Ford Focus Estate (2014 – 2018) Review
Ford Focus Estate (2014 – 2018) At A Glance
The Ford Focus Estate is one of the key players in the compact estate market. It might not be as dominant as the hatchback, but it is still a crucial contender in Ford’s battle with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf Estate, Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer and the Skoda Octavia Estate. It also brings the key plus points from the hatchback, namely that it is arguably the best in class in terms of the driving experience. Add to that a decent amount of space for passengers and luggage, and the Focus Estate is worthy of careful consideration as one of the best compact estates in the segment.
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The Ford Focus Estate takes all of the traits of the smaller hatchback model but adds a dose of extra practicality thanks to a large, flat boot with a wide-opening tailgate. It’s good to drive, affordable to run and is available with some of the best modern safety technology, making it a great choice for a growing family.
Boot space in the estate is up from 316 litres in the hatchback to 476 litres with the seats in place, but that can be expanded to a hefty 1,502 litres if you fold the rear seats down. The load area is wide and flat, and you get handy features like lashing eyes and a 12V power outlet, but in terms of outright volume it lags a little behind the Volkswagen Golf and Skoda Octavia.
That’s not to say the Focus Estate is small though. Far from it, the load area is more than capable of swallowing up large boxes, big suitcases or sacks of rubbish for the tip, so unless you absolutely have to have the biggest boot space available, you shouldn’t rule it out on this alone. Besides, the Focus Estate makes up for its space deficit with some very impressive handling – it’s one of the most enjoyable cars in its class.
The steering is very nicely weighted and gives good feedback, plus there is plenty of grip. Through corners the Focus Estate feels almost as balanced and as nimble as the hatchback. Despite there being little in the way of body roll, it rides well over most surfaces. Things only get slightly uncomfortable over very rough or potholed roads, but for the most part the balance between ride and handling is first rate.
There are lots of engines to choose from, including the impressive 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol with 100PS or 125PS outputs and a 1.5-litre Ecoboost with 150PS or 182PS. The car suits a diesel engine best if you are planning to carry heavy loads on a regular basis - thankfully there are plenty to choose from, with outputs ranging from 95PS to 185PS in the hot ST.
The trim range is broad and even basic Style models get air conditioning, a misfuelling prevention system, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Upper trim levels gain luxuries like a reversing camera, keyless start, cruise control, automated parking and the improved Sync 2 infotainment system, although the price does start to rise when you get to the top of the range models.
The SEAT Leon ST is more nicely finished and as good to drive, while the Skoda Octavia estate is more practical. Even so, there is a lot to like about the Ford and it's an ideal family estate.