The Ford Focus has gone from strength to strength over each iteration since its launch in the late 1990s.
Even in an age when everyone seems to want an SUV it still thrives.
And with good reason. I spent a week driving the ST -Line X Edition and came away very impressed indeed.
Essentially, the ST-Line models have the looks of the Focus ST and RS hot hatches but with a more everyday engine, better economy and a lower purchase price.
That’s not to say they’re gutless though. The 1.0 litre, turbo charged petrol unit my car came with falls well short of the ST’s 280hp, but with 155hp it’s still more than zippy enough for most people, with 0-62mph coming up in a respectable 9.2 seconds.
It looks the part too, with sharp alloys and a subtle but smart bodykit.
You’re looking at just over £27,000 for the model I drove and it comes very well equipped.
There’s a 12.3in touchscreen, WiFi for up to 10 devices, wireless charging pad to top up your phone battery, heated front seats and steering wheel – very welcome in this cold weather – and dual zone climate control.
The car has three driving modes, Normal, Eco and Sport, which adapt throttle and steering response helping you tailor the car to your driving style.
Speaking of economy, official fuel consumption is 52mpg. I found returns in the low to mid 40s were more true of real world driving but you could certainly hit 50mpg with a bit of care.
A mild hybrid system helps boost economy as well.
Driving dynamics have always been one of Ford’s strong suits and that’s certainly the case here.
The six-speed manual gearbox is smooth and easy to change, while a supple suspension gives class leading handling whtout sacrificing much in the way of ride comfort.
I enjoyed giving it a workout on some of Angus’s quiet country backroads, but it proved a comfortable cruiser on a longer jaunt along the A92 in Fife.
There isn’t much to criticise the Focus for. Those needing a little more room in the back might wish to opt for a Skoda Octavia, but the Focus is fine for children and small adults.
I expect the Focus to be one of the blue oval’s best selling models for another decade or two yet.