Ford Focus – for tech heads and rev heads
The Ford Focus Titanium is brimming with gadgets and technology and Tech Guide was given one for a test drive.
Anyone who likes technology and their gadgets want to take them wherever they go – including their car.
But there’s one car that’s got a few gadgets and technology of its own to satisfy even the most tech-savvy drivers.
Ford’s Focus Titanium has a wide range of tech features including park assist, voice control, Bluetooth mobile connectivity and iPod integration just to name a few.
The Ford Focus Titanium we test drove was a 6-speed powershift auto four-door hatch with a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder engine.
Performance-wise the car had plenty of zip and had excellent fuel economy. The interior was also nicely appointed with plenty of room.
But this is mainly a review of the technology onboard the Focus Titanium. And there was plenty for us to look at.
The Ford Focus dashboard and steering wheel controls are a little overwhelming at first but when you break it down to see what each control is for, it’s a lot easier to get your head around it.
Just on the steering wheel are a number of controls for controlling the radio, cruise control, your mobile, windscreen wipers and voice control.
It does look a little crowded and took us a few days to get used to it.
The central console is dominated by a Sony stereo system which sounds great through the car’s speakers.
There is a colour display in front of the steering wheel displaying information from the trip computer like fuel economy and kms before the next refill.
The central console had another colour screen which displayed the parking sensors as well as the audio and telephone menus.
Whenever we were asked about the car we were driving the first thing we told them was it’s the car on the ad that can reverse park itself.
This feature gives the Focus a whole new dimension as it’s something usually seen on a car that’s far more expensive.
There are number of ultrasonic sensors in the car which are used to help steer the Focus into a parking space.
To do this we had to find our spot, active the Park Assist and drive to start position a car length ahead of the spot.
When we were ready and put the car in reverse the Focus took over.
It took some getting used to watching the steering wheel turn all by itself.
We were still in charge of the accelerator and the brake and, for the first few times, had to resist the urge to put our hands on the wheel.
But after the first auto reverse park the Focus had our complete trust.
It’s not only reverse parking the Focus can help with.
The sensors built into the front and back of the car can help drivers when they are parking close to a wall or another car.
This is a very handy feature when parking in a shopping centre and the only available spot is pretty tight.
The sensors sound a warning when the car is within a certain distance from another object and even turn down the volume of the radio temporarily so it can easily be heard.
There’s also a visual representation of the parking sensors on the central display on the dash to give drivers even more information and confidence.
We all know that it’s best to keep our hands on the wheel and our eyes on the road when we drive.
And with a car like the Focus with so many features at your fingertips you have to resist the distraction.
One way of doing this is with voice control.
You can tell the car what to do – literally. Voice commands can be used perform a number of tasks. We were pleasantly surprised with how accurately it heard us.
On the audio front drivers can use their voice to choose the track on the CD, the playlist on your iPod or the radio station.
Our favourite use of the voice control was when using our mobile in the Focus. Just by speaking we could call a number, dial a person by name, accept and reject calls and redial. Now that’s a truly hands free car kit.
But it doesn’t stop there. Voice commands can adjust the air conditioning and even be set to a specific temperature simply by saying it.
We can also talk the car into demisting the windows and turning the fan speed of the climate control up and down.
The fact that the Ford Focus has Bluetooth on board is something we expected and also something common in many other cars.
But what we did like about the Focus set-up was the ease which the mobile could be paired and how easily our entire address book was downloaded into the system.
That way we could easily scroll through our contacts either using the control on the dash or the control on the wheel.
Another favourite feature of the Bluetooth set up was the ability to see all the call we’d made even while using our mobile outside the car.
For example, if you called home on your device, once it is paired to the Focus system that call also shows up in your outgoing call list.
Being able to set your speed in a car is nothing new but again the Ford Focus has added its own flavour with success.
What the Focus has is adaptive cruise control which allows the driver to set their speed and the car can then maintain the gap behind the car ahead of you.
It does this shooting a radar beam from behind the front grille to detect the distance to the car in front.
If the car ahead of you breaks or another car enters the lane within the rage of the radar beam the system will apply the brakes for you automatically.
We found this a really useful feature especially if you do a lot of freeway driving.
Another cruise control feature we enjoyed was the speed limiter which, as its name suggests can keep the Focus below a certain speed limit.
This left us to concentrate on the driving rather than constantly checking the speedometer.
From a technology perspective the Ford Focus is definitely punching above its weight with features you’d expect to find in a vehicle you be paying six figures for.
It’s a great car to drive but if you’re a tech head as much as a rev head – the Ford Focus will be a great fit.
Ford Focus Titanium
Price: From $32,590