EcoBoost is a real powerhouse

Two million buyers can't be wrong.

It's a bold statement, maybe, but Ford passed the two million units mark for its EcoBoost petrol engines in pretty quick time - they only launched into the UK market during 2102 and the milestone was passed in September 2013.

Not that all the engines have been sold in the UK, of course. But it's a powerhouse that sells itself. Drive a Ford family car with this motor and you'll certainly be revved up about buying it because the engine is so full of energy yet seems to consume far less energy than you might expect in order to deliver the goods.

Ford Focus models have a three cylinder 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine offering two power outputs, 100 bhp and 125 bhp. Most people will find the 100 bhp zingy enough but get behind the 125 bhp engine and you'll begin to wonder why anyone would now want to buy a conventional 1.6 litre petrol engine from any maker.

This EcoBoost is also an ego boost for those who like their driving to have a bit of zip about it, yet at the same time its 114 g/km CO2 output also makes it clean running.

While its focus may be on frugality, this engine also gives decent performance levels with an 11.3 seconds 0-62 mph time and top speed of 120 mph. If you can live with taking 1.2 seconds longer for the acceleration benchmark and a 115 mph top speed, then the 100 bhp EcoBoost with its 109 g/km may equally suit you. The improvement over the 1.6 petrol engine for CO2 output is up to almost 20 per cent, a vital statistic for urban drivers.

Either way, the Focus that gives them a home is a competent family car, dominating its market sector in the same way that Fiesta has total control of supermini sales. The success is not down to price alone - the days are gone when Ford seemingly gave cars away to top the numbers charts - but the driving experience, quality, and overall competence of the cars. It's a package that has worked well since the first Focus launch in 1998, but one which has also kept ahead of the market since then.

EcoBoost works well because it feels so refined - other makers have three cylinder engines but they tend to intrude with both a coarse feel and intense background noise. The success of the EcoBoost is that it feels little different from a conventional 1.6 litre petrol engine for smoothness but has better power output yet its lighter weight over the front wheels enhances the driving experience.

The Focus is also the ideal family car package in which to place EcoBoost, although it's extensively available, and popular with buyers, across both larger and smaller Ford models. The Focus gives excellent passenger and boot space and, of course, there's an estate model for buyers who want more load volume.


Car: Ford Focus Zetec 1.0T 125PS EcoBoost five door

Does it fit your ego...

0-62 mph: 11.3 secs

Top speed: 120 mph

Bhp: 125

Torque: 125 lb ft @ 1400 - 4500 rpm

...and your wallet...

Price: £17,795

Combined: 56.5 mpg

CO2 emissions: 114 g/km

Insurance Group: 14

Best bits: mean; green.