Finding Focus: Ford's versatile hatch, our cheapest Car of the Year finalist
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The new Ford Focus honours the model’s fine history of providing a spirited and enjoyable driving experience, wrapped in a practical five-door hatchback package.
But it also brings some of the best driver-assist technology to the driving experience, with an adaptive cruise control system that operates as effectively as many vehicles costing twice as much.
The interior is a major advance on the fussy, blingy offering on previous generations of Focus. As an overall package throughout the range, the Focus offers an excellent proposition.
It has enough safety kit to satisfy the safety-conscious, while providing excellent value for money. The chassis is great, and every model is fun to drive.
For Ford NZ, the Focus has set benchmarks in technology, driveability and performance, and “this all-new generation has the best combination of that well-renowned Focus character, performance with the latest technology throughout”.
Ford NZ’s managing director, Simon Rutherford, said: “The New Zealand market favours SUVs but the new Focus has us asking ... Have we hit ‘peak SUV’?
“We have many new Focus customers who have missed the driving dynamics of a well-balanced, fun car.
“For them, the new Focus has been the perfect answer. And there are also a lot of younger, new Kiwi drivers for whom the SUV has become ‘Dad or Mum’s car’. They like the new technology and sporty design of the Focus as well as the alternative appeal of a non-SUV.”
The Focus had an award-winning debut in Europe and it gave Ford NZ the confidence that “we had an excellent vehicle on the way and that feedback has proven to be on the mark”.
“Being named a Top 10 Finalist for the AA Driven Car of The Year 2019 is further recognition our Ford engineers and designers in Europe aced it,” said Rutherford.
Vote and enter cruise draw
AA and Driven have opened voting to the public to select their favourite vehicle of the top 10 finalists in the running for the 2019 AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year.
The People’s Choice Award powered by Driven will go to the vehicle that receives the most online votes before midnight November 30, with the winner announced alongside NZ Car of the Year and Best in Class at a cocktail event on December 10.
In alphabetical order, the top 10 are: BMW 3 Series, Ford Focus, Holden Acadia, Jaguar i-Pace, Mazda3, Peugeot 508, Renault Megane RS, Tesla Model 3, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Supra.
One lucky voter will win an eight-day Fiji cruise for two in an ocean-view cabin.