This the 2014 Ford Focus facelift, revealed in full glory ahead of its public debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. It’s quite a major update, this. New look on the outside, improved interior, upgraded engine lineup, new technologies and even better handling, this facelift offers enhancements on all fronts.
First up, the looks. The Focus now gets the Aston Martin-inspired front end that has graced the Fiesta and upcoming Mondeo/Fusion. This is part of the One Ford global design language, so like it or not, you’ll see more of this in future Fords. Though less dramatically updated, the rear end has a new bumper and slightly thinner tail lamps.
Customer feedback, i.e. complaints, has forced Ford to finally overhaul the original Focus Mk3’s complicated interior. The new cabin now features a much simpler and cleaner centre console, with a larger SYNC 2 touch-screen display now taking charge of most major controls.
Revisions include the handbrake being relocated off the centre console, which now has a narrower profile and more uniform look compared to the pre-facelift. The 12V socket has been relocated, now placed forward of the gearshift, and in keeping with the new slimmer profile, the exposed wide-position dual cupholders of the original C346 have been replaced by a more streamlined tray, in which the cupholders are now positioned fore-aft, complete with a sliding cover. Better insulation and thicker windows result in a quieter ride for all too.
Handling, which has long been the Focus’ forte, has been improved again in this facelift. You can thank the fine-handling Volkswagen Golf Mk7 for this change. “We want our handling crown back, that’s why our engineers put a lot of effort into revamping the Focus chassis,” Ford officials have claimed.
Ford claims to offer enhanced body control and steering feel through new suspension geometry and dampers and retuned Electric Power Steering. Expect a much improved ride and handling package this time around, paired to a reprogrammed Electronic Stability Programme that is less intrusive than before.
On the technology front, the Focus’ Active Park Assist feature now supports reverse perpendicular parking, as well as Park-Out Assist to help drivers exit a parallel parking space. The Active City Stop collision avoidance system now operates at speeds of up to 50 km/h, up from 30 km/h in the current version.
An interesting addition is Ford’s MyKey technology. This enables owners, or parents, if you like, to programme a key for younger drivers that restricts the top speed, reduces the maximum volume of the audio system, and can disable the vehicle altogether if driver and passengers are not using safety belts. Big Brother indeed.
Under the hood, there’s a choice of six engines, the best of which carries a 19% improvement over the model it replaces. Joining the standard 1.6 litre TI-VCT (85/105/125 PS) and 1.0 litre EcoBoost (100/125 PS) petrol range is the new 1.5 litre EcoBoost engine, offered in either 150 PS or 180 PS tune.
Only the naturally-aspirated petrol engine can be paired to a PowerShift dual-clutch gearbox, while the rest can only be had with five- or six-speed manuals and conventional six-speed automatic transmissions. Two-pedal versions will also get paddle shifters, replacing the clunky rocker switch-based manual override function in the old car.
The diesel range includes a special 1.5 litre ECOnetic variant with 105 PS, as well as the usual lineup of 1.5 (120 PS), 1.6 (95/ 115 PS) and 2.0 litre (150 PS) TDCi models. Naturally, the CO2 emission levels have dropped across the whole Focus range, and a zero-emissions option is also offered by the 145 PS Focus Electric.
Only the Europe-bound five-door hatchback and estate bodystyles of the 2014 Ford Focus facelift have been unveiled so far. The updated four-door sedan and high-performance Focus ST variants will be shown at a later date.
Now this, is what you’d call a facelift. Right, folks?