Supportive seat, but switches take some getting used to
All Focus Estate models have a good driving position, with a decent range of movement to the wheel and seat, including height-adjustment across the range. The dial-controlled backrest offers precise adjustment, even if it’s a little slow to use. It’s worth stepping up to Zetec trim if you can, because this brings a more supportive seat, adjustable lumbar support and a central cubby that doubles up as a cushioned armrest. Pedal placement is very good on all versions.
There are various dashboard and screen layouts that come with the different trim levels, but none is as easy to use as we’d like. Even if you go for the 8.0in touchscreen that’s standard only on Titanium, Titanium X and ST-3 versions (it’s optional on most other versions), the systems are complex, and the button-heavy dashboard is tricky to negotiate. The air-conditioning controls are easy to work, but more complicated functions can be fairly convoluted.
Ford Focus Estate visibility
Fairly big rear blindspots, and parking sensors cost extra on most models
Forward visibility is reasonable, although the chunky pillars and big door mirrors can obstruct the view out at certain angles. Rear visibility is average at best, though, because the slim rearmost side windows make for fairly big blindspots – certainly more than you’ll experience in the boxy Volkswagen Golf Estate, which sets the standard for visibility. However, the Focus Estate hits back by having a standard Quickclear heated windscreen on Zetec models and above.
It’s a shame that you’ll have to pay extra for rear parking sensors on every model apart from the high-end Titanium, Titanium X and ST-3 editions. However, mid-range versions and above are available with an optional blindspot warning system and an automatic parking system that will steer the car into a parking space for you.
Ford Focus Estate infotainment
Sat-nav costs extra, and the touchscreen system is fiddly to use
Every Focus Estate model gets a DAB radio, Bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux-in sockets, a CD player, and audio controls on the steering wheel. A 4.2in infotainment screen is also fitted, although it isn’t the easiest system to use because it relies on a combination of a central button to flip through tiered menus and four shortcut buttons that have different functions depending on which screen you’re in.
n 8.0in colour touchscreen is optional on all models, except for high-spec Titanium, Titanium X and ST-3 versions, which get it as standard. The large display makes the whole dashboard look cleaner, but the screen itself is quite fiddly to use due to its many small icons, some of which are right at the edge and awkward to hit precisely on the move.
Ford Focus Estate build quality
Similarly priced rivals feel classier
The Seat Leon ST, Skoda Octavia Estate and VW Golf Estate all feel a bit more solidly put together and feature a better array of materials. Even so, the Focus Estate is more than acceptable given the pricing of the car. The dashboard is finished with matt, soft-touch plastics, and the switches and indicator stalks are mostly well damped. It’s just touches such as the cheap-feeling air vents, some sharp edges around the seat adjustment controls, and some harsh-feeling materials on the door trims that let the side down.