There’s little doubt that the Focus range has been one of Ford’s most outstanding success stories, and that in part is due to the variety of models available in the line-up.
But while a lot of drivers might hanker after performance versions like the Focus ST, in the real world it’s economy that’s concerning more and more motorists.
With that in mind the company has introduced its ECOnetic range, which boasts economy figures to give most of its competitors sleepless nights.
And in order to get the benefits of ECOnetic motoring you don’t have to splash out on top of the range models. The one I tried was the Edge, a spec just one up from the entry level car.
It may not have had all the bells and whistles of higher grade models but it was well equipped and offered ECOnetic economy, claimed by Ford to be more than 83 miles per gallon.
As with all claimed economy figures it’s difficult for motorists driving in real world conditions to replicate such high numbers, but during a week’s motoring I regularly managed more than 60mpg and on one occasion recorded 64.2 mpg.
Those are the sort of figures one might, perhaps, expect from a supermini but not a family-sized five-seater Focus.
And the nice thing about this 105bhp fuel-station avoiding car is that it still has a respectable 0-62 miles per hour acceleration time of 11.8 seconds, so you are never left feeling as if you need a push from behind when the traffic suddenly moves off quickly.
With 105bhp under the bonnet the Edge ECOnetic offers plenty of pulling power even when you have five people inside, and at high speed on the motorway it never feels strained.
The other bonus with this car is that you still get all the built-in assets of higher grade Focus models, like excellent handing, a comfortable ride and generally quiet motoring.
The economy is down to a number of factors, including a stop-start system, revised gear ratios, low rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic body features like shutters on the grille to help reduce drag without affecting the cooling system.
And the fact that this car’s emissions are well below most others at just 88g/km means there is no road tax to pay.
Despite its relatively low position in the Focus pecking order the Edge still comes with a host of sensible features on it like air conditioning, front side and curtain airbags, a trip computer and audio controls on the steering wheel.
It’s appearance is let down a little by the use of steel rather than alloy wheels, but there’s always the option of adding a decent set of alloys at extra cost.
So if it’s a Focus you are looking for and you want to keep your running costs down the ECOnetic has to be the answer. It’s so frugal you will think your fuel gauge is broken.
Model: Ford Focus Edge ECOnetic
Mechanical: 1,598cc, 4 cyl, 105bhp diesel engine driving front wheels via six speed manual gearbox.
Max speed: 116 mph
0-62 mph: 11.8 secs
Combined mpg: 83.1
Insurance group: 15
CO2 emissions: 88 g/km
Warranty: Three years/ 60,000 miles