The petrol engine line-up starts with a 1.6-litre that has no turbo to help it, so it has to be worked hard and isn’t particularly efficient. We’d skip it and opt instead for the turbocharged 1.0 three-cylinder Ecoboost; this might sound like a small engine for a relatively large car such as the Focus Estate, but it is in fact a capable and refined choice.
If you do most of your miles in town, then the 99bhp version of the 1.0 is the one to go for because it gives the Focus Estate smooth and strong acceleration from low revs. However, if you’re a regular motorway user, then we recommend you step up to the 123bhp version, which is more comfortable accelerating at higher speeds. It also gets a six-speed manual gearbox instead of the less-powerful car’s five-speeder, which helps with both performance and refinement. No matter which engine power output you go for, though, it’ll easily cope with the heavier loads that the Focus Estate can accommodate.
There are two 1.5-litre four-cylinder Ecoboost engines; they’re noticeably stronger than the 1.0-litre units, but we don’t think it’s worth paying the hefty price premium for them.
Of the diesel options, the 118bhp 1.5 is the best bet because it has more power and is a bit more efficient than the cheaper, older 1.6 that’s also available. The 2.0 TDCi 150 is satisfyingly swift, but the 1.5 offers enough punch, so it’s hard to justify the extra cost of the 2.0.
Ford has even catered for people who want to take a lot of stuff somewhere quickly, with the high-performance ST models. These are offered with a 182bhp 2.0-litre diesel or 247bhp 2.0 turbocharged petrol engine, both linked to manual gearboxes. The petrol model can match many sports cars for pace.