Ford Focus Estate (2014 – 2018) Review

Ford Focus Estate (2014 – 2018) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
For those who need a capable all-round car that is both family-friendly and enjoyable to drive, the Ford Focus Estate is a good bet – but competition is stiff.

+Broad range of engines, practical load area, good to drive.

-Load area not as large as in Golf or Octavia, higher trim grades are expensive.

Insurance Groups are between 10–26
On average it achieves 73% of the official MPG figure

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.

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.

Ask Honest John

I need a car with a high seating position and large boot. What should I consider?
"I'm looking for a two or three year old lowish mileage car with boot space equivalent to or greater than my Focus estate. I'm considering a Mondeo estate or possibly something more exciting like an Audi A4 estate. Manual and probably petrol as I have heard that newer diesels are prone to problems unless they are doing plenty of longer journeys. I also wonder if I should consider an SUV, which might be easier for an older person to get in and out of and I like a higher driving position. What do you think I should consider? Thank you."
A crossover or SUV will be easier for access. The raised driving position will make it easier to get in and out, while the tall roof will provide a lot more practicality than your Focus Estate. I would recommend a two-year-old Honda CR-V or similar aged Mazda CX-5. Both are good to drive with decent sized boots. They also have excellent reputations for reliability.
Answered by Dan Powell
I want to buy a used car, but the first service done was later than recommended - will this void the warranty?
"I'm looking to buy a 2015 Ford Focus Estate. I noticed that the first service was 18,500 miles rather than the recommended 12,500 miles. Will this void the warranty and could it have damaged the engine? It's a car that I intend to keep for five years. "
That probably voids Ford's warranty. Ford is tougher about warranties these days. Check with Customer Services: / Tel: 0203 564 4444
Answered by Honest John
What's your advice regarding my faulty automatic Ford Focus?
"I purchased a 2012 Ford Focus automatic in March 2015. On the drive home I felt the gears were not working properly. I decided it might be different from my old Ford Focus so waited a while. I eventually wrote to Ford and they advised me to take it to my local dealer. They initially said there was nothing wrong. I debated this with them. I returned it to them again and ask an engineer to drive it with me. He immediately took it to a nearby ramp and confirmed it was juddering and was a problem they were aware of. They replaced the clutch plates. They have now done this three times the last being in March this year. As Ford has extended the guarantee on this car they must have been aware of the problem when they sold me the car. I wrote to the dealer who sold me the car explaining I wanted either a replacement car or my money back. They have sent me a letter from a legal firm saying that the dealer wants to inspect it. While I am willing to comply I would very much appreciate your comments and advice. "
Though this is a common and fundamental problem and you could try to use Clegg v Olle Andersson House of Lords 2003 I can't guarantee that you would win your case. There have been Class Actions against Ford in the USA and demonstrations in Thailand so there is plenty of support. See: Quite a lot more evidence here:
Answered by Honest John
What engine will best match my 2004 Mondeo 2.0-litre Estate?
"I'm looking to change my old manual 2004 Mondeo 2.0-litre Ghia Estate for the latest equivalent model. This appears to be the Titanium range, however, all I can find in the petrol model is the 1.5 T EcoBoost 160PS manual. I can find a 2.0 T EcoBoost 240PS but in automatic only. Have things moved so much in the 13 year gap to presume that a new 1.5 T EcoBoost would match up to my old 2.0-litre Ghia? If not, I'm prepared to consider an automatic if necessary."
In the Mondeo, S-Max and Galaxy the chain cam 2.0 Ecoboost engines always came with the 6-speed wet clutch Powershift transmission, though you can get a 250PS version in the Focus ST and ST Estate with a 6-speed manual. That might be the way to go. Alternatively, with less power, a 2.0 litre Skyactiv G petrol engine in a Mazda 6 estate, or the remarkable 1.4 TSI 150 engine in the Skoda Superb estate (I had 130mph in fourth gear in one of them on the Autobahn).
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Ford Focus Estate (2014 – 2018) cost?