Ford Focus Estate

Great to drive with decent space, but a high price

7.9
wowscore
This is the average score given by leading car publications from 12 reviews
  • Enjoyable to drive
  • Very comfortable ride
  • Generous levels of equipment
  • Rivals have bigger boots
  • A bit pricey
  • Depreciation worries
 

£17,545 - £28,035 Price range

 

5 Seats

 

44 - 83 MPG

Review

In a market full of MPVs and SUVs, the humble estate has to be good to survive and the Ford Focus estate has some great qualities that make it a great alternative. Rivals include the VW Golf estate, Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer and the Renault Megane Sports Tourer.

Prices start from £17,545 and if you buy your new Focus Estate using carwow you can save £4,340 on average.

Inside, the Focus estate there is lots of passenger space and the boot is reasonably big, although not the biggest in the class. The dash has a good layout but the multitude of buttons can make it difficult to operate at a glance. There is lots of adjustment for the steering wheel and seats so it is to get comfortable.

Driving the Focus estate is rewarding and enjoyable thanks to the perfect suspension set up that is both comfortable for long journeys and minimises body roll, so the car is fun to drive in the bends.

The Focus estate is offered with a huge range of both petrol and diesel engines. Power ranges from 85hp in the 1.6-litre petrol to 246hp in the 2.0-litre petrol Focus ST estate.  The diesels are also very good in terms of performance and economy and the 1.6-litre with 113hp is our recommendation and the most popular choice with our users.

Equipment levels are good with standard kit including hill start assist, air-conditioning and tyre pressure monitoring. Read on for our full review on the Ford Focus estate.

If you aren’t sure if the Ford Focus Estate is big enough for you, read our dimensions guide, and colours guide to find the perfect shade.

Cheapest to buy: 1.6-litre Ti-VCT Petrol

Cheapest to run: 1.5-litre Titanium X Diesel

Fastest model: 1.5-litre Titanium X 182 Petrol

Most popular: 1.5-litre Titanium X Navigation Diesel

The dash is well laid-out, but there are more conventional buttons than you get in the Volkswagen Golf, which can make the Focus a little confusing to operate at first. The Golf also uses more high-quality plastics than the Ford, although the gap between the two has never been closer.

The Latest version of Fords Sync 2 voice activation system is a handy addition, it can be used to control many of the car’s systems, so your eyes can concentrate on the road ahead, and can also read text messages aloud.

Ford Focus Estate boot space

We’ll start with the boot, because that’s where your extra money goes over the Focus hatchback. It’s big, a practical shape and many reviewers think it improves the looks over the Focus hatch.

Reviewers have noted that the load bay is neither the largest nor most practical in the class, but at 480 litres with the seats up and just over 1,500 litres with them down, it offers a useful amount of extra luggage room compared to the hatchback, which has 316 and 1,215 litres respectively. The boot also features a useful 12v plug.

See our Ford Focus dimensions guide to get a better picture of how the estate will fit into your life (and garage!)

Ford Focus Estate passenger space

The rest of the interior is typical of a Ford. That means there are plenty of useful cubby holes for storing bits and pieces, a large glove box and big door pockets. There’s plenty of space for two adults in the front and, although elbow room will be tight, three adults can also fit on the back seat.

The current Ford Focus has come in for some criticism for its steering, being neither as fun nor as feelsome as its predecessors, in a market where unique selling points like that really matter.

However, Ford has managed to give the Focus estate a very comfortable ride. The handling is also up to scratch for those B-road blasts  – a comfy family car it may be, but it can also be enjoyed when your on your own tackling a favourite country road.

Turn on to the motorway and you’ll also be impressed by the Focus’ quiet interior and relaxed cruising ability.

Ford gave the Focus a major facelift in 2014 and the resulting mechanical changes improved fuel efficiency by 15 per cent on average and also significantly lowered CO2 emissions. Added to the range were the 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol and a TDCi turbo diesel of the same capacity.

Ford Focus Estate petrol engines

Petrol models mainly consist of 1.6-litre units, with either 103hp, 123hp or for more performance there are turbo-charged Ecoboost models with 147hp or 180hp.

Ford also offers the much-loved 1.0-litre Ecoboost in the estate, which develops either 99hp or 122hp. Irrespective of which version you choose, it returns commendable fuel economy of 58.9mpg and low CO2 emission that means renewing your road tax costs just £20 a year. Testers of the 122hp model say it “feels eager and peppy, but remains refined when asked”, and is a “good fit” for the Focus. It does get long gearing, however, so you may need to be a few gears lower than you’re used to perform overtakes.

If you’re a true petrolhead, Ford offers a Focus ST estate, with a 2.0-litre petrol engine generating 246hp, or a diesel producing a punchy 182hp. Critics love it and so do we – its a great choice if you need a practical family car that is also quick.

Ford Focus Estate diesel engines

Despite the 1.0-litre petrol models’ impressively low running costs the diesels are still the economy champs; the 1.5-litre 118hp option easily achieves more than 70mpg and is free to tax – critics say it is the best choice for economy and performance.

The  2.0-litre TDCi versions are quicker, but not as economical as the 1.5-litre model, and they are costlier to purchase – we would only recommend the 2.0-litres if you frequently drive with a full complement of passengers and luggage. 

We aggregate and summarise the most helpful Ford Focus Estate 1.6 125 reviews from the best publications.

