Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1
  • Sharp 13.2-inch infotainment screen for facelift
  • Well-organised and well-built interior
  • Head-up display available as an option

How is the quality and layout?

Much better than the previous generation model of old. Ford seriously improved the quality of the Mk4 Focus’s interior, and this facelift has made things better still. The eight-inch touchscreen and climate control panel on the pre-facelift car has been banished in favour of a stunning new 13.2-inch widescreen infotainment system.

Most of the cabin features have now been moved onto this new screen, which is normally a cause for concern. However, Ford has been clever with the Focus’s menu design. The climate controls are all accessible from a fixed toolbar at the bottom of the screen, and the rest of the interior functions are no more than two prods away. It’s very slick.

The dashboard also feels like it’s been bolted into the car better and the materials are of a slightly better quality. The trim changes according to the specification – our Active-spec test car featured an excellent set of heated leather seats and a natty blue trim piece for the dash.

Infotainment and tech

We’ve touched on this already, but we’ll bring it up again. The Focus Estate’s new 13.2-inch infotainment system is brilliant. It’s fast, it’s responsive and all of the functions you regularly need to access are close at hand. It’s also paired with a voice recognition system that can understand even the thickest of northern accents. Trust us, we’ve tried.

Because the screen is now positioned higher up on the dashboard, it’s closer to your sightline. That means you don’t need to divert your eyes as far away from the road to read navigation instructions or to excise Dua Lipa from the audio system.

Models equipped with Ford’s new Vignale option pack also come with a clean-looking 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a head-up display mounted atop the binnacle shroud. The latter addition is the real star here, as it displays vital information such as speed, basic navigation instructions and upcoming speed limits right in front of your face. You can also adjust the area in which the information is projected to suit your height.

Comfort

  • Very comfortable ride for the class
  • Supportive seats with good lumbar adjustment
  • Lots of space for rear-seat passengers

The Ford Focus Estate gets the same great driving position as the hatchback. There’s plenty of adjustment in the seats and the steering column, which allows even the tallest of drivers to get comfortable. ST-Line variants also get an excellent pair of sports seats with a particularly good lumbar setting.

Active models are slightly more difficult to get comfortable in if you’re used to driving a conventional estate, because the seat is mounted higher up to suit the car’s SUV-ish design. The lowest setting on the driver’s seat is a couple of inches higher than the standard car’s, meaning tall drivers will be constantly craning their necks to see through the windscreen.

Ford changes the Focus Estate’s suspension settings according to the specification, too, which alters the way each model rides. ST-Line models are lower and more harshly sprung, while Active variants are taller and softer.

The former model can become irritating on long motorway journeys, especially if the road isn’t smooth. The latter isn’t as pliant as you would expect, either – big pot holes or wide expansion joints will find the limits of the suspension travel, sending shudders through the cabin. The standard set-up found on Trend and Titanium variants is the most comfortable.