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FOCUS ON FORD - EcoBoost has the Edge. By Brian Foley

The Ford Focus is the world's best-selling car and also Number 1 in Ireland. There is no hidden secret about the Focus success. Its a straightforward and pretty standard front-wheel-drive design that does everything well, is use-friendly, well built and kitted out, and comes with reliability and trouble-free motoring as standard. Three models recently tested had different specification, different engines and performance, all on a common platform, and all three Band A rated. Top model tested was the Zetec S with 1.6 litre TDCi 95PS rated diesel engine and 6-speed manual gearbox, The 5-door hatchback (pictured) looked very smart indeed in Candy Red, listed at €24,927 (plus delivery). The Ford Focus Titanium X was a 4-door saloon (in Panther Black), similar spec. to the Zetec S with lots of extras such as Bluetooth & USB, Active Park Assist, Visibility Pack (autolights, auto wipers and rear dimming mirror), Titanium Pack of 17" alloys and rear privacy glass, Deflation Detection system and full size spare. Price for this limited edition model is from €25,200. Latest Focus is the appropiately named Edge with the all new 1.0 litre EcoBoost petrol engine, a compact and lightweight 3-cylinder turbo with 100PS power and 5-speed manual box. The 5-door hatch test car in Frozen White looked really sporty with 16" alloys, front fog lights and rear privacy glass costing €561 extra.. Bluetooth and USB added another €259. The package without the extras is listed at €21,485 plus optionals coming to €22,305. Driving characteristics as regards handling, road comfort and relaxing travel were all similar. For the long distance and high mileage driver, diesel is the optimum option. The EcoBoost is quite a revelation, sporty through the gears with a distinctive engine note. For the everyday short commute, the EcoBoost has the Edge and gets the Number One vote. Price is the priority for to-day's cash conscious buyers, and with prices starting from €19,865 (ex-delivery) motorists may well forego the extra cost options in order to keep the price within their individual budget.