Cars

New Ford Focus vs. Kia ceed and VW Golf in comparison

Compact class with petrol engines and for self-shifting? This equation sounds somehow outdated and of times long past. But even if it no longer corresponds to the spirit of the times, for a change we are not talking about charging times, battery storage sizes and fear of range, but about fuel consumption, transmissions and driving itself. And Kia Ceed, VW Golf and Ford Focus are excellent at that.

The Cologne-based company has just refreshed the latter, giving it a revised infotainment system with a huge touch display and a greatly reduced switch landscape. Yes, the large umbrella takes care of the climate control at the same time. We don’t think it’s that good because it’s often more complicated. And the Focus is no exception.

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After all (and unlike in the Golf), the most important parameters such as temperature, ventilation level and seat heating are permanently displayed at the bottom. The Ceed, which still relies on a separate air conditioning unit, makes it more classic. In general, there are many more switches in the Kia, but they can be tamed well, anything but a challenge.

Golf infotainment is greatly improved

“Okay, Ford”, the technology already signals its attentiveness by means of a rotating helix. But shortly thereafter, the system proves to be obtuse. The computer promptly logs some street names as the next navigation destination, but not others even after repeating them three times.
VW Golf Kia Ceed Ford Focus

Focus, Golf and Ceed (from left to right) – three strong compacts that put up a tough fight in the test.

In case of confusion, the system bluntly prays down what is possible. Unfortunately, significantly less than the voice recognition from Kia and VW. In particular, the golf calculator shows itself to be greatly improved in terms of understanding and processing time. In addition, his many assistants work particularly well.
Ford Focus

With the ST chassis, the Focus sits squarely on the road. Brings a slight loss of comfort, but is also the most fun to drive.


Example of traffic sign recognition: It works perfectly, the speed is adjusted in good time before entering a town. The cruise control also adopts the detected speed in the Focus. Unfortunately, much too late, which basically makes the system superfluous.

Quality: Ford Focus visibly easier knocked out

In terms of quality, the Ford remains behind Kia and VW. It is visibly easier to knock out, easily recognizable by the flimsy trunk lining. More serious, however, the surprisingly soft padded front seats. The side cheeks, only contoured by foam, give way noticeably in curves.

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Three-cylinder, turbo, mild hybrid

Continental SportContact 5

Bridgestone Potenza S005


The more massive chairs in the Ceed can do it better, and the seats in the Golf are a touch more ergonomic. In connection with the great seating position, the VW is clearly the most suitable for long-distance journeys.

The 150 to 160 hp petrol engines can even be used in small SUV quickly become overwhelmed. Our three 1.3-ton compacts, on the other hand, get the combustion engines moving with great verve. Even in the slower Ford (despite the 19 hp boosting electric motor), the feeling of underpowered never arises.

VW Golf

Golf strengths: effective, easily adjustable brakes, great adjustable chassis, smallest turning circle and the comfort-enhancing parameter steering.


Losses in running culture are also not to be feared. Its well-insulated and smooth-running 1.0-liter three-cylinder is no disadvantage compared to the four-cylinders. However, there is also no advantage in terms of consumption: we would have gotten more than 0.1 (Golf) or 0.1 (Golf) or 0. 2 liter test consumption benefit hoped for.

The new Focus likes winding roads

Even on the savings round, the Cologne native cannot break away. But the system is annoying with unpredictable recuperation behavior. It feels like the car hangs one or two notches in the electric parking brake when the accelerator is released. A real advantage on the other hand: the silky smooth engine start thanks to the belt starter generator.

Kia Ceed

Ceed: The nominally strongest in the field outperforms its two competitors in terms of acceleration and torque.


Curvy routes are the most fun in the Focus, also due to the tight ST chassis. But the more reserved VW with its particularly agile and feedback-friendly parameter steering pleases. In addition, the Golf, with its multi-stage adjustable chassis, performs the most elegant balancing act between hard and soft. The rather softly sprung, but bumpy appealing Ceed can’t keep up either.

VW Golf Kia Ceed Ford Focus

You can hardly go wrong with these three candidates. Focus, Golf and Ceed like driving, deliver confidently.

When it comes to costs, the Kia almost turns the tables. It’s not just the price that’s hot, a seven-year guarantee brings seven extra points and better chances of resale, i.e. more points. From the Focus, which had moved up to one point up to that point, it sets itself apart again and moves up to four points behind the Golf. So much car for so little money – this equation is guaranteed to never go out of style.

Score by points

1. VW Golf: 552 points With old strengths, improved infotainment and good assistants, the expensive VW secures victory.
2. Kia Reed: 548 points Hardly any weaknesses, a good drive and fair costs make it the clear price-performance winner.
3. Ford Focus: 536 points Despite the new operating system and mild hybrid, only third place. When it comes to driving dynamics, it is ahead of the Kia.

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