Warranty is strong at five years/unlimited kilometres and servicing at 12 month/15,000km intervals cost a reasonable $299 for each of the first four visits.
If feels like a proper roomy family car inside with ample space for two adults or three kids in the back. You score an SUV-baiting 608L of boot space and a mighty 1653L with rear seats folded. Cloth seats have red stitching for some visual flair, a rotary selector rather than gear shifter frees up centre console space and the touchscreen looks sharp and has superb functionality and features. The steering wheel is busy with buttons and cabin plastics and general ambience don't feel quite so premium.
It gets five stars, six airbags, auto emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keep assist and departure warning, 180-degree split view reversing camera and automatic post impact braking. A $1250 option adds blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, speed sign recognition or evasive steer assist as found on the flagship Focus Titanium.
Ford doesn't shout about the new Focus range's 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo. Some may consider a triple cylinder too weedy but not so - outputs are 134kW/240Nm and it's a peachy, refined job with a pleasing thrum. The sole transmission is the slick eight-speed auto with paddle-shifters helping it hit 100km/h from rest in a respectable 8.0 seconds. The premium comes in part from the Wagon using pricier independent rear suspension, making it feel agile and sporty good fun to drive. Ride isn't the most comfortable in the class but few rivals match it for driver engagement.
Similar to the Focus in specification, roominess and dynamic excellence. The turbo four produces 110kW/250Nm. Fuel economy trumps the Focus but service charges are a lot more.
A better car than sales suggest, the UK-built Astra has such goodies as heated leather seats and hands-free power tailgate and even parks itself. Economical, sensible but not that much fun.
Looks great inside and out but not quite as roomy and its turbo four manages just 97kW/205Nm. Stylish but slow and pricey.
It's feature-packed and an excellent alternative to an SUV in terms of space and driveability but the Focus Wagon's price will turn off many buyers.
Crime The plan to remove evil lurking in the shadows after Shandee's death leads to push for increased lighting and CCTV cameras across Mackay
Health As a shocking new stillbirth report is released, a Mackay mum has spoken about her heartache. 'The hospital could not find a cause for the stillbirth'.
12v Transformer 10w
Politics Qld could be set to follow the lead of Victoria and NSW by imposing a mobile phone ban in schools.
Property One of Mackay's most popular estates is in its final stages after two decades of development.
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