New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Reader test: Ford Focus

2009-07-29 07:57

Thomas Coskey, Durban

I purchased a second hand Ford Focus 2l Trend with about 58 000km on the clock in 2005. After test driving the car, I had to have it. Finance was approved and by the next week it was in my garage. Now the Focus is six years old with 130 000km on the clock.

The Focus' 2.0-litre engine develops 96 kW and 178 Nm of torque mounted on 16-inch rims and 205x55x16 tyres. It is a well specced car with lots of safety features including dual airbags, ABS and EBD as well as traction control. However the car does not have ESP.

It has a four-star Euro N Cap rating, so it's pretty safe for a family. The engine and the gearbox perform well providing a very smooth power band allowing for a fun but comfortable drive.

The car needs a service every 15 000km and service costs have ranged from about R1 100 to R1 800. As for fuel consumption, the car performs exceptionally well, especially on long distances, achieving 6.9 l/100 km and a maximum of 10 l/100 km in town driving. The interior is very spacious and includes a radio CD front loader with four speakers.

The boot space is sufficient for a couple going on holiday, but with more occupants than that it becomes quite a squeeze. The seats fold down to greatly expand the boot area, which is very handy when moving house.

Comfortable and useful

All the windows are touch automatic with global closing and opening. There are two power sockets; one on the centre console and the other on the dashboard.

The seats are very comfortable and the driver's seat is height adjustable. The cloth cover makes them cooler than the leather but also makes them harder to clean.

Interior noise is not too bad, but it depends on the road surface.

I love...

It’s very comfortable and has more space than the newer Focus which makes long trips a breeze.

The engine has enough power to have a lot of fun while the gearbox is very smooth. It’s very safe and you can pop the wife and kids into the car and tow a trailer if necessary. Fuel economy is great while parts and servicing are not too expensive.

What I don't like about the car is that it does not have ESP and the engine could have a touch more power and maximum torque at lower revs.

Also Ford's servicing does not have the best track record, but as the car is out of warranty I can take it somewhere else.

Those are my gripes; there aren't many.

I love my Focus. It has everything that I need (especially now I am going to be a father) and I will continue to drive it until it gives in or something better comes along. But for now it will remain in my garage for a while longer.


There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.