The previous, third generation Ford Focus was a nice car to drive but lacked a bit of style.
This mark four model is a much better looking beast, with an Aston Martin-inspired grille and some sharp lines.
Aware the public’s interest in family hatches has waned slightly, the latest Focus is available in more variants than you can shake a stick at.
As well as the five-door hatchback and an estate, there’s a tall, SUV-styled Active version, an expensive but luxurious Vignale model, and the ST and RS hot hatches.
Finally there’s the ST Line version tested here. It has much of the style enjoyed by the hot hatch models but is offered with a more sensible range of engines.
In my case, I spent a week with the 1.5 litre diesel version, paired with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
At nearly £27,000 it’s at the higher end of what you’d want to pay for a diesel Focus, and my test car was bulked up with more than £5,000 of extras, including a head up display, keyless entry, a heated steering wheel, wireless phone charging pad, Convenience and Driver Assistance packs and a panoramic glass roof.
That really does whack the price up but the resulting car is packed with pretty much every feature and convenience you could want.
Diesel is a much maligned power source just now but I wouldn’t write it off just yet – particularly not if you live in smaller town or village where air quality and congestion are much less of a problem.
The 120hp produced by the 1.5 diesel is enough to get it from 0-62mph in a shade over 10 seconds and it pulls virtually as well fully loaded as it does empty.
On the much more accurate new WLTP cycle, economy tops 60mpg and on a motorway run to Perth I was able to eke well over 70mpg out of it.
The eight speed automatic gearbox is superb, making its changes almost seamlessly and cruising in very low revs at 70mph.
Ford has borrowed a design cue from Jaguar, replacing a conventional automatic gearstick with a much neater rotary dial.
There’s more leg and shoulder room in this all-new version of the Focus as well as a generous boot.
It retains the superb ride and handling Ford’s become known for but adds practicality, technology and refinement for an impressive all round package.