Best small car over $35,000

Revised pricing for the LW MkII Ford Focus range, just prior to Australia’s Best Cars test week in October, ensured the Titanium scored top marks for price and depreciation.

A healthy standard features list includes eight airbags plus advanced technologies, such as a voice command system and auto park system, not normally seen at this price point. The latter can ‘measure up’ a suitable parking space and reverse park the car into it.

The Titanium benefits from Ford’s move to capped price servicing, which helps contain regular maintenance costs. However, this is offset somewhat by the car’s 40-series tyres being expensive to replace.

The Duratorq 2.0-litre turbo-diesel offers good fuel economy, though not quite as miserly as its rival for class title, the smaller engine capacity diesel Audi A3. But Focus counters with superior performance. The Focus Titanium proved itself to be a car with road manners focused on pleasing more demanding drivers. Good brakes, composed ride and a well set up chassis are on offer.

However, some of the ABC judges noted the steering felt almost too sharp on initial application of lock from the centre position.

Well shaped seats, plus two-way lumbar adjustment for the driver, earned the Focus Titanium a class-best comfort score.

Australia's Best Cars Best Small Car over $35,000 Ford Focus Titanium

Manufacturer’s List Price: $36,490

Ford Focus Titanium - Criteria out of 10

Value for Money   Rating 
Pricing  10H
Depreciation  10M
Running Costs  2M
Fuel Consumption  9C
Warranty and dealer access   5H
Insurance  6L
Standard Features  10M

Design and Function   Rating 
Safety  9C
Environment  7C
Comfort  9M
Space  7L
Practicality  7M
Ergonomics  8M
Build and Finish  7H

On the Road   Rating 
Performance  9H
Ride  8H
Handling  8H
Braking  8H
Smoothness and Quietness   6L

Note: Level of weighting importance for each score: L = Low, M = Medium, H = High, C = Critical.