The Ford Focus Estate ECOnetic 88g/km model might not be the greenest, most fuel-efficient estate car out there – the 85g/km hybrid Toyota Auris Touring Sports takes those honours – but it comes mighty close, while it’s the best eco estate to drive by a long way. When it comes to low CO2 stats, it proves there’s life in diesel power yet.
Ford has thrown every fuel saving trick in the book at the Focus to come up with this model. It gets active aerodynamics, stop/start, low rolling resistance tyres, low friction oil and a shift indicator to aid the driver. The result is a claimed 83.1mpg average – way beyond the expectation of diesel drivers just a few years ago.
Best of all, the driving experience isn’t compromised – this is a Ford Focus after all. A 0-62mph time of 11.8 seconds doesn’t shout ‘eco special’, nor does the usual Focus comfort and refinement on the road – once the engine is warmed up, it’s impressively quiet. And if anything, the ride quality is better than on some other models, thanks to restrained 16” steel wheels covered by what look like bin lids for added aerodynamic efficiency.
Not that the Focus is a beauty to behold in the first place, but those wheel trims do it no favours at all and frankly look cheap on a car that lists at over £19,000 without options. Having said that, the Focus does undercut its rivals, like the Volkswagen Golf, on price.
It’s not the biggest on rear space, though, with 476 litres of space with the rear seats up – less than a VW Golf, Toyota Auris or Vauxhall Astra. Go through the faff of folding the rear seats and space at 1502 is more competitive with the Focus’s rivals. It’s an easy-to-use space, though, with a low loading lip and usefully square shape.
Further forward, there’s more room for passengers in the back of the estate than in the hatch, while the driving position is comfortable and multi-adjustable.
However, this 88g/km model is only available in low-spec Edge trim, so if you’re in the back you’ll have to wind the windows up, while this is a rare Ford without a DAB radio.