Ford’s answer to the SUV craze with high-riding hatch
FORD is looking to stand out from the crowd with its new German-built Ford Focus small car, to go on sale in December.
The revised line-up will feature three hatch variants: Trend, ST-Line and Titanium - but two other variants will join the line-up next year.
Ford is targeting SUV buyers with the added practicality of a new wagon variant in ST-Line trim and a new high-riding Active, similar to the Subaru XV.
"The Focus Active is a strong addition to the line-up and is a great match to the active lives of Australians," says Ford Australia boss Kay Hart boss.
"The he ST-Line hatch, ST-Line wagon and Active hatch (are) all designed to offer greater versatility and adaptability."
Hatch variants are priced from $25,990 before on-road costs for the base Trend, $28,990 in ST-Line guise (the wagon adds $1000) and $34,490 for the top Titanium.
The front-wheel drive Active - the hopeful star of Ford's new small car line-up - starts at $29,990.
The main aim of the Active is to draw buyers into the Focus range rather than the wider SUV market.
With 34mm additional ground clearance compared to the hatch and wagon, the Active will give potential SUV buyers the sought-after elevated driving position.
Ford has beefed up the Active's image with front and rear skid plate inserts in contrasting finish, black wheel arches, twin chrome tailpipes and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Powering the Active and the rest of the Focus range will be a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo (134kW/240Nm) matched to an eight-speed automatic.
Two unique driving modes - Slippery and Trail - aid the Active's off-road capabilities by increasing grip in slippery conditions and allowing for smoother driving on soft surfaces such as sand or dirt.
Inside, the Active scores the maker's SYNC3 infotainment tech. Its eight-inch display fives access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
A wireless smartphone charging pad, steering wheel mounted paddle-shifters and voice activated navigation are among other interior highlights.
The Focus range gets autonomous emergency braking and lane keep assist as standard. Adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert are bundled in a $1250 option on all but the range-topping Titanium hatch.