The Focus CC tries just a little too hard
As an ownership proposition the Ford Focus CC is a fairly solid choice. The oily bits are the same as the regular Focus, so servicing and repair work should be cheap. Insurance isn't bad for a convertible and provided the interior is cared for and the roof works properly, buyers should have few problems selling their cars on when the time comes.
The Focus CC scores highly for rear passenger space. The rear seats are genuinely useable and four adults can be accommodated in relative comfort. Feet may need to be tucked under the front seats but there is ample shoulder and headroom, even with the roof in place.
Ford's interiors have improved markedly in recent years and the Focus CC continues the trend, being of better quality than its French rivals. Most materials have a pleasantly weighty feel to them and the CC even has some unique contrasting colour schemes that work well, most notable the unlikely sounding combination of Iris and Camel.
A large wind deflector that clips behind the front seats is a cost option but necessary if you reach more than city centre speeds. Venture into an A-road without one and you'll receive a noisy buffeting. Seats are generously proportioned with only rear legroom in short supply.
The retractable hardtop provides reassuring security when leaving the car unattended and operating as it does in under 30 seconds, you don't need to hang around too long for it. All models have a Thatcham category 1 alarm system fitted.
Importantly, all models get a Rollover Protection Device (RPD) that fires protective struts from behind the rear seats in the unlikely event of a rollover. There's the full array of airbags and driver aids – though traction control and emergency braking must be paid for even on the CC-3.
Both petrol engines feel underpowered, the 1.6-litre version seriously so. As its name suggests, the Duratorq diesel is a far better choice with plenty of pulling power and even more comfortable cruising. Steering is nicely weighted but apart from that the driving experience lacks the directness of the standard Focus and certainly can't emulate the fun to be had from the Focus ST despite sharing the same modified chassis. It's as rigid as the Mark I Focus hatch.
With the excellent seven-seat Ford S-Max retailing for about the same price as the Focus CC, it really is a no-brainer to choose the larger vehicle. Isofix mounting points are provided for the rear seats, though it is impossible to use them and the wind deflector at the same time.
This middle of the road cabriolet is unlikely to be on many first-timers' wish lists. A Ka, Fiesta or Focus would be far better options.
CC-3 models pass muster as classy cabrios if you're prepared to shell out for the very nice saddle leather upholstery. Having design input from Pininfarina helps add a touch of elegance, but a second-hand Audi A4 for similar money is still a more upmarket proposition.
Seats are 20mm lower than in the standard Focus and of course front seats need to be folded forward to allow access to the rear seats. This can be accomplished with one hand and though rear passengers are likely to find their feet tucked underneath the front seats, they have plenty of elbowroom.
The standard CD player gets better as you progress up the range. Entry-level cars get a single-slot unit, mid-range CC-2 cars iPod compatibility and CC-3 models get an impressive 6CD autochanger. Satellite navigation and Bluetooth compatibility are cost options in all models.
Inside, the Focus CC is a pretty classy affair. The saddle leather used in range-topping models is genuinely luxurious, though cheaper versions readily display where the money has been saved. But the vast improvement Ford has made with its interior fit and finish in recent years is thankfully carried through into the Focus CC's controls and dials.
A park assist system is available but it's a cost option even on top of the range models. Given the size of the rear deck which would grace many an ocean liner, it would be a worthwhile investment. The turning circle is well over 10 metres but better than most rivals.
Space saver fitted as standard.
Three engine options – 2.0-litre (135bhp) Duratorq diesel; 1.6-litre (100bhp) Duratec petrol and 2.0-litre (144bhp) Duratec petrol. Five- or six-speed manual gearbox according to engine choice. Trim designators are CC-1, CC-2 and CC-3.