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Ford Focus: Know its alternatives

  • Nov 07, 2018
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Anyone remembers Ken Block? The legendary drifter and his sessions are a treat for the eyes. Avoiding obstacles, drifting around them, 100s of cameras, rubber burning and more. But does anyone remember the car that Mr Block drives? It is the legendary Ford Focus. A hatchback that started life as your regular big bold hatch and then suddenly transformed to an apex hunting machine. The Ford Focus continues to do duties and us Malaysians are known to pimp our rides. Now and then, you see a family-driven Ford Focus having huge spoilers as well as livery.


Ford Focus


The current Ford Focus we get in Malaysia includes a 1.5-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine that generates 180 PS of power and 240 Nm of peak torque. The front wheels propel the car through a 6-speed automatic gearbox. This unit also gets paddle shifters behind the wheel. Front, as well as rear parking sensors, reverse camera, parallel park, assist as well as six airbags are included with the Ford Focus. What’s more, it also has a sedan version available that brings in more boot space. The Ford Focus price in Malaysia starts from RM 139,888. So, let’s take a look at the alternatives of the Ford Focus in Malaysia.


Honda Civic


Honda Civic


 


We love the way the Civic looks. It still has Japanese genes and looks like a boy racer’s dreams came true. The recently introduced generation change means the car is still fresh in the wake of new competition. As far as price is concerned, the 2018 Honda Civic is priced at RM 128,631. This Honda is not only about the looks, but it also has a 1.8-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine and 1.5-litre turbo petrol. While the 1.8-litre has been around for ages, it is the latter that we are interested in. In this state of tune, it produces 173 PS of power and 220 Nm of torque. Honda uses a CVT with paddle shifters in the Civic that helps the car to do a 0-100 kmph run in just 8.2 seconds. The top speed is limited to 200 kmph.


2019 Honda Civic Type R


We wonder why there is no 6-speed manual on offer. If you absolutely must have the Civic with a manual, then there is the bonkers 300 PS+ Civic RS on offer. Unfortunately, it is priced too high, and the regular Civic is available only in sedan form here. But it is still fun to drive and a proper match for any of the performance vehicles.


Volkswagen Golf


 


The Volkswagen Golf is one of the first performance hatches to have been introduced to the world and is now in its eighth generation. Volkswagen has come a long way with this car, and there is also an e-Golf available too. However, in the Malaysian market, that is some time away. Here, as of now, we get three variants of the Golf here, and each is separated by the performance they bring to the table. There is the base R-Line trim, which is the base, the GTI that sits in the middle and the top spec R trim. Based on the price, it is but prudent that we talk about the R-Line.


Volkswagen Golf


In this guise, the Golf is available with a 150 PS turbocharged, direction injection 1.4-litre petrol engine. As is the norm, the gearbox is a 7-speed DSG unit manufactured by VW. It also gets paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Full LED headlights with DRLs, a 12.3-inch active display, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with MirrorLink, Apple Carplay as well as Android Auto are on offer too. The Volkswagen Golf R-Line price is from RM 173,390, and since this is the base unit, prices go up as much as the performance does.


Mercedes-Benz A200


Mercedes-Benz A200


Want a German engineered car but with a coveted badge? Mercedes-Benz is happy to sell you the A-Class. The new A-Class was launched recently in Malaysia and is available in two trims. The lower spec is what we will be comparing here as it matches the price equation of all the other cars here. For that matter, the A200’s design looks sleek, and it also comes across as brash. The A-Class has got an all-LED ensemble at the front as well as back for lights. Mercedes-Benz uses a Renault-sourced 1.3-litre petrol engine that brings in 163 PS of power. All this power is sent to the front wheels through a 7-speed dual clutch transmission.


Of course, there are paddle shifters on offer too. The Merc A200 does the 0-100 kmph run in just 8.0 seconds. The Merc A 200 is priced on-road at 227,800. A worthy choice if you want entry into the 3-pointed brigade.


Volvo V40


Volvo V40


Shouldn’t there always be a left-field option? You got one here with one of the safest cars around, the Volvo V40. With a recent facelift, the Volvo V40 hatchback cuts across as a sensible choice too. Two trims of the Volvo V40 are available in Malaysia - T4, and T5. Price of the Volvo V40 hatchback starts from RM 154,000 in Malaysia. 190 PS of power and 300 Nm of torque are generated from this 2.0-litre turbo petrol. Volvo claims a 0-100 kmph time of 6.9s while the top speed is 225 kmph. Safety is paramount, and Volvo offers eight airbags, city safety suite and much more. Reliability of Volvos have increased over the years and this one while not being a conventional option, is still very good.

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