Ford is hoping to increase the number of Focus Estate sales with a new, cool-looking version. JAMES BAGGOTT tries it out.
WHAT IS IT?
It’s the estate version of the Focus offering more practicality and versatility over its hatchback equivalent. That car has already sold 10,000 units since its debut in March, while the estate variant has 2,000 orders to its name. The estate is more practical – 1,502 litres with the seats down – and Ford expects it to account for 18 per cent of all Focus sales in the UK, up on the last one.
WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET?
Customers can choose from three versions of the Duratec petrol or four versions of the Duratorq diesel. The 1.6-litre TI-VCT petrol puts out either 104bhp or 123bhp or there’s the 148bhp EcoBoost version, while on the diesel side there’s a 94bhp and a 113bhp 1.6-litre and a 2.0-litre available in 138bhp or 161bhp. The EcoBoost engines are brilliant.
WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE?
All Focus estates benefit from Bluetooth, aluminium roof rails, load cover, alarm, rear spoiler, body- coloured door mirrors with indicators, and manual air conditioning. Prices begin at £17,100 for the Edge 1.6-litre 104bhp petrol and rise to £25,100 for the 2.0-litre TDCi 161bhp in Titanium X trim. In fact, Ford has added £1,000 of kit to the new car.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
Good, but not quite as good as the hatch. On undulating roads it has lost a little of the composure of its smaller brother and it feels louder inside – maybe that’s just because it’s bigger and has more room for echoes… The steering still feels just as good though and it’s competent in the handling department. In fact we’d go as far as to say it’s fun to drive. Not bad for what’s essentially a workhorse.
WHAT DO THE PRESS THINK OF IT?
Auto Express says the Focus Estate is ‘good looking, very spacious and fun to drive’. The magazine goes on to say that ‘it’s a fine addition to the range’ and ‘will be a huge hit’. Autocar said that while it isn’t the most practical C-segment estate, they would recommend it for the same reasons as they would the hatchback.
WHAT DO WE THINK OF IT?
We can see why people love estates. They’re more practical, especially for families and dog owners, and don’t cost that much more than the hatchbacks upon which they are based. The problem was they used to look pretty dull. Thankfully the Focus Estate is eminently good-looking and carries its behind off with J-Lo-like levels of efficiency. We’re sure it’ll sell just as well as Ford is hoping.