EcoBoost engine focuses on frugality

As Ford celebrates 50 years of the Cortina, the car that realised the dream of proper family motoring for many in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, it is also bringing a new revolution to the world of affordable cars.

This time it’s a three cylinder, one litre engine that takes the place of some 1.6 petrol engines in the Focus range. The idea is to improve economy without cutting back on the driver enjoyment that has become the hallmark of today’s Ford cars.


Most people are going to be sceptical about it but even Jeremy Clarkson reckons it’s the most significant contribution to green family motoring yet seen. He’s right.

Three cylinder engines have been around for years but the big thing about this small Ford motor is its refinement. When it’s ticking over you hardly know it’s running at all and when you put your foot down it’s full of vitality, even in its lowest, 100PS, output.

To prove the point, as soon as we got the keys to the car four of us went out for the evening. We weren’t hanging about as we headed up the dual carriageway but even so the Focus was giving 39 mpg with four adults on board. Drive as most families would, with two adults at most, and it soon heads over the border into 40 mpg territory – and keeps on going.

We averaged 47 mpg just knocking about - typical family usage. Ford quotes an official combined figure of 58.9 mpg and the disparity between the consumption achieved and the “official” figure is far less than you’ll see if you buy a hybrid, which costs more and is often quoted at 70 mpg plus but in reality equals the EcoBoost. Our care had only covered 600 miles when we got it, so it’s realistic to expect an even better figure as time progresses.

It’s true that you can get higher figures with a diesel but many drivers don’t want to handle the fuel or listen to the engine. The latest Ford diesels are very sophisticated but for low mileage drivers petrol engines just make more sense and cost much less to buy. And this new EcoBoost engine in the Focus, which has just been named international engine of the year by Engine Technology International magazine, wipes the floor with everything else.

It proves that hybrids are not worth having – they never get as near to their claimed fuel consumptions as the EcoBoost and are far too technical as well as carrying weighty battery packs. Running on gas is not a viable alternative either, which leaves this fuel efficient Ford petrol engine leading the pack for family motorists.

The 100PS engine gives plenty of pulling power, so it keeps up easily with the cut and thrust of urban driving. But it can also cut it on long journeys and that’s so often the Achilles’ heel of economy cars.

It’s been a long time since drivers of family cars have been offered such a great package and a spin-off is that the lighter weight engine, which can be stood on a sheet of A4 paper it’s so compact, also improves the handling for which the Focus is already notable. It’s a case of not only having your cake and eating it but also going back for a second slice at no extra cost.

And here’s a real financial boost. Foray Motor Group’s 10 dealerships have the new Focus Zetec EcoBoost with its own discount of £2,295 off the £17,445 list price. Buy it with Ford Options Personal Contract Plan allowing 6,000 miles a year and there’s a further deposit allowance of £1,150 and after a customer deposit of £2,104.51, monthly repayments are £229.99 for 24 months with a final payment of £7,313. APR is 4.8%. Details at

Does it fit your ego...

0-62 mph: 12.5 secs

Top speed: 115 mph

Bhp: 100 @ 6000 rpm

Torque: 125 lb ft @ 1400 - 4000 rpm

...and your wallet...

Price: £17,445 (see above)

Combined: 58.9 mpg

CO2 emissions: 109 g/km

Insurance Group:

Best bits: frugal; fun; family-sized.