Ford Focus LZ 2015-2018 used car review
Greg Hill reviews a second hand Ford Focus LZ from 2015-2018.
The Ford Focus reinvented itself in late 2015 with the introduction of the LZ model. The previous LW series is a used car to avoid, due to disastrous ‘Powershift’ dual-clutch automatic transmission issues that Ford struggled with, but failed to properly address.
The LZ Focus wasn’t an all-new model, but it benefitted from a substantial makeover, including a successful engine and automatic transmission transplant, along with some suspension tweaks. The LZ range can be split into two categories – the mainstream models including Trend, Sport and Titanium, or the more performance-targeted hot-hatch variants, such as the ST and the all-wheel-drive RS. In keeping with their sporting intent, both the ST and RS are manual only. Offerings on the used market are evenly split between the grades. (More: Ford LW series Focus used car review)
In the mainstream models, Ford fitted a stronger-performing, more fuel-efficient 1.5-litre EcoBoost turbo-petrol engine and teamed it with smooth-shifting, conventional torque converter style six-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual can be found in the Trend grade. The Trend and top-spec Titanium were offered in both sedan and hatchback form, but the Sport was hatchback only.
The Focus is a practical small car that has a style and range of features that appealed to many buyers. Each version was relatively well equipped for its position in the range. Front-seat comfort is good but there’s not an abundance of rear-seat space. For the driver, the LZ presentation features Ford’s Sync2 connectivity system with voice control and an eight-inch touchscreen.
The LZ has a 2014 date-stamped five-star ANCAP safety rating, with the Titanium getting extra advanced safety features.
On the road, the mainstream LZ Focus is one of the most capable and enjoyable cars in its class. The 1.5-litre direct-injection turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine’s healthy 132kW of power and 240Nm of torque is ably supported by the smooth-changing six-speed automatic and does everything you would expect from this type of car, with consummate ease.
A broad spread of torque, with the peak output reached at a low 1600rpm and maintained through to 5000rpm, gives the Focus excellent performance flexibility. Not only is the LZ Focus one of the strongest performers in the class, it also returns respectable fuel economy, but it will vary depending on how the performance is used. Most owners report average consumption of between 7.5 to 9.5L/100km. The LZ will run on regular 91 octane petrol but premium-grade 95 or 98 RON is recommended by Ford for the best results.