Used test: Ford Focus Estate vs Kia Cee’d Sportswagon vs Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon

The Ford Focus Estate is an accomplished all-rounder that's great to drive and cheap to buy. But is that enough to make it better than the wallet-friendly estate versions of the Kia Cee'd and Chevrolet Cruze?

Words By What Car? team

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Our Verdict

All of these estates give you a lot of space for your money, with the Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon particularly well priced. However, its lack of dealer support and relatively high insurance premiums mean that, despite that bargain-basement cost, it’s not a great used purchase. Given that it also has the roughest engine, the worst ride and the least appealing interior, it can only finish last in this test.

The Ford Focus is a joy to drive, thanks to sharp steering and agile handling, yet it feels more stable than both its rivals and the ride is generally comfortable. But while it does come with a usefully shaped boot area, due to its popularity, prices have remained strong by comparison with the other cars here. This means it doesn’t offer the value for money that it once did and its equipment levels are also more stingy than rivals. While it might be a popular estate car, it isn’t the best used estate when compared with the Kia Cee'd.

Overall, the Cee’d Sportswagon is a much better all-rounder, blending a classy, spacious and well-laid-out cabin with a comfortable ride and superb real-world fuel economy. Okay, the steering is vague and road noise is an issue on Cee’ds with Hankook tyres, but you can always replace them if they haven't already been changed, which will solve this problem. The Cee'd also comes generously equipped and is the only one to still have some of its manufacturer’s warranty left, which will be of comfort and reassurance to some. So for that reason and others listed above, the Cee'd is our winner.

Read our review of the all-new Kia Cee’d Sportswagon

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Also consider

Volkswagen Golf Estate

1st – Kia Cee’d Sportswagon

For Comfortable ride; best fuel economy; long warranty

Against Vague steering; road noise

Verdict A comfortable, classy and efficient estate

Rated 4 out of 5

Read the full Kia Cee’d Sportswagon review

Find a used Kia Cee’d in the What Car? Classifieds

2nd – Ford Focus Estate

For Well-shaped boot; best ride and handling balance; smooth engine

Against Slower than rivals; worst real-world economy

Verdict Practical, cheap to run and enjoyable to drive, but beaten here

Rated 4 out of 5

Read the full used Ford Focus Estate review

Find a used Ford Focus in the What Car? Classifieds

**3rd – Chevrolet Cruze Station Wagon

For Longest boot, seats up or down; strong engine; low price

Against Poor engine refinement; firm ride; hard cabin plastics; no dealer network any more

Verdict Roomy and well priced, but too flawed to beat the best small family estates

Rated 2 out of 5

Find a used Chevrolet Cruze in the What Car? Classifieds

Specifications: Kia Cee’d SW 1.6 CRDI 128 2

Engine size 1.6-litre diesel

List price when new Β£19,295

Price today Β£6000

Power 126bhp

Torque 192lb ft

0-60mph 10.8sec

Top speed 119mph

Fuel economy 64.2mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 116g/km

Specifications: Ford Focus Estate 1.6 TDCI 115 Zetec

Engine size 1.6-litre diesel

List price when new Β£19,895

Price today Β£6500

Power 114bhp

Torque 199lb ft

0-60mph 11.9sec

Top speed 113mph

Fuel economy 67.3mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 109g/km

Specifications: Chevrolet Cruze SW 1.7 VCDi 130 LT s/s

Engine size 1.7-litre diesel

List price when new Β£18,925

Price today Β£3500

Power 129bhp

Torque 221lb ft

0-60mph 10.4sec

Top speed 118mph

Fuel economy 62.7mpg (Official average)

CO2 emissions 119g/km

Price today is based on a 2012 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

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