The engine choice in the estate range is similar to that of the hatchback, albeit without the entry-level 1.4-litre petrol. Petrol engines start with a 100bhp 1.6-litre. A more fuel efficient and more powerful 1.6 is also offered, producing 115bhp along with a 1.8-litre engine delivering 125bhp. The top of the range petrol is the 145bhp 2.0-litre which manages the 0-62mph sprint in just 9.4 seconds but can still return 40mpg.
However it's the diesels that make the most sense, especially if you intend to cover long distances with heavy loads. The entry-level engine is the 1.6 TDCi with 90bhp, although a 110bhp version (which uses a diesel particulate filter) is also available and is noticeable nippier. All models come with a five-speed gearbox except the 2.0 TDCi, which is a six-speeder.
One of the Focus's greatest strengths is its handling and the estate version is no different. Even models with modest powerplants offer an enjoyable driving experience thanks to responsive steering and nimble yet surefooted behaviour through bends. Rivals have sought to catch up in this area, but few can match the Focus. Ride quality also benefits from the sophisticated suspension which provides a settled and composed ride at all times, even in sportier models.
Ford has worked hard to raise quality in an attempt to take the fight to the Volkswagen Golf and the interior is well finished with soft touch materials. The appearance of the interior is much improved on facelifted cars and shows more attention to detail - particularly around the instruments. The driving position offers plenty of adjustment, especially if the car has electrically adjustable seats while the variable assistance power steering makes for easy parking and plenty of feedback on the move
The cabin of the Focus feels spacious and comfortable and there is easily room enough for five adults with good head and legroom - even in the rear. It's a refined environment in which to travel, especially on long journeys with limited engine and road noise. However, both estate version of the Vauxhall Astra and Renault Megane have a longer wheelbase, offering generous legroom for rear occupants.
The Focus can't quite match them for rear passenger space.