The Ford Focus has long been one of the class leaders in the family hatchback segment. Fun to drive, well-equipped and backed up by a large dealer network, it isn’t hard to see why it’s one of the highest selling new cars in the UK.
There are, however, many talented alternatives to the ever-popular Ford. We’ve taken a look at five of the most tempting options. If you’re unconvinced by our choices, put the Ford Focus in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save.
The family hatch that most closely rivals the Focus in the sales charts – the Volkswagen Golf boasts many reasons to choose it over the Ford. The more conventional-looking cabin is constructed from higher quality materials and it’s more spacious inside – particularly in the boot. It might not feel quite as enjoyable on the road, but it’s more refined – a quality that’s arguably more useful, more of the time.
It’s one of the few models that can rival the Focus for choice, too – the Golf is available as a three or five-door hatchback, an estate or, in SV form, a mini-MPV. The petrol and diesel lineup is wide ranging and, with sporty options like the GTI and R complimented by the eco-minded Golf GTE and all-electric e-Golf, the choices are seemingly endless.
Put the Volkswagen Golf in our car configurator to see how much you could save.
While the Focus is known for offering some of the sharpest handling characteristics in the class, it’s arguably the Mazda 3 that delivers the more entertaining experience from behind the wheel. The Japanese brand’s philosophy of reducing weight where possible has paid dividends on the road – the steering is direct, body movement is well controlled, and grip is strong. Despite this, the ride is above average for the class, too.
The low mass by class standards benefits fuel efficiency, too. Both petrol and diesel engines return competitive real world economy, with the 2.2-litre diesel achieving 62mpg during our time with it.
Spec up a Mazda 3 in our car configurator to see what deals are available.
If practicality is a priority, the Skoda Octavia is lightyears ahead of the Focus. While the cabin is fairly conventional in appearance, everything is well-built, sensibly laid out and refined on the move.
The boot is the Skoda’s most impressive aspect, though. With a total volume of 590 litres, the load bay is almost double the size of the Ford’s. Best of all, it needn’t be expensive either – the entry-level 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol is one of the highlights of the range.
Pick your ideal Skoda Octavia in our car configurator to see what savings can be made.
The Vauxhall Astra was always a worthy entrant to the family car segment, if one that always seems to fall slightly short of the Ford Focus. If our impressions with the latest version are anything to go by, though, the Astra might just have edged into the lead.
The chassis is both agile and impressively composed, surpassing the Ford’s handling qualities. Due to the near lack of wind noise at speed, it’s the more refined car, and the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is both smoother and more frugal than the similar unit fitted to the Focus. Inside, the dashboard is attractive and well-built, while the 370-litre boot is 54 litres larger than the Focus’.
Put the Vauxhall Astra in our car configurator to see the deals carwow could help you get.
One of the more recent additions to the segment might just be our new favourite. The Renault Kadjar shares 60 per cent of components with the Nissan Qashqai – a car we already feel is superior to the Ford. Just like the Nissan, the Kadjar is very comfortable, easy to drive, safe and cheap to run.
The Renault boasts several advantages over the Nissan, however. It’s slightly larger inside, has a bigger boot, and – to our eyes – looks easier on the eye both inside and out. Most crucially of all though, the Kadjar is cheaper to buy than the Qashqai, and when the two cars are similar in so many ways, the Renault becomes the one to go for.
Spec up a Renault Kadjar in our car configurator to discover the savings available.
Save money on your next car
If you’re not convinced by our rivals, put the Ford Focus in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. For more options, head over to our deals page or, if you still need help picking you next car, check out our car chooser.