Our overall rating:
The Ford Focus Estate aims to offer all the value and dynamic prowess of the standard hatchback, but with added practicality. It gets a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, and competes directly with estate versions of the Peugeot 308, Skoda Octavia and Volkswagen Golf, against which it’s competitive in most areas.
The Focus Estate is certainly best in the class for the way it drives. Just bear in mind that it’s not the best for outright space and practicality – a Volkswagen Golf Estate has that honour – and there are others (again, including the Golf) that offer a classier-feeling cabin.
Also, be careful to pick the right engine and trim level, because the cheapest Focus Estate models can represent something of a false economy – the older non-turbocharged petrol engines feel breathless at times and won’t be terribly economical. You’re far better off with one of the more modern and smaller turbocharged engines, which offer a great mixture of performance, economy and refinement.
With all that factored in, the Ford Focus Estate is a fine family car – just make sure you get a good deal when you’re in the showroom, whether that’s an out-and-out discount or a particularly cheap finance offer, because the Focus’s resale values tend to be a bit lower than those of its main rivals.