Even ahead of official figures being released, Ford is making bold, best-in-class claims for its new ultra-efficient ECOnetic version of the third-generation Focus.
The Focus ECOnetic won’t be on sale until early next year, but Ford is already talking up fuel consumption figures of 80mpg and CO2 emissions below 95g/km. If proved true, these will beat the class benchmark VW Golf BlueMotion’s 74.3mpg and 99g/km.
Read what we think about the Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion
Ford Focus ECOnetic: free car tax
Like the Golf, the new Focus ECOnetic will offer owners free car tax as a result of its sub-100g/km emissions, and should represent a significant step forward in this regard from the existing Focus ECOnetic, which emits 104g/km of CO2.
The Focus ECOnetic uses a version of Ford’s long-standing 1.6 TDCi engine, co-developed with Peugeot and used in cars in both brands’ ranges and many more besides, including Minis, Citroens, Mazdas, Volvos and Suzukis.
In the new Focus line-up, even the standard 1.6 TDCi manages 109g/km, meaning Ford has had to work hard to make further improvements for this eco-tuned model.
Ford Focus ECOnetic: packed with green technology
This latest version includes start-stop, new injectors, a revised turbo and further improvements to the catalytic converter and diesel particulate filter.
The technology doesn’t stop there. Low rolling-resistance tyres and aerodynamic improvements (including BMW-style automatically operated radiator shutters), reduced underbody drag and special wheel covers all help reduce the load on the engine, thereby boosting efficiency.
From what we can see, the slightly low-rent plastic wheel trims are about the only outwardly obvious features setting the ECOnetic apart from other Focuses. It may be possible to upgrade these from the options list, albeit at the expense of some of that headline fuel economy…
This ultra-efficient variant is due to be available in both five-door hatch and estate versions.
Read our guide to eco cars
Get more from Which? Car
Magazine: Which? Car magazine is the UK’s only independent car guide (we don’t take ads, so our reviews are totally impartial). The Winter 2011 issue is the first of the new look Which? Car, packed with more new and used car reviews than ever before. We’ve dedicated more pages to in-depth reviews of all the major cars on sale today, helping you to make the most educated decision about buying a new or used car. It’s on sale now, priced at £4.99, available from Sainsbury’s, Tesco, WH Smith, Martin McColl and good independent newsagents.
Email: Stay in touch with all the up-to-date car news, hot deals, latest first drives and reviews posted on our website each week. Sign up to the Which? weekly email to receive our free Friday bulletin.