Spy photographers have gotten closer than ever to the updated 2022 Ford Focus.

    Ford’s small car looks to be gaining slimmer headlights and a restyled grille as part of a mid-cycle update.

    LED daytime running lights run along the base of the headlight assembly, à la the moribund Mondeo.

    This prototype appears to feature projector LED headlights.

    The reshaped grille features horizontal bars instead of the tessellating patterned grilles found on the local ST-Line, Active and ST.

    Spied here in wagon guise, which likely won’t be returning to Australia, we can see updated tail lights are also on the menu.

    It’s unclear whether the Focus will continue to be offered with different headlight types in Australia.

    The local-spec ST-Line and Active use reflector LED headlights, while the ST uses projector LED headlights.

    The ST-3 features even more sophisticated LED headlights with Ford’s Advanced Front Lighting System.

    Each headlight design has its own unique LED daytime running light signature.

    We’ve yet to see the interior of the updated model, so it’s unclear what changes, if any, have been made there.

    Ford has pruned the local Focus range considerably, axing the ST-Line wagon and Ambiente, Trend and Titanium hatchbacks.

    The current, fourth generation of Focus was introduced for 2019, making it one of the fresher models in the segment.

    It remains a strong and stable seller for the brand in Europe, outsold by only the Volkswagen Golf in this segment, even as it’s winnowed away to niche status here.

    Year-to-date, the Focus isn’t tracking well. Sales are down 55.6 per cent, one of the largest declines in the segment.

    Sales of the Renault Megane, which has also had its range pruned back, have dropped by 51.4 per cent. Likewise the Honda Civic, which is down 52.8 per cent as it enters run-out mode.

    Only the Peugeot 308 (down 82.5 per cent) and Volkswagen Golf (down 86.7 per cent) have suffered more precipitous drops, and that’s because supply of these models had more or less dried up ahead of the introduction of their replacements.

    Last year was a brutal one for small car sales, with the Focus’ segment down 29.3 per cent and the Focus itself suffering one of the largest declines: 49.0 per cent.

    Unfortunately for Ford, even its 2019 tally of 3682 sales was down 75 per cent on its 2014 tally, a steeper drop than those experienced by the likes of the Mazda 3 (down 42.42 per cent) and Toyota Corolla (down 30.3 per cent).

    MORE: Everything Ford Focus

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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