It was like old times last week as I drove a revamped version of the Ford Focus. The first car I bought in the seventies was a second-hand Ford Escort and after experimenting with a few other brands I celebrated the arrival of new Millennium by investing in a new Ford Focus, which had been launched in Ireland in 1998.

We traded in that Focus for a Nissan Micra in 2007 which was a very neat car for my daughter to perfect her driving skills. Now she has an eight year-old Focus, so you could say there is a history of Ford cars in our family.

That Focus I bought 23 years ago was silver. Now this year happens to be the Silver Anniversary of the Ford Focus, but the colour of my test car last week was Chrome Blue. It’s basically the fourth generation which has got a mid-life makeover.

Naturally there was plenty of time last week for making comparisons between the 2015 and 2023 versions of the Focus. In the new car the first item that grabs your attention is the heads-up display directly in the driver’s line of sight. It tells you everything you need to know, your speed, the speed limit on the road you are on and whether you should change to a higher gear. Also you get a yellow warning if you are too close to the car in front.

On the motorway you will see yellow lines on that small screen if you veer out of your lane. Basically that tiny screen tells you how safe your driving is.

Back in 2015 it was big news that a 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine could power such a large car. Since then it has become normal for a 1.0 EcoBoost engine to drive medium-sized cars. My ST-Line X had 125 brake horse power.

I don’t like the term five-door, basically it’s four doors and a boot. There is plenty of head and leg room for three adults in the back seat. The boot is a fine size and the really good news is that you get a ‘mini’ spare wheel, which is a rarity nowadays. An electronic hand-brake is provided, but truth be told  I would prefer the old style handbrake.

Inside, the dash is dominated by a 13.2-inch infotainment screen which was easy to use. The ST-Line X model I drove had a nice touch of red stitching on the seats, but otherwise the interior was fairly dark.

It was also like old times to be able to listen to reports on the English Premier League games on BBC 5 Live, as the reception on the Apple CarPlay was excellent. No need to go up the Dublin mountains or drive up near Dundalk where BBC reception is always good thanks to that huge aerial near Sprucefield.

Of course I can get 5 Live on my computer but the service is not available in the Republic of Ireland when there are live commentaries of soccer games.

My daughter who was anxious to sit into the driver’s seat, thought that the new version had less head room than the 2015 model she drives. But the 2023 model had a very dark roof, while the 2015 model has a cream roof lining,

The Focus has been a great seller for Ford, but now everybody seems to want an SUV like a Kuga or Puma. But if you want a solid hatchback that now includes a plethora of modern technology, I would recommend a test drive in this revamped Focus.

My 1.0-litre petrol version was a six-gear manual, but it’s also available in a mild hybrid automatic and a 1.5-litre diesel automatic.

The entry price for the Titanium version starts at €32,541 The ST-Line X version, that I drove will cost you €36,347. Road tax is €200.