Steering Column 31.10.08

More Zest for the Zetec

FORD has announced it is to add a sporty-themed version of its elegant range of Focus family hatchbacks. Known as the Zetec S, it’s built on the existing Zetec model but adds spoilers at the front and back, skirts on the side, big 17-inch alloy wheels, aluminium-look foot pedals and “exclusive badging”.

You can get it with three doors or five, depending on whether you want a zippy image or a bit more practicality about it. There’s sadly no power boost with the new look, it’s purely a styling exercise. It comes with a 1.6, 1.8 or two-litre petrol engine, or if you want diesel there’s a choice of a 1.8-litre and two two-litre units with different power outputs.

Adding the S badge with all its extra goodies raises the price of a Zetec by just £750 – not bad considering that if you wanted to buy the bits as separate add-on features it would cost over £1,600. If you want to boost the effect even further you can add even bigger wheels and privacy glass and a chequered flag stick-on transfer that sweeps up over the rear wheelarches on both sides.

More news from Ford

Meanwhile, Ford is also trying to encourage more people to buy its products in these extraordinarily difficult times for the motor industry.

The company has announced packages across its entire range including reduced prices, extra free equipment and low-rate, no-deposit finance deals.

There are more details than I’ve got space to outline here, but if you want to buy a new Ford there’s probably never been a better time to think about it. Speak to your dealer for all the low-down.

Five-star Golf

Volkswagen is celebrating a very important accolade that has come to its new Golf hatchbacks.

They have been given the maximum five-star rating for occupant safety, as awarded by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) crash tests process.

The Golf achieved 36 out of a possible 37 points in the overall test. As for child protection it got four stars and for pedestrian safety it got three stars.

Helping it get the award were the seven airbags, clever brakes, new whiplash reducing headrests, side impact protection and the strongest chassis ever put on a Golf.

Orders are now being taken for the car and sales will begin in the first week of January. Prices begin at £13,150.

New cargo carrier

VW has also just unveiled a new mid-sized cargo-carrier.

The new Caddy Maxi Sportline panel van is a bigger version of the Caddy Sportline (I guess you could have worked that out without me telling you) and it has apparently been designed for builders and contractors who want a bit of extra style about their workhorses.

Amazingly enough it comes with chrome side rails and front grille, a low front spoiler with built in fog lamps, a rear roof spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside it’s got plush leather upholstery among other things.

How that’s all going to cope with site conditions I can only guess, but if it sounds important to you, prices begin at £18,280 plus VAT.

Mike Grundon


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