It’s a front-drive Focus with a 30mm lift in ride-height; the Active isn’t a crossover but just a normal car in platform soles. But as not everyone wants the poorer fuel consumption and undermined dynamics that are inherent to the crossover breed then the Active’s mild elevation might be all you want or need.
The difference over the standard focus is enough to notice and probably enough to take you further off-road. Plastic cladding and skid plates are applied to the lower body to keep the theme of an active lifestyle but the skid plates are more about sending a signal to the driver than adding much actual ruggedness to the underbody.
Buyers can choose between five-door hatch or estate body styles. Black roof rails are standard and the base models get 17-inch 5-spoke 'Foundry Black' painted alloy wheels. Plusher 'Active X' derivatives swap these for 18-inch 5x2-spoke 'Absolute Black' painted rims. For the interior there are fewer changes with these Active variants, though you do get blue-stitched upholstery and branded door kick plates. Up-front it all feels of good quality with the improved Ford design including a 4.2-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system and in the back there’s plenty of space too with little touches like the rear doors being specifically profiled so that back passengers can see out more easily. There are very reasonable levels of boot space too in both body styles with the estate version having a massive 1,650-litres of storage capacity.
Under the bonnet it’s standard Focus which is no bad thing! There are three options to choose from with 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engines or a 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel. The manual transmission is slick with the top petrol variant being a close match to the engine of the Fiesta ST. There is also an optional 8-speed automatic gearbox available. Ford has managed to create the Focus Active package in a way that has very little effect on running cost efficiency with the base 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine in the hatchback variant managing a combined MPG of 44.1 to 49.6. With a selectable drive mode system including two settings; a “Slippery” mode which adjusts ESC and traction control settings for increased confidence on surfaces with reduced grip (mud, snow and ice) and a “Trail” mode which helps maintain momentum on soft surfaces such as sand. So you should be safe in any conditions that you might expect to find in the UK, both on and off-road.
Active variants of the Focus are priced at the same level as the sporty “ST-Line” models with prices starting from around £22,000 for the five-door hatch version. As usual with Ford, there's an £1,100 premium to pay if you want an estate plus additional costs if you want the 8-speed auto or the higher “Active X” trim level which gets you a panorama glass roof, power-folding mirrors, all-round parking sensors, keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers, partial-leather upholstery, an auto-dipping rear view mirror, dual zone climate control, heated front seats and power adjustment for the driver's seat.
If you’re looking for an SUV, 4x4 or proper Crossover the Ford Focus Active isn’t for you, but if you’re looking for a more adventurous family hatchback/estate that has a bit more capability off-road, in adverse weather conditions and a bit more rugged with the plastic trim than a standard car then it might be the one to consider.
Pros ‘n’ Cons
• Styling √
• Interior √
• Ride Comfort √
• Half-Hearted Crossover X
• Automatic Transmission X
(1.5 Litre Auto Estate Active X Specification)
• Max speed: 125 mph
• 0-62 mph: 9.9 seconds
• Range: 47.1mpg
• Engine layout: 120PS 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel
• Max. power: 150bhp
• CO2: 136 g/km
• Price: £27,190
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