Say hello to…
…The new Ford Focus Active, a slightly beefed up crossover version of the standard Focus estate model. And it looks good for it, too.
The Active was launched as part of the new Focus range – the Mk3 Focus – which encompassed four new derivatives:
Five door hatch or Estate car
The Active is more rugged in styling, with ride height raised 30mm above the standard estate, and black detailing around the wheel arches and front apron with silver finished airlip. Plus there’s front and rear skid plates along with 18 inch ‘Absolute Black’ alloy wheels. So watch those kerbs to keep them looking good and smart.
What you won’t have to worry about is potholes, though. At least not too much. That’s because the new Ford Focus features a Pothole Detection System which is linked to the car’s Continuously Controlled Damping technology.
The primary function is to keep the drive ultra smooth as the system analyses what the steering, suspension and the brakes are up to every two milliseconds. However, it can also adjust the amount of travel in the dampers. Which means it prevents the wheel falling too far into the pothole – with possible wheel damage – thanks to this fast-thinking system. It also alerts the rear wheels to the looming potential crunch hole. It’s clever stuff and over the course of a lease rental period can help reduce road damage to your car. Given the state of the UK’s roads, a welcome addition in your fleet armoury.
Is the Focus Active suitable for my fleet?
Ford and fleets go hand in hand. But there’s good reason to think that the Focus Active reviewed here with new 1.5 EcoBlue turbodiesel engine is absolutely spot on.
The Active designation provides a company car driver appealing look – a touch of SUV but not the full hog – and in estate form provides 728 litres of space in the rear for engineers on the road (and 1620 litres with the rear seats folded down). Or for more lifestyle oriented drivers, a great opportunity for outdoor adventure at the weekend, with or without children.
The diesel, with its eight-speed auto, offers drivers a CO2 of 104g/km and a fuel consumption rate of 49.6 to 54.3mpg. It means in standard spec, without options, company car tax for the Ford Focus Active X Estate starts from £131 a month (2019/20 tax year). It bumps up slightly the following year, but not by much.
Safety conscious fleet managers should also consider adding to the car’s already impressive rosta. Standard items include Pre-Collision Assist with Autonomous Emergency Braking pedestrian/cyclist detection and lane departure assist. But there’s also the option of a Head Up Display (HUD) for £400 and blind spot information (£400), along with £500 for Driver Assistance pack (traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control plus auto high beam).
These are really worthwhile. The HUD is the first that can be used with sunglasses – usually the polarising filter does for the projected display. Not with the Ford HUD.
And the blind spot assist glows gently orange in the door mirrors offering timely reminders that a vehicle may be outside of your vision. Or a motorbike. It just works brilliantly well.
Leasing a Ford Focus Active X Estate
At the time of researching (October 30, 2019), the exact specification of our car was difficult to track down on many of the leasing sites.
However, we did find the car on Kew Vehicle Leasing for £318.07 + VAT per month on a business lease on a 3+35 profile with 10,000 miles a year. Meanwhile Gateway2Lease had the car cheaper at £226.04 + VAT per month, but this was on a lengthy 9+59 profile with only 8000 miles a year.
So, planning to lease the Focus Active X Estate may require a degree of preparation.
Driving the Ford Focus Active X Estate
It’s a Ford Focus. So it drives well, right? Well, yes, actually it does drive very well.
That diesel engine is verging on old school gruff when it’s cold, but smooths through nicely when you are up and running. It’s exceptionally quiet and refined on the motorway.
The autobox selector is a rotary button on the centre console. Switch it to D and then let the autobox waft through its cogs, changing gear without you even noticing.
The ride is excellent too. The Focus Active might stand a bit taller but its ride is no way compromised. It offers you travel that’s pliant but firm, the car’s Continuously Controlled Damping technology really doing its thing.
The seats are fabulously supportive, too – a crawl halfway around the M25 London orbital proved this. While it was mind-numbingly tedious, it was not posterior-numbing nor was it back-aching. Good news, then, for long distance drivers. Because the Focus Active excels here.
During our time with the car, we averaged 49.3mpg, which is bang on the WLTP official figures. Expect it to be a fuel-efficient car to run, then.
Ford’s SUV is the Kuga, which is about to be replaced with the Mk3 version. The Active sits between the standard Focus and the Kuga SUV.
The Active hints at an outdoor or active lifestyle without going down the full SUV trope.
And it does so very convincingly.
Attractive to look at and engaging to drive, the Active X estate offers fleets and company car drivers a vehicle that doesn’t shy away from the practical but looks more than the everyday. It’s a success. Put it on your choice lists.
Ford Focus Active X Estate Specification
Model: 1.5 EcoBlue Start/Stop 8 speed auto
Max speed: 116mph
0-62mph: 11.0 s
Lowest economy WLTP: 46.3mpg
Highest economy WLTP: 56.5mpg
CO2 emissions: 104g/km