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Ford Focus, Renault Mégane driving report: Two in three-quarter time

Wolfgang Kroeger-Meier
Ford Focus and Renault Mégane in the driving report
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W er in the most popular segment on the If you want to be involved in music in the German market, you have to think twice about whether you can ignore the conventions that apply there without jeopardizing success. Hatchback and large trunk lid are as mandatory in the compact class as front-wheel drive and transversely mounted engines. Ambitious consumption targets mean that cubic capacities are steadily shrinking; in return, the combination with turbocharging should provide the desired power and torque potential. But so far nobody has wanted to compete in this segment with fewer than four cylinders.

So far: Ford is the first to break this taboo and wants to free the three-cylinder from its poor image as a small car drive. After the impressive presentation of the 100 hp version, the Focus Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost now competes in the more powerful version with 125 hp against the freshly redesigned Renault Mégane TCe 130. Its turbo gasoline engine distributes its 1.4 liter displacement to four cylinders and mobilizes a little more power (130 instead of 125 hp) and torque (maximum 190 instead of 170 Nm) than the Ford. However, the TCe 130 is not yet part of the so-called Energy at Renault -Family which, like the three-cylinder in the Focus, is equipped with direct injection and start-stop technology.

Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost consumes 7.5 liters

Thus awakens the new engine of the Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost the higher expectations in the efficient use of fuel. In the driving report, an average of 7.5 liters /100 km flowed through the injection nozzles - determined with a predominantly brisk driving style. A good value, but not a revelation with a standard cycle specification of five liters, which the Focus only comes close to with extremely cautious gas pedal. In principle, this also applies to the Renault Mégane TCe 130, but at a much higher level. The Mégane always treats itself to around 1.5 liters more at a comparable speed and has an average of 9.1 L /100 km.

As a justification, it can only cite the slightly better performance. When sprinting to 100 km /h and pulling through from 80 to 120 km /h in fifth gear, it always takes one second off the Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost, which has a slightly longer ratio in stages five and six. This fine lead in temperament is not only measurable, but also tangible. As soon as both engines are fully used, pedalhowever the acoustic differences come to the fore. While the four-cylinder in the Renault grumbles a bit strenuously with increasing engine speed, the one-liter in the Focus drums in the typical three-cylinder manner and climbs lightly and without annoying vibrations to the highest regions. It's fun, but not necessary, because the three-cylinder already develops enough power in the lower rev range, it just needs a little more gas to start up. Thanks to good insulation, it can hardly be heard when the vehicle is stationary and even quieter when driving than the equally smooth-running Renault Turbo.

Agile chassis of the Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost

The one rather sporty- lively, the other a bit more beefy and inconspicuous - this is also reflected in the characters of the opponents. Driving fun in the Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost is provided by the lively engine, the sensitive steering and the agile chassis, with which the sedan can be directed precisely through the curves. In contrast, the comfortable seats lack lateral support. The passengers in the Renault Mégane TCe 130 are no better off, although even after the model update in spring - recognizable by the modified front section - he still prefers a leisurely driving style. Renault has improved the steering feel, but the gearshift could use more precision with quick gear changes.

This should hardly bother Otto normal drivers, and he will probably place more emphasis on the larger luggage compartment of the Renault (405 instead of 363 liters) and the comfort-oriented suspension setup. However, the more tightly damped Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost irons holes and transverse joints no less skillfully.

Lavishly equipped Renault Mégane cheaper

When it comes to safety equipment, Renault has gone one better. In the driven Luxe version (from 23,350 euros) the Visio package with high beam and lane change assistant is part of the standard scope, which costs 400 euros extra for the Mégane Dynamique (from 20,350 euros). But the Ford Focus 1.0 Ecoboost (as a trend from 20,700 euros) is even more modern and broader with other systems such as collision or fatigue warning - if the customer orders it, because even the top version Titanium (from 23,050 euros) costs extra. If the equipment is to compete with the lavish extent of the Mégane Luxe - including the standard TomTom navigation system and heated partial leather seats - Focus buyers have to spend almost 3,000 euros more on the counter. Nevertheless, the Ford is also convincing in terms of costs, because the higher discount level and lower maintenance speak for it.

But Renault has an alternative ready for bargain hunters - the new Renault Mégane TCe 115. The smaller 1.2- A liter turbo with 115 PS costs just as much as the TCe 130, but is already part of the Energy family and should consume one liter less - with four instead of three cylinders.


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