New tiny automobile with a bizarre twist

Raise a Focus hatchback a few centimetres, slap on some cosmetic physique protection, make a seats easier to purify silt off, afterwards swell $4000 on a seeking price. Bingo.

But because wouldn’t you? As automobile buyers go bonkers for SUVs, anything even masquerading as one is satisfactory diversion during a showroom.

The Focus Active blends an SUV with a hatchback.

The Focus Active blends an SUV with a hatchback.Source:Supplied

But blemish a aspect and, for some, a Focus Active — a front-driver roving 34mm aloft — looks a unequivocally intelligent choice for manifold groups of buyers.

There are those who don’t need an SUV’s off-road ability and there are shoppers who wish a tiny hatchback though covet a tallness of an SUV for easy access. Then there are those with dodgy knees shopping a musty tiny SUVs presumably directed during twentysomethings.

There’s no apparent opposition to this 2WD Focus Active.

Subaru’s Impreza-based XV is a correct all-wheel expostulate with lofty 220mm belligerent clearance. VW’s Golf Alltrack automobile is $40K drive-away, a large jump over a Focus Active’s $34K on-road bill.

The Active unequivocally wants to take sales from a front-drive Mazda CX-3 and Mitsubishi ASX baby SUVs, conjunction of that wants to go off-road. The Mazda is comically compromised on space and a ASX is prolonged overdue a extensive update.

The Focus Active is directed during younger drivers.

The Focus Active is directed during younger drivers.Source:Supplied

In a metal, a Focus Active is utterly arresting. It gains a few muscles over a recently launched unchanging Focus, with worse bumpers and imperishable cosmetic circle arches.

It’s taller than your customary family induce though not by much. There’s positively reduction need to hook down to get in — good for creaky reduce joints — though don’t design a loftier pushing position of many SUVs.

The cabin feels roomy, with decent back space for dual adults and a low foot containing a space-saver spare.

The Active has amiable off-road ability.

The Active has amiable off-road ability.Source:Supplied

A rotary dial replaces a required rigging shifter, withdrawal plenty executive storage for phones, keys, eyeglasses and wallet, and a eight-inch touchscreen has glorious functionality and features, including Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

The seats are understanding though cabin plastics and ubiquitous ambience — including a headache of buttons on a steering circle — aren’t on customary with a Mazda3 or VW Golf, notwithstanding a Focus range’s identical pricing.

Its unconstrained puncture braking picks adult pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. The decent reserve apartment also includes trade pointer approval and line keep assist.

An additional $1250 buys adaptive journey control, back cranky trade alert, blind mark warning and line centring that subtly corrects we divided from white lines.

The Active has a outrageous load space with a back seats down.

The Active has a outrageous load space with a back seats down.Source:Supplied

Here’s a humorous bit. Raise a cessation of a automobile and doing isn’t as sharp. This doesn’t matter in a Focus Active. The Focus is for a eager motorist — low, resolutely sprung and propitious with low-profile tyres, it’s good for quick cornering, reduction so for day-to-day float comfort.

The Focus Active finds a happier medium, with that 34mm lift hardly compromising cornering ability. It feels composed, a steering stays pleasingly approach and a incomparable tyres on 17-inch wheels catch bumps better, creation it marginally comfier in city and on a highway.

Its gutsy-enough 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo and eight-speed automobile mix to make a expostulate knowledge a joy, a Focus Active proof sensitively polished when cruising and strong when pushed.

The Active has a mass of buttons and dials compared to rivals.

The Active has a mass of buttons and dials compared to rivals.Source:Supplied

You wouldn’t ask it to tackle many some-more than a sand highway though in Trail mode (allowing some-more circle spin) it coped superbly by some soothing sand. Low belligerent clearway would put me off perplexing this too often.

Ford Australia selling manager Danni Winter reckons a Focus Active is a “lovely center ground” between a induce and SUV.

“People into active pursuits such as surfing and hiking will be interested, as will dull nesters who wish to get in and out with ease, have aloft float tallness and visibility, though not to use off-road,” she says.

Verdict 4/5

You could make a box for a Focus Active being some-more applicable as a automobile or with all-wheel expostulate — though it’s constrained as it is. Perhaps it’s a Diet Coke of SUVs though it might have only adequate additional float tallness and imperishable styling to make it just-right for some.

Ford Focus Active vitals

Price: From $33,825 drive-away

Warranty/servicing: 5 years/unlimited km, $1196 for 4 years/60,000km

Engine: 1.5-litre 3-cyl turbo, 134kW/240Nm

Safety: 5 stars, 6 airbags, AEB, 180-degree back camera, steering assist, line keep aid, line depart warning, post-collision braking, trade pointer recognition

Thirst: 6.4L/100km

Spare: Space-saver

Boot: 341L/1320L

2019 Focus Active

2019 Focus ActiveSource:Supplied

What’s different

How does a Focus Active differ from a customary Focus hatch? It’s $4000 dearer than an entry-level Focus Trend though there’s no change to engine or gearbox, that are common to all versions.

The Active has 34mm some-more belligerent clearway bringing a aloft pushing position, singular corpulent bumpers with china movement plates and SUV-like cosmetic circle arch guards and sills.

There’s disdainful Orange Glow paint and inside a cloth trim feels some-more hard-wearing and imperishable than a customary Focus. There is blue stitching on seats, steering wheel, lurch and doors.

Active buyers clearly will be brave forms so Ford adds Slippery and Trail to a pushing modes, fasten Normal, Eco and Sport. These new settings change throttle, ABS, traction and fortitude control to hoop sand, silt or snow.

There are specific springs and dampers, stabiliser bars and deeper sidewall tyres improved matched to unblocked roads. Despite a looks, there is no all-wheel expostulate option. The Active scores eccentric back cessation — as in a Focus Wagon ST-Line; a unchanging versions get a easier torsion lamp — bringing considerable doing and control.