An entertaining estate but rivals offer more convincing packages
- Comfortable and compliant ride
- Good kit levels
- Practical all-rounder
- Performance of the ST version
- Steering lacks feel
- Residual values aren't fantastic
- Rivals more space efficient
Few mid-sized family estates are as entertaining to drive as the Ford Focus Estate.
Launched alongside its third-generation hatchback sister in 2011, the capacious wagon is pitched directly against the likes of the Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer and Volkswagen Golf Estate – together with its SEAT Leon ST and Skoda Octavia Estate cousins.
Major mid-life refresh in 2014
Three-and-a-half years after its arrival, a major reworking of the Focus Estate was introduced. While it shared its more elegant nose – all the bodywork forward of the windscreen was new – with the hatchback, the rear end was largely left untouched, save for a tweaked bumper.
Inside the changes were more obvious, with an uplift in quality of the plastics used, as well as a larger 8.0-inch screen for the Sync2 multimedia package. The instruments and switchgear were also upgraded, making the Focus feel a little bit more special, albeit still lagging behind its VW rival.
No changes were made to the 476-litre boot capacity – it’s certainly more spacious and flexible than the Focus hatch, but the rear seats still don’t lie completely flat when folded.
Broad line-up of petrols and diesels
Unlike the hatchback, there’s no electric Focus Estate or a pumped-up RS model, but there are a brace of sporty STs among the selection of mainstream petrol and diesel choices.
Turbocharged petrols – or EcoBoost in Fordspeak – come in 1.0-, 1.5- and 2.0-litre capacities producing between 100hp and 250hp depending upon the model you choose.
That higher power output belongs to the ST models where the estate will reach 154mph, clocking a 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds along the way.
Diesels are significantly more popular due to their efficiency: 1.5- and 2.0-litre TDCis are available with between 95hp and 185hp.
Opt for the 105hp Econetic version of the 1.5-litre for claimed economy figures of 83.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 88g/km, matching its hatchback equivalent.
Generously-equipped trim hierarchy
There’s a hierarchy of seven trim levels in the Focus Estate line-up, ranging from the entry-level Style model that does include air-con but not alloy wheels, through to the sporty ST-2 and ST-3.
Ford encompasses a large degree of relevant, everyday technology that makes the Focus safer and easier to use, with many of them standard. The blind-spot monitors indicator works effectively while the self-parking function and autonomous emergency braking are some of the easiest to use.
Ford Focus Estate model history
- January 2011 – Estate version of the third-generation Focus on sale with first deliveries expected in May. Petrol engines consist of the 1.6-litre Ti-VCT in 85hp and 125hp, with a turbocharged 1.6-litre EcoBoost producing 150hp. Four diesels are expected to be more popular: 1.6-litre TDCi with 95hp and 115hp, and the 2.0-litre TDCi in 140hp and 163hp forms. Trim hierarchy mirrors the hatchback’s Edge, Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X structure.
- February 2012 – Turbocharged, three-cylinder 1.0-litre EcoBoost engines introduced in 100hp and 125hp guises, available across the trim level hierarchy except on entry-level Studio models. Sporty Zetec S trim introduced with the estate body following the hatchback’s arrival late in 2011.
- June 2012 – Performance-oriented ST-1, ST-2, ST-3 models available to order for September delivery, all powered by a 2.0-litre 250hp EcoBoost engine.
- July 2013 – Power for petrol-engined ST models increased to 275hp thanks to an aftermarket Mountune kit.
- August 2013 – Revised range structure with new models fitted with sat-nav: Zetec Navigator sells alongside the regular Zetec, while the former Titanium and Titanium X trims are replaced by Navigator versions.
- September 2014 – Facelifted range available to order with deliveries from November. Tweaked engine range – joined by a 182hp 1.5-litre petrol – is more efficient than before, with a mix of petrols and diesels paired with Style, Zetec, Zetec S, Titanium and Titanium X specifications. Estates feature the hatchback’s new interior and nose design, but changes to the rear are much more modest.
- October 2014 – Sportier ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3 models reintroduced with a more aggressive look based upon the facelifted range, with deliveries from February 2015. Two 2.0-litre powerplants are available: a 250hp petrol and a 185hp diesel.
- October 2015 – Aftermarket Mountune performance upgrade available for the petrol-engined ST models, now producing 275hp.
- November 2015 – PowerShift twin-clutch automatic gearbox is available to order in conjunction with diesel-engined ST derivatives.
- June 2016 – Previous Zetec S trim level replaced by equally sporty looking ST-Line specification.
- February 2017 – Zetec Edition replaces previous Zetec grade, while ST-1 trim is dropped. Multimedia package upgraded to Sync3.
Read the full Ford Focus Estate review to find out whether it combines entertaining handling in a practical package.
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