If they do go and check it out, though, they’ll discover that there’s a lot to be excited about. The new 1.0-litre engine is right up there with Ford’s EcoBoost equivalent – a multi-award winning unit that we frequently sing the praises of. It also drives very well, with that lower centre of gravity really paying off in corners. The Focus is one of the best handling cars in this sector, so the fact that the Civic can compete with it in terms of driver enjoyment is a very encouraging sign.
Our British-made Japanese friend also has the Focus beaten on interior space. Famously dull and dark, the interior of a Ford Focus is a bit depressing, but that’s not the case in the all-new Civic, with some very lovely interior details and a design that doesn’t leave vast swathes of uninhabited black plastic across the dash. Take note, Ford.
This then is a much tighter battle than Ford would like, so the price is going to play a big part in who wins this clash. Honda has upped the game significantly, and if it wasn’t for Ford’s expanded range options, it might well be struggling here.
All-new Honda Civic – £18,335 to £27,295
Ford Focus – £18,035 to £31,395