Thanks to weighing only a little more than the hatchback, the basic 1.6 Focus Estate isn’t as compromised as you might expect in terms of performance. Not that it’s especially quick, of course - reviewers say they still prefer the extra thrust of the turbocharged EcoBoost models. However, as the entry point into the range it still does a good job, it’s a smooth engine and provides enough power for those not wishing to get caught up in the rat-race.

Economy is decent too - Ford quotes just over 47mpg on the combined cycle, and you’ll pay £115 for a year’s car tax. There’s not a great deal of torque available but it’s a refined lump and should settle down nicely on the motorway. If you’re not interested in shifting gears yourself, it’s also available with a twin-clutch Powershift automatic transmission. Economy drops to just over 44mpg.

We aggregate and summarise the most helpful Ford Focus Estate 1.6 EcoBoost 150 reviews from the best publications.

EcoBoost is Ford’s way of telling you the car has an efficient, turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet. They may not be as economical as the diesel equivalent, but thanks to that turbocharger they combine the power of a larger engine with the fuel efficiency of a smaller one. In the 1.6 150’s case, that means combined economy of 47mpg, and a 0-60mph sprint time of under nine seconds.

Reviews recommend going for the EcoBoost over the basic petrols. It’s a bit more expensive, but performs better. The engine is equally refined, manages the same economy and even has a bit of a sporty exhaust note to spur you on. You’ll likely oblige, as testers reckon the engine is only too happy to rev.

In summary then, it's a great engine that's easy to recommend.

There’s only one review so far of the near-180bhp EcoBoost 1.6 petrol, but the engine comes out of it highly recommended. The tester describes the engine as incredibly smooth, and has huge mid-range punch. It’s also responsive, belying some of the usual turbo-lag problems associated with turbocharged engines. That power output enables strong performance too - Ford quotes a 0-60mph time of just over 8 seconds.

Combined economy of 47mpg doesn’t hurt either - that’s the same as the non-turbocharged and significantly slower regular 1.6 petrol. Of course, the EcoBoost is also several thousand more expensive, but you’d expect that considering the performance. At least car tax is relatively inexpensive - you’ll pay £115 a year for the privilege of using our nation’s roads.

It’s likely to remain a fairly niche choice, as there are far more fuel efficient engines, but it’s quiet and fast. This engine is also lighter than the diesel engines, which the reviews say improves the handling.

We aggregate and summarise the most helpful Ford Focus Estate 1.6 TDCi 115 reviews from the best publications.

If you want the ultimate in Ford Focus Estate economy, the 1.6 TDCi is the model to go for. With up to 67.3mpg achievable on the combined cycle, you’ll not be paying a lot in diesel even if you have a long commute. You’ll not pay much in tax either - the engine slots into band B for road tax, which means a bill of only £20.

With that economy considered, the 1.6 TDCi is declared the pick of the range by some testers. They also say that despite the relatively low power output it rarely feels underpowered, pulls well in the mid-range, and refinement is top-notch. The six-speed manual gearbox helps, allowing you more access to the performance on offer and letting the car sit at low, fuel-sipping revs on the motorway.

These are general, non-engine specific reviews. They give a nice overview of what the car is like, without focusing on just one engine/version.

The Focus hatchback scored five stars with Euro NCAP, so there shouldn’t be a reason to worry that the Focus estate will not do the same. The estate comes with six airbags as standard as well as electronic stability control.

But it’s the optional extras where the Focus estate really begins to shine; for £750 you can select the Driver Assistance Pack. It includes a blind-spot warning system, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beam, and automatic cruise control which maintains your position in lane.

Studio is the Focus’ basic trim level, but it comes with a healthy level of equipment including 15-inch alloy wheels, electrically operated door mirrors, remote central locking and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Ford Focus estate Zetec

Many buyers choose to spend more cash on the Zetec model. It has more eye-catching looks thanks to its larger 16-inch alloy wheels, chrome window surrounds, distinctive black-bezelled headlights and front fog lights. It also comes complete with Ford’s Quickclear windscreen that can defog the glass much quicker than a conventional fan operated system.

FORD FOCUS ESTATE ZETEC S

Zetec S models are also popular because they have looks akin to the sporty Focus ST, but the same cheap running costs as regular models. The trim levels eye-catching looks come courtesy of 17-inch alloy wheels, redesigned front and rear bumpers, a gloss-black grille, LED lights front and rear, and lowered sports suspension.

FORD FOCUS ESTATE Titanium

For added convenience features, Titanium is the trim to choose. Auto headlights and wipers free up your hands to concentrate on steering, while front and rear parking sensors make squeezing into tight spaces much easier. Active City Stop, Ford’s brand of automatic emergency braking, also makes the car significantly safer – minimising the likelihood you’ll hit the car in front in queues of slow-moving traffic.

Conclusion

The Ford Focus Estate may not be as fun as it used to be but it’s still near the top of the class for ride and handling, and is definitely worth consideration. 

The steep asking price looks unreasonable at first glance, and indeed if your list of criteria has “practicality” and “cheap” in bold, red writing, you can find much cheaper, if very basic alternatives such as the Dacia Logan MCV.

However, those seeking a competent all-inclusive package – that provides a fun driving experience, excellent motorway comfort, good equipment levels and the ability to swallow a reasonable amount of baggage – would be forgiven for ignoring the alternatives from rivals such as Volkswagen and Kia.

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