The new Focus
I'm no expert in the matter, but I'd wager that the last five years is surely among the fast periods of innovation in automotive history.
The incorporation of technology and the integration of computers into our cars is now ubiquitous.
In the last 12 months I have not driven a new car on the market that does not have some sort of bluetooth- enabled entertainment, navigation and communcations system.
The increased use of sensors has also taken off, with everything from parking sensors which are now commonly seen all around the car to lane departure sensors, and more recently, which I was well impressed with, a sensor that tells you if a car is passing on your right, to offset the danger of the blindspot.
Now, while all of the brands have gone hell for leather into this brave new world, some have gone down the road of bright shiny new technology over substance — presenting us with cars that could practically make you a cappucino but were lifeless to drive.
On the other hand, I've had a vague feeling for some time that the Ford Focus was treading water a little bit. Even sales staff will admit, the last version “was a bit Germanic”.
In other words, it was a perfectly good, reliable car, but Ford seemed to want to hold back a little bit on the shiny new technology, maybe to make sure it was reliable, and frankly, maybe they weren't wrong.
All of which to say in my typically long winded way is that the new Ford Focus, which has, the lads in Finlay Motor Group tell me, been re-engineered and re-built from the ground up, with a new chassis, new engine, new everything. It is definitely worth a look if you're in the market for something new.
It's now all kitted out with a central console screen, which has Bluetooth integratability for your phone, music etc etc.
Outside, the familiar Ford grill is in place in front, while out back it's a lot more dynamic, design wise, than before. Overall, it's a lot more dynamic, a lot more 2018.
Inside there is no shortage of room in either the front or back seat.
The engine is where this new Focus has the x-factor. You can do all you like with the swanky electrics, and the trim but more often than not a car owner will know and appreciate their car best through how it drives.
And in that case, with the 1.5TD Ecoboost engine and firm suspension, Ford are onto a winner.
There is a lovely turn of power in it. Granted, it's not a Ferrari, but it's far from the lacklustre anemic power you get from many of the models in that segment.
As usual with Ford, there are various level of trim, from Zetec, through to ST-Line, Titanium and Vinale. I drove the entry level, Zetc last week, and thought it was great.
I always ask myself: Would you look forward to spending a week driving the Wild Atlantic Way in this?
And the answer is an enthusiastic yes!
Prices range from €24,900 all the way up to €37,330.
Ford will only offer this car in either hatchback or estate, not in saloon. Check out the new Ford Focus at Finlay Motor Group, Naas on phone 045-431825 or online at: Finlaymotorgroup.ie