- Comfortable and compliant ride
- Good kit levels
- Practical all-rounder
- Steering lacks feel
- Residual values aren't fantastic
The Focus hatchback has proved successful - it had to be to maintain Ford's momentum and although it wasn't as exciting to drive as the previous generation it pretty much ticked all the boxes for buyers after a solid, well-built, attractive, comfortable and functional hatchback. It had to be better than Vauxhall's Astra, which it was, and it also had to be on par with Volkswagen's Golf, which it also was. Some may have been disappointed that it wasn't quite as darty around corners as the older car but it made up for that with strong build quality, a good range of engines, improved economy and performance and a superior ride quality. So all good then. Now it's the turn of the estate version to come under the microscope and the signs are that it will follow in the footsteps of the five-door hatchback. It doesn't look too shabby and although some estates can look awkward, this is surprisingly easy on the eye. It's not much different from the hatch: it's got the same trim levels and the same engine range but it is 20cm longer than the hatch. It adds a one-touch retractable tonneau cover in the load area and it gets aluminium roof rails as standard. Like the hatch there's a long list of new safety gizmos to choose from on top of generous levels of standard kit. Does it offer the much-needed practicality to go with the best bits of the hatchback? Well, yes it does, but here's the rub... the entry level Mondeo hatchback costs just £600 more than an entry level Focus estate and, in rear-seat mode, offers more bootspace.
Facelift for 2014
Ford gave the Focus estate quite a makeover in 2014, featuring a reprofiled bonnet, smoother front bumper containing a chrome grille and reshaped headlamps. There’s a new bumper at the back too along with LED tail lights.
Inside, Ford refreshed the interior using higher grade plastics; several versions featured ‘Sync2’ infotainment system with an eight-inch touchscreen at the top of the dashboard. All models received revised dashboard buttons and new dials.
Efficiency across the Focus estate range has been improved with several versions dipping under the 100g/km CO2 threshhold, including a 99g/km version of the 1.0-litre EcoBoost. New to the line-up are 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines.
Technological enhancements also improvements to the Focus estate’s active safety systems and self-parking function.
So does the Ford Focus estate make sense as a practical buy? Read on to find out.
What owners say about this car
Great car to own bar one major issue, the dual clutch gearbox. This car is a company car lease and... Read owner review
Boot space good. engine is fantastic for its size. Car is a dream to drive. Read owner review
Motorway refinement, it is really quiet and smooth when cruising at 70mph. Very spacious up front... Read owner review