The Ford 1.6-litre Ecoboost models marry strong performance and fine efficiency and prove that there’s life in the petrol engine yet.
Ford has used three key technologies to make these engines work their magic: a centrally-mounted high-pressure direct injection system, low-inertia turbocharging and twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT). The 148 or 178bhp engines offer plenty of get up and go yet return almost diesel-like economy and emissions.
The 148bhp version is a respectable performer, getting to 60mph in just 8.3s and topping out at 130mph. The star turn is the 178bhp version though, which offers 7.5s sprint to 60mph and doesn’t stop accelerating until it reaches 138mph. The Ecoboost models are as much about efficiency as they are about entertainment and both engines do extremely well when it comes to running costs. The 1.6-litre 148bhp unit returns a combined fuel economy figure of 47.1mpg, helped by a Start/Stop system that cuts the engine when stationary. Carbon dioxide output is just 139g/km, a figure that wouldn’t look bad on a diesel car. Go for the punchier 178bhp car and Ford quote identical fuel and emissions figures.
There’s a price to be paid for getting the best of both worlds, however, and the Ecoboost models aren’t cheap. Only offered in range-topping Titanium and Titanium X trim levels, you’ll need to be of decent means to get your hands on one, but once the dotted line is signed, ongoing costs are distinctly modest. Whether British buyers can be teased out of their diesel family hatches is debatable at best but if nothing else, Ford has built a car that showcases the way forward for the petrol engine.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CAR: Ford Focus Ecoboost range
PRICES: £19,750- £21,250
INSURANCE GROUPS: 19
CO2 EMISSIONS: 139g/km
PERFORMANCE: 0-62 11.1s / top speed 120mph
FUEL CONSUMPTION: (combined) 47.1mpg
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: ESP stability control, traction control, ABS with EBA & EBD
WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: Length/Width/Height mm 4556/1823/1505.