan B.

But when you rev the engine a little higher – upwards of 3,000 rpm – you quickly forget you have such a small displacement engine powering your vehicle.

Helping me harness those 123 horses was the 6-speed manual transmission. Again, another pleasant surprise. Gear throws didn’t feel too long and they glided seamlessly whether up or downshifting. The clutch was light, so when I was stuck in construction traffic, I didn’t wish I was in an automatic! It just all worked very well together.

To help in achieving my favourable fuel results, there’s an auto start/stop feature that reduces gas consumption and emissions. But it wasn’t just the manual transmission or the auto/start stop feature that helped my fondness grow for the Focus 1.0L EcoBoost.

It came with some optional equipment that made it look better, and gave me a few creature comforts that came in handy.

The SE EcoBoost package ($1,600) adds fog lamps, a rear spoiler, a full body styling kit, and 17-inch machined alloy wheels.

The Winter Package ($700 – not that I really put it to good use at this time of year) adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, all weather floor mats and a power/heated mirror.

While visibility is pretty good from all angles, the Reverse Sensing System ($700) can always lend a helping hand.

Overall, I’d have to say I quite liked this sedan. The Focus is comfortable, compact and certainly has a convenient engine size for the city.

When considering the Focus with the 1.0L EcoBoost, it’s only available on the SE trim (MSRP of $18,849) and comes as part of the aforementioned EcoBoost package ($1,600.)

The price as tested on this vehicle comes in at $23,315 (which includes the $1,565 destination charge.)


Contact: alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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