Great fun to drive and decently spacious but isn’t great value for money
At a glance
  • Handling
  • Comfort
  • Performance
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Practicality
  • Costs
Top driving experience
Spacious interior
Comfy leather seats
Expensive for what it is
Inconsistent interior quality
Average automatic gearbox
  • Variant: Focus Vignale 1.5L EcoBoost 182PS
  • Price: £26,805
  • Engine: 1,497cc, three-cylinder, turbocharged, petrol
  • Power: 180bhp @ 6,000rpm
  • Torque: 177lb-ft @ 1,600rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • Acceleration: 0-62mph: 8.3sec
  • Top Speed: 138mph
  • Fuel: 51mpg
  • co2: 126g/km
  • Road tax band: £165 for the first year; £140 thereafter
  • Dimensions: 4,378mm x 1,979mm x 1,471mm
  • Release Date: On sale now

2018 Ford Focus Vignale review

Are you prepared to spend this much money on a Focus?

More Info

SINCE IT was first introduced, in 1998, the Ford Focus has been winning hearts and minds across the UK with its combination of great handling, spacious interior and low running costs. It’s business as usual with the latest 2018 model, but what you see here is something quite different: the new high-end, range-topping Focus Vignale.

Vignale was originally an Italian coachbuilder in the 1950s and Ford now adds the Vignale badge to its most expensive, luxurious and tricked-out models, including the Fiesta, Edge, Mondeo, S-Max and now, this Focus, available in standard hatchback of estate form.

Officially, it costs from £25,800, with the top-of-the-tree diesel-powered version priced upwards of £29,550, which is enough to make a few eyes water.

The Focus Vignale is immediately obvious thanks to it’s chrome detailing: on the front grille and around the side windows, and the 18in alloy wheels are also covered in the stuff. It’s a subjective matter, of course — this website’s editor loved the look of the Fiesta Vignale’s chrome rims — but to this reviewer’s eyes, all the bling makes the Focus look a tad outdated. Especially if you were to park one next to an upmarket rival like the Mercedes A-Class.

There are more unique Vignale touches inside. The main upgrade over a ‘standard’ Ford Focus are the Vignale’s leather seats — they are supple yet supportive enough to ensure you don’t slide around through high-speed corners. The seats are heated and cooled as standard with a wide range of adjustment.

The dashboard is covered in leather but the material feels closer to plastic than a fine Nappa, while the stitching seems a little low-rent too. Build quality is also inconsistent, particularly the centre console which isn’t as solidly constructed as those of Vignale’s German rivals.

However, space in the back of the Ford Focus Vignale is up there with the best in class, meaning two adults will be perfectly comfortable on a long trip and three kids shouldn’t complain either.  

The boot is average for the class and you don’t get an adjustable boot floor, but the shape of the load area is square and practical. However, all of this is available on the regular Focus for less money.

The Focus Vignale gets roughly the same selection of nippy and fuel-sipping engines as the regular Focus. The 1.5-litre petrol is the pick of the bunch thanks to good performance, low running costs and a pleasing exhaust note.

You can have your Focus Vignale with an automatic eight-speed gearbox but it’s not the best in this class, so only go for it if you really need to. In any case, the standard-fit six-speed manual really is a match for the very best ‘boxes out there.

Driving the Focus Vignale is much the same as driving any other Focus – there’s plenty of grip around tight corners and little body roll. The accurate steering gives you confidence when placing the car on the road and the car’s suspension is comfy enough to iron out the worst roads.

The only real complaint is that the car’s 18-inch wheels — unique to the Vignale — do produce a considerable amount of road noise at motorway speeds.

So, the best bits about the Ford Focus Vignale are really connected to the Ford Focus part, not the Vignale. While it’ll make for a plush company car, there’s little reason to go for one over a Titanium X version, which will save you around £2,500.

Or, if you really do want a premium hatchback, for similar money you could get that Mercedes A-Class with similar equipment and better tech.

See how much you could save on a Ford Focus Vignale at carwow


Ford Focus Vignale rivals

Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Price: £22,850 – £35,435
See how much you could save at carwow

Audi A3 Sportback
Price: £22,190 – £32,040
See how much you could save at carwow

BMW 1 Series
Price: £22,450 – £40,400
See how much you could save at carwow

Volkswagen Golf
Price: £18,340 – £27,910
See how much you could save at carwow