What's the used Ford Focus estate like?
Although the SUV seems to have conquered all in its path over the past few years, for many the estate is still the perfect car.
Imagine, for example, that you wanted the excellent driving manners of the admirable fourth-generation Ford Focus, but you needed a larger boot with a more practical opening for the family or dog or whatever your various needs are. Enter the Ford Focus Estate, a car 12in longer than the hatch and with a 608-litre boot (without a spare wheel fitted) as opposed to a 375-litre one.
Indeed to make that transition between SUV and estate even easier for those in doubt which to choose there are two SUV-inspired trims, called Active and Active X, which deliver extra ground clearance and chunkier tyres to match their more rugged looks.
Engine-wise, the petrol options start with either a 99bhp or 123bhp 1.0 Ecoboost engine; mid-range models have a 1.5 with either 148bhp or 180bhp in ST-Line X form, and finish off with a 276bhp 2.3 in the ST. Diesel options are a limited to either 118bhp 1.5 or a 148bhp 2.0. All models get a six-speed manual as standard, and everything other than the 99bhp 1.0 petrol can be had as an automatic.
As far as trims go, entry-level Style models come with 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning and electric front and rear windows. Next, Zetec trim offers infotainment upgrades and 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, as mentioned, Active models will appeal to fans of SUV-inspired styling. Titanium has a long list of standard equipment including power-folding door mirrors, keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, heated front seats and dual-zone climate control. There are also better equipped ‘X’ versions of various trims, and a top-rung Vignale.
On the road, none of the engines will set your pulse racing, but all offer adequate performance for hauling loads around. Refinement levels are good, too, with most engines not causing a fuss, and wind and road noise relatively low. The estate gets a slightly upgraded suspension setup, and in most versions it’s a fine-riding car, with the sportier ST-Line cars being a little firmer. However, it’s the Focus Estate’s handling that is truly impressive in every version, aided by wonderfully precise steering.
Inside, the driving position is multi-adjustable, and we love the uncluttered dashboard layout and orderly instruments. Visibility is good, too, and although quality is a little mixed there are some nice touches here and there. Space up front is great, and that’s matched in the rear, where six-footers will have no problems sitting behind equally tall drivers. Meanwhile, that 575-litre boot, when fitted with a mini spare wheel, is large and easy to access, with a low loading lip.
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