New Ford Focus 2021: mild updates inside and out | CAR Magazine

New Ford Focus 2021: mild updates inside and out

Published: 14 October 2021 Updated: 14 October 2021

► Ford refreshes its Focus hatch
► More tech inside, minor tweaks outside
► Prices start from £22,465

Ford’s refocused its, er… Focus. For 2021, the familiar family hatch has been given a raft of updates, tweaks, and a mild facelift to help it remain fresh and competitive against the competition.

Makes sense, really – a new Astra from Vauxhall, new 308 from Peugeot and techy rivals from the premium end of the market will be squeezing the Focus.

It follows on not long after Ford did the same thing to the Fiesta supermini, so get your facelift bingo card out for all of the classic traits of a facelift these days.

A mildly changed design – check!

Yes, like the Fiesta, the Focus has undergone a slight nip and tuck in how it looks, particularly at the front end. A raised nose and larger grille are present, with Ford moving the badge onto the grille with it. New LED headlights are standard with a refreshed DRL pattern.

focus active estate rear

Ford says Trend, Titanium, ST-Line and slightly-more-rugged Active versions will be available for the five-door hatch and the estate version. Thankfully, Vignale has taken a back seat; it’s been relegated to turning up as a personalisation pack that adds little else besides some bespoke wheel designs. The ST remains, too – scroll down for more details on that one.

focus estate wet zone

The estate version’s load area has been tweaked, too, with a new adjustable boot floor and a ‘wet zone’ that’s lined with water-resistant material and a divider to separate it from the rest of the load area.

More electrified engines – check!

Ford says there’s a wider rollout of its EcoBoost Hybrid engines here, which are just mild hybrids – no HEV or PHEV here – with the 1.0-litre mild hybrid engine developing 123 or 152bhp. There’s also a base model, non-mild-hybrid 1.0-litre, too. Ford claims up to 51.4mpg and 116g/km from the thriftiest petrol version. If you’re still set on diesel, Ford provides; a 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel is available, making 118bhp and a claimed 56.5mpg.

Along with the new engines, Ford’s introduced a new seven-speed automatic version.

Slicker technology inside – check!

The revised Focus introduces a new, much larger infotainment screen running SYNC 4 – the OS that was first available on the Mustang Mach E. Ford claims that the new 13.2-inch screen is the largest in its segment.

focus large screen

That also means the button configuration on the dashboard has been cleaned up, with the climate controls being moved to the screen, rather than having physical switchgear further down.

Leaving the ST alone – BINGO!

Yes, Ford’s done next to nowt with the ST, which we’re happy with. Beyond the mild visual tweaks and fresh technology inside, Ford hasn’t messed with the basic recipe.

focus st 2021

That means a 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost version, available with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed auto, developing 276bhp and 310lb ft. An electronic limited-slip differential is standard, and a new ‘X Pack’ includes rev matching for the manual ‘box versions, bespoke alloys and a Track mode in the drive mode selector.

How much is the new Focus, then?

Prices start at £22,465 for a basic Trend hatchback, with Titanium clocking in at £23,715 and ST-Line models starting from £24,545. After some proper performance? The ST will set you back £33,885.

Read our Ford reviews here

By Jake Groves

CAR's deputy news editor, gamer, serial Lego-ist, lover of hot hatches