Ford Focus Estate 2019 front right tracking

Ford Focus Estate review

Costs & verdict
Manufacturer price from:£19,405
What Car? Target Price:£17,823
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In this review

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

Compared with equivalent editions in the Skoda Octavia Estate range, mid-spec Focus Zetec and ST-Line trim levels are relatively pricey – not far off the better-equipped SE version of the Volkswagen Golf Estate, in fact. This means the Focus Estate isn’t as cheap as you might think.

However, the story is different when you compare three-year, 10,000-mile-per-year PCP finance deals – the gap between Focus and Octavia narrows to just a few pounds per month. The Kia Ceed Sportswagon, meanwhile, undercuts both. Predicted resale values for the Focus are respectable, roughly matching those of the Golf and Octavia.

What’s more, all of the Ecoboost petrol engines have efficiency-enhancing cylinder deactivation technology; this shuts down one cylinder when you’re cruising gently and helps, for example, the 123bhp 1.0-litre to average 48.7mpg and 108g/km of CO2 in official economy tests. That's in line with what Skoda and Volkswagen publish for the Octavia and Golf in 1.0 TSI form.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level Style models come with 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning and electric front and rear windows. However, we’d recommend you at least upgrade to Zetec trim, because as well as the infotainment upgrades mentioned earlier, it brings cruise control and a heated windscreen.

If you fancy something that looks a little sporty, the next rung on the ladder – ST Line – is also worth considering. It has all of the Zetec’s features plus keyless start, aluminium pedals, sports seats, 17in alloy wheels and more aggressive exterior looks. Meanwhile, Active models will appeal to fans of SUV-inspired styling.

Our pick, though, is Titanium, which is still reasonably priced when its long list of standard equipment is taken into account. It packs power-folding door mirrors, keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, heated front seats and dual-zone climate control. We’d suggest the better equipped ‘X’ versions of various trims are too expensive, as is the top-rung Vignale.

Ford Focus Estate 2019 panoramic roof

Reliability

According to our most recent survey, Ford’s reliability record is only average. The data – compiled from information supplied by you in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey  – placed the brand 18th out of the 31 scrutinised, although this current version of the Focus was too new to feature.

Ford’s standard warranty, meanwhile, lasts for three years or 60,000 miles. That’s on a par with what you get from Skoda, Vauxhall and Volkswagen, but nothing compared with Hyundai’s five-year, unlimited mileage warranty or Kia’s seven-year/100,000-mile scheme. If you want extended cover from Ford, you need to pay extra.

Safety and security

The crash-testers at Euro NCAP gave the latest Focus five stars. Although the adult and child occupant protection scores aren’t quite as high as some of its rivals’, that's mainly because the Focus doesn't come with automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard in all European markets NCAP represents, which loses it marks.

But here in the UK it does get AEB (which recognises cars, pedestrians and cyclists) as standard on all trims, as well as and lane-keeping assistance, while the reasonably priced Driver Assistance Pack adds traffic sign recognition, automatic main beam assist and adaptive cruise control.

The last of these systems is particularly clever and includes steering assistance that works at motorway speeds and a function for automatic versions that can bring the car to a halt and move it off again in stop-start traffic. It’s disappointing, though, that you have to add a second pack to get blindspot warning as well.

All Focus Estate models come with an alarm and immobiliser that’s rated in category one by security experts Thatcham Research. This bodes well for it resisting being broken into and stolen.

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Verdict

The Ford Focus Estate stands out as the best-handling family wagon, complemented by a decent ride, generous passenger space and a large boot possessed of some handy design features. Just bear in mind that the interior feels distinctly low rent and the seating isn't as versatile as some of its rivals'.

  • Sweet handling
  • Loads of space in the back
  • Practical boot with seats up
  • Cheap-feeling interior
  • So-so infotainment
  • Seating could be more versatile
Trims
There are 8 trims available for the Focus estate. Click to see details.See all versions
Style
This entry-level trim gets some decent kit, including 16in alloy wheels, electric windo...
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Fuel Petrol, Diesel
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£17,823
Average Saving £1,582
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Zetec
Zetec trim builds on entry-level Style with front foglights, a heated windscreen, a fro...
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£19,062
Average Saving £1,693
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Active
This is based on Zetec trim, but along with its raised ride height and rugged looks add...
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£21,126
Average Saving £1,879
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OUR PICK
Titanium
Comes with everything Zetec trim has and adds power-folding door mirrors, front and rea...
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£21,126
Average Saving £1,879
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ST-Line
If you're after something that looks a little sportier, this is the trim to go for. It...
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£21,126
Average Saving £1,879
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Titanium X
Adds 17in alloy wheels, privacy glass, part-leather seat trim and six-way electric driv...
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£22,255
Average Saving £1,980
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Active X
Based on the ST-Line X but carrying the more off-road styling, the Active X adds featur...
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Fuel Diesel, Petrol
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£23,421
Average Saving £2,084
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ST-Line X
All the ST-Line features, plus bigger 18in wheels, power-folding door mirrors, front an...
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£23,421
Average Saving £2,084
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