READY for yet another SUV, crossover, or whatever you’d like to call the high-riding vehicles that dominate our roads?

The latest entrant is from Ford, which is fielding its Focus Active hatch, a model that sits 34mm taller than other Foci and will arrive in Australia in the next few weeks as an addition to the updated Focus Trend, ST-Line and Titanium hatches and wagons.

A tall rider is good news for elderly folk who have trouble getting in and out of cars, but Ford is pitching its new German-built Active as a crossover, and company chief Kay Hart says it’s ‘a great match to the active lives of Australians.’

Priced from $29,990, it’s powered by the same 134kW/240Nm 1.5-litre turbo-petrol three-cylinder engine as the rest of the range.

That’s a very perky output and it’s matched to an 8-speed automatic transmission with a rotary knob, rather than a lever, resulting in more free space.

The Active hatch also has an auto stop-start feature as standard and fuel economy is claimed to average 6.4L/100km.

Standard fare includes 17-inch alloys, front and rear skid plates, a new-look front bumper with adaptive LED cornering fog lights — and twin chromed tailpipes.

It also gets LED daytime running lights and extended black wheel arches to give it a muscly look and there are ‘slippery’ and ‘trail’ drive modes for such conditions.

Other electronic aids include lane keeping assist and the auto emergency braking (AEB) system can spot pedestrians and cyclists as well as other vehicles.

Convenience items include wireless phone charging, keyless entry and push-button engine start and Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, which features an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

Dual-zone climate control and a 180-degree split-view reversing camera are also standard.

The range starts with the Trend hatch at $25,990, followed by the ST-Line hatch ($28,990) the Active hatch ($29,990), ST-Line wagon from $30,990 and the $34,490 Titanium hatch.

Prestige paint will cost buyers an extra $650, then there’s the ‘Driver Assistance Pack’ at $1250, a Design Pack for $1800 and a panorama sunroof for $2000.

The driver assistance pack comprises adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert, and is standard on the Titanium.

‘The ST-Line hatch, ST-Line wagon and Active hatch are all designed to offer greater versatility and adaptability,’ Kay Hart said.

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.