Ford gave two families a unique opportunity to drive one of the company’s latest ‘green’ models and compare it to driving their current car.
Two families were chosen for the three-week initiative following an online appeal for volunteers for extended test drives in its petrol Ford Focus EcoBoost and diesel Economic cars.
Applicants were asked to stake their claim for inclusion based on their credentials on eco-living and eco-motoring. Here’s how the lucky pair got on behind the wheel of a Ford Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost and Ford Fiesta ECOnetic.
The Thomas Family
Lives: Preston, Lancashire
Current car: Volvo V50 diesel
Background: Adam Thomas works for the Lake District National Park. He commutes up the M6 to Lake Windermere every day. Wife Cathy is a head teacher and they have two sons, Joshua (18) and Jacob (13).
Test drive car: The Ford Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost.
This model features a compact and lightweight three-cylinder petrol engine for outstanding responsiveness and a wide torque range. It has the same 125PS power output of Ford’s 1.6-litre Focus, but 20 per cent better fuel economy. Official Combined Fuel Economy is 56.5mpg with low CO2 emissions of 114g/km.
Adam Thomas’s first impression was that the Ford Focus EcoBoost looked sportier than he expected and it was full of gadgets. “The interior is more jazzy than my taste, but the displays, dials and paddles give the ‘James Bond’ experience that I shamefully enjoy!” he laughed.
Out on the road, Adam was impressed with the Ford’s performance. “The Focus EcoBoost is remarkably quick in first and second gear from a standing start, and that’s been a genuine surprise for me. The kids commented that it makes a growling noise that makes you feel like you’re in a sports car.”[portfolio_slideshow]
Adam does plenty of motorway miles every day and said the Focus was very smooth and comfortable at higher speeds, even with the entire family on board to add extra weight. “It obviously lacks the punch of a diesel when you drop a gear, but it’s still perfectly acceptable. It’s also roomy. My oldest son Joshua is 6ft 3ins and there’s enough space for him.”
Adam has completed an eco-driving course through work, so knows how to get the best mpg from a car. “I’m getting 41mpg, which is good, but not as good as my diesel.”
Other elements that have found favour with the Thomas clan include the DAB radio – for its clarity of sound – and the sat-nav system. Adam likes that the next route instruction is replicated on the instrument panel, so he’s always looking ahead rather than at a screen to the side. “The Bluetooth connection is much clearer than on my car, and I like the fact I can stream music while my phone is in my pocket,” he added.
The Thomas family had a couple of criticisms, including the lack of cup-holders for rear passengers. They also felt the audio speakers were a bit tinny at higher volumes. But overall it’s been a positive experience. “Cathy loves the styling of the car and it’s unusual for her to comment on that. Normally, as long as it’s got four wheels and doesn’t break down, she’s happy!”
See how the Nijjar Family got on with the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic