FORD Australia has reacted to slowing sales in the small-car sector by cutting back on its Focus small car range by six variants for the LZ 2015 facelift, including the base-spec Ambiente hatch and sedan, and four diesel offerings. The three-tier range – comprising Trend, Sports and Titanium – picks up Ford’s new 1.5-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine across the range, along with SYNC2 connectivity, satellite navigation and rearview cameras right across the line.
The updated range also wears updated pricing. The now entry level Trend manual hatch jumps $1100 to $23,390 plus on-road costs, while opting for an auto transmission adds another $1000. The Trend automatic sedan, meanwhile, drops $200 to $24,390.
The Sport manual hatch cops a $600 increase in cost to come in at $26,490, while the auto is $1000 more; it is not available in a sedan version.
The top-end Titanium is only available in automatic, and drops $300 in both hatch and sedan form to $32,690.
This leaves the Focus without a dedicated base model to compete against the circa-$20,000 base small car brigade that includes Toyota’s Corolla Ascent hatch from $19,790, the $20,490 Mazda3 Neo, Hyundai’s i30 Active from $20,990 or the $19,890 Holden Cruze Equipe.
A new grille, headlights, bonnet and front fascia combine with a reshaped tailgate and tail-lights have been implemented, while Sport and Titanium variants wear a five-piece bodykit.
A fresh steering wheel design and centre control array is complemented by a new centre console storage bin and revised cup and bottle holders.
Chassis-wise, the suspension layout has been tightened up, with revised dampers, a stiffer front end and retuned electric power steering and stability controls.
The smaller, Romanian-built 1.5-litre engine delivers more power (7kW) and more torque (38Nm) than the 2.0-litre DuraTec it replaces, producing 132kW and 240Nm, and can be matched to either a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed automatic transmission.
The automatic is standard on Trend sedan and Titanium hatch and sedan and optional on the Trend and Sport hatches.
Fuel economy is rated at 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres for the Trend manual hatch, through to 6.4L/100km for the automatic Titanium hatch.
Ford Australia’s product communications manager Neil McDonald told GoAuto that Ambiente represented about 12 per cent of the Focus sales mix.
“It was felt that by re-profiling the line-up and adding features across the Trend, Sport and Titanium range it would provide a better opportunity for the Focus customer, who is also telling us they want more features in their cars,” he said.
“With diesel too, Focus only had less than three per cent take-up.”
The Focus Trend will come with 16-inch alloy rims, fog-lights, active grille shutters that close to reduce drag when cooling is not required, and a full-size steel spare wheel.
Hill start assist, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and programmable MyKey, satellite navigation via a 8.0-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth with audio streaming and SYNC2, six-speaker stereo, USB ports and powered rear child locks are also standard.
Five airbags, electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD), traction control, Emergency Brake Assist ( EBA) and stability control are also fitted.
Moving onto Sport, 17-inch rims, sports tuned suspension, rear LED tail-lights, LED daytime running lamps, puddle lamps, electric folding exterior mirrors and a bodykit separate it from the Trend. It also receives a space-saver spare rim
Dual-zone air-conditioning, leather-wrapped wheel and gear shifter, dimming rear-view mirror, keyless entry, auto lights and wipers, and a larger Sony nine-speaker stereo with digital radio also feature.
Stepping up into the Focus Titanium gets the purchaser 18-inch rims, sports leather seats, blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, enhanced active park assist and active city stop.
The range is rounded out by the $38,990 Focus ST and will be joined by the incoming RS hot hatch.
2015 Ford Focus pricing*
Trend (a) $24,390
Sport (a) $27,490
Titanium (a) $32,690
Trend (a) $24,390
Titanium (a) $32,690