Advertisement

New Ford Focus Estate 2019 review

The new Ford Focus Estate is more spacious than ever before, but is it now a class leader?

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The latest Ford Focus Estate improves immeasurably on its cramped and fundamentally flawed predecessor. It’s big enough to compete with the very largest cars in its class, while matching them for low running costs and driver fun. If outright carrying capacity is your main priority, then a Skoda Octavia Estate is still the car to beat, however.

Advertisement - Article continues below

One criticism of the old Ford Focus Estate was that it simply wasn’t big enough. The boot, compromised by the standard car’s dimensions, simply couldn’t compete in such a capacious class.

Keen to rectify its most obvious failing, Ford has stretched its C-segment family car in every direction to make it much more practical than before. In fact, the 608-litre boot is now just two litres shy of the class-leading Skoda Octavia Estate.

• Best estate cars on sale

Fold the rear seats and you’ll uncover a whopping 1,653-litre load bay. It’s not as big or usable as the 1,740-litre space in the Skoda, but it trumps most other cars in this segement (including the Volkswagen Golf wagon) as well as Ford’s Kuga SUV, too.

Space in the back of the new Focus Estate is generous enough. While it can’t beat the Skoda in this regard, it’s bigger and more accomodating than the VW. Our ST-Line test car had a black headlining, however, which made it feel more cramped than the lighter fabric in Titanium cars.

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Fortunately, going for the sportier ST-Line trim doesn’t significantly damage ride quality, which remains well damped even on our car’s 17-inch wheels. Matched to the new 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel engine, this new Focus Estate is an excellent motorway car.

We’d still recommend one of the small capacity petrol engines to lower-mileage motorists, but that diesel engine will undoubtaedly appeal to high-mileage business users. Ford claims a WLTP-rated 76.3mpg and super-low 97g/km CO2 emissions. That puts it in the 24 per cent Benefit in Kind (BiK) tax bracket, while a comparable Skoda sits one band higher.

Those numbers do come at the expense of performance, however. While on paper it looks punchy enough (0-62mph takes 10.3 seconds), you have to work the EcoBlue’s six-speed gearbox to get the best out of it. The long gearing means you’ll find yourself sitting in second or third around town, with sixth reservered almost exclusively for higher-speed motorway driving.

And yet the Focus Estate is just as fun to drive as the hatch on which it is based. The steering is sharp and the chassis feels just as agile in spite of the added length.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review
Skoda Octavia vRS Hatchback

New Skoda Octavia vRS 2020 ride review

We get our first taste of 242bhp Skoda Octavia vRS with Skoda tech development boss Christian Strube in the driver’s seat
10 Jul 2020
SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus
Family hatchbacks

SEAT Leon vs Volkswagen Golf vs Ford Focus

The Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and SEAT Leon are all long established hatchbacks - we find out which is best among the latest crop
11 Jul 2020
New Kia e-Niro 2020 review
Kia e-Niro SUV

New Kia e-Niro 2020 review

All-electric Kia e-Niro mid-sized SUV 
benefits from same updates as hybrid Niro versions
9 Jul 2020