The jacked-up, crossover Ford Focus Active will arrive in Australia next year priced from $29,990 plus on-road costs, ready to challenge the Subaru XV – only without all-wheel drive.

Sitting above the Focus Trend ($25,990+ORC) and Focus ST-Line ($28,990+ORC), but below the Focus Titanium ($34,490+ORC), all of which will arrive in December, the XV-challenging $29,990+ORC Focus Active presents an offroad-focused spin on ST-Line level of equipment.

Highlights over the Trend, but shared with ST-Line, include 17-inch alloy wheels (up from 16s), keyless auto-entry with push-button start, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning and wireless smartphone charging.

Uniquely, however, the Active gets 34mm extra ground clearance, contrast-silver skid plates front and rear, obligatory unpainted side body cladding and twin-rear tailpipes. Inside there’s Nordic Blue steering wheel and dashboard stitching, Active scuff plates, plus other “unique embroidery and more rugged, versatile cloth trim” according to Ford.

While the 134kW/240Nm 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine is shared across all new-generation German-produced Focus model grades for Australia, the Active adds to the others’ Normal, Eco and Sport modes with an additional offroad-focused duo.

These include Slippery Mode, which manipulates the electronic stability control (ESC) systems to work best on snow and ice in particular, plus Trail Mode that is “intended to help maintain momentum on soft, deformable surfaces like a sandy beach or powdery dirt road.” Best remember, though, it’s still a front-wheel drive hatchback, albeit a jacked-up one…

Otherwise, infotainment standard across the five-door hatchback range include an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring, a digital radio, satellite navigation.

Safety kit also extends to forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and pedestrian/cyclist detection, as well as lane-departure warning with active lane-keep assistance.

While the Active misses the auto reverse-park assistance, leather trim and head-up display available in the Focus Titanium, it shares three options with the ST-Line.

These include a $2000 panoramic sunroof, $1800 Design Pack with 18-inch alloys, privacy glass, adaptive LED headlights and automatic high-beam, plus a $1250 Driver Assistance Pack featuring adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert.


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