The Focus’s body proved to be extremely strong and its passenger cell was stable, protecting the occupants. The car just missed achieving a maximum score in the frontal impact test.
The restraint systems include dual frontal airbags, front belt pre-tensioners and load limiters, side airbags and a head airbag curtain. Side-impact protection was impressive while that for children was also good. The protection given to pedestrians was reasonably good.
The body structure suffered minimal deformation; the drivers’ door could be opened almost normally after the impact.
The single-stage tethered airbags and belt pre-tensioners in combination with load limiters and the stable structure worked well, keeping impact loads on the front occupants’ chests low.
A good deal of work has been done to improve the drivers knee impact area. The door aperture and the footwell suffered minimal distortion in the crash.
A very impressive protection system includes seat mounted thorax airbags and a head curtain airbag, which also protects those seated in the rear.
The restraint used by the three-year-old was a forward-facing Britax Romer Duo Plus, fitted using the ISOFIX anchorages and a top tether. The restraint used by the 18- month-old was a rear-facing Britax Romer BabySafe ISOFIX Plus fitted using the two-point ISOFIX anchorages and a support frame. Both children were well protected in the frontal and side impact tests.
There was a non-permanent pictogram on the end of the fascia but no other written warning of the dangers of placing a child in a rear facing restraint opposite an airbag. Ford offers an airbag on/off switch as a dealer-fit optional item.
Tests on the bonnet showed that it offered good protection where a child’s head might most likely strike it. It also protected adult heads, though less well.
However, the protection offered at the bonnet’s leading edge and by the Focus’s bumper was found to be flawed. Overall, the car’s two-star result was encouraging.