Australia

Another hatchback price hike

Ford is the second company in two months to increase the cost of its latest hatchback, after Toyota’s new generation Corolla was hit with a $4000 increase that pushed its starting price past $28,000 drive-away.

When it arrives in showrooms later this year the starting price for the new Ford Focus hatch will increase by $2600 to $25,990 before on-road costs are added — likely to calculate out to at least $28,990 drive-away, or $4500 more than the current discount offer.

Ford’s new three-model Focus hatch line-up will be powered exclusively by a turbo three-cylinder 1.5-litre engine (134kW/240Nm) matched to an eight-speed auto. A wagon will be available in one trim only, the sporty ST-Line.

Technology such as autonomous emergency braking — with cyclist and pedestrian detection — and lane-keeping tech will be standard, but other advanced safety features will be optional on all but the most expensive model.

The Focus Trend base model will be well equipped in other regards, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, digital radio, built-in navigation and an 8-inch touchscreen as standard.

All models will have Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and “My Key” which gives parents the option of limiting the vehicle’s top speed and maximum audio volume on a second key loaned to teenage drivers.

Not be confused with the ST hot hatch due next year, for $28,990 plus on-road costs the sporty ST-Line gains some of the visual cues of the upcoming performance model but is powered by the same three-cylinder engine as the other models in the new Focus range.

It gains dual zone air-conditioning, keyless entry, wireless phone charging, a sensor key with push button start, as well as the ST appearance package. The ST-Line wagon is $30,990.

The flagship Titanium is $34,490 plus on-road costs and gains an additional “driver assistance pack” including rear cross-traffic alert, blind spot warning, and radar cruise control with stop and go, which is a $1250 option on the other two grades.

A panorama sunroof is a $2000 option on the ST-Line and Titanium.

With all options ticked the range-topping Focus Titanium nudges close to $40,000 drive-away.

Aside from the extra technology and the completely new design, the Focus price rise can also be attributed to a switch in factories.

The current Focus is made in Thailand but Ford Australia will source the new model from Germany. It is due on sale in December 2018.

In the meantime, Ford has deals on the run-out model starting from $24,490 drive-away, a saving of at least $2000 off full price.

As with the current Focus the new model will be covered by Ford’s new five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling

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