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New Ford Focus Estate ST-Line X 2019 review

Can the new Ford Focus Estate ST-Line X make the Focus Estate a class leader? We find out...

Ford Focus Estate - front
Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

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As stylish, entertaining and practical family cars go, the Ford Focus Estate is one of the very best. It’s unquestionably the best car in its class to drive, and in ST-Line X spec it’s one of the more attractive on the market. It lacks the overall versatility and space of a Skoda Octavia Estate but if driving dynamics are high on your wish list you won’t be left disappointed with the Ford.

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One thing you’re not short of with the new Ford Focus is variety. In total there are 88 different models available when it comes to matching bodystyle with your desired trim, gearbox and engine.

The model we have here, however, could well be the pick of that line-up. The variant in question is the more practical Estate in well-equipped ST-Line X trim. We’ve already driven the 1.5-litre diesel model, but under the bonnet of this car sits Ford’s new 180bhp 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol. To drive out of the dealership it’ll cost you £26,750 or around £370 per month on a standard PCP deal. 

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One reason why it hits the spot, even before you get behind the wheel, is the way it looks. The Focus is a rather spec-sensitive car; it can look a bit dowdy and dull in some of the lower trims – especially in one of the less inspiring colours. However, the more assertive styling on this ST-Line X model means it looks the part. 

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The driving experience, aided no end by the punchy 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine, matches the Ford’s good looks. The engine is the same basic, three-cylinder unit you’ll find in the excellent Fiesta ST. The added size and weight of Focus means performance isn’t quite on par with the hot hatch, but it’s certainly enough for family estate; Ford claims 0-62mph takes 8.8 seconds.

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From low revs the engine pulls strongly and smoothly, without the spiky power delivery you’d usually associate with low capacity, turbocharged engines. The snappy six-speed manual gearbox and steering are both perfectly weighted, while the seating position is spot on.

It allows you to really make the most of the Focus’s sweet chassis and brilliant handling balance. That’s perhaps not the main priority from someone looking to buy a sensible and spacious family car, but it clearly demonstrates Ford has cut no corners when to comes to designing such a capable all-rounder. 

Fuel economy is also pretty reasonable. On a long motorway run you can match Ford’s claim of 42mpg. But around town, and day-to-day, we averaged 36mpg over 700 miles of mixed driving. 

Ford Focus Estate - boot

Admittedly, the Focus doesn’t have the largest boot in its class. You’ll get 575 litres with the rear bench in place and 1,653 litres with everything folded flat. However, there are only a few litres difference between the Ford and the Volkswagen Golf Estate, so in reality you won’t notice it.

You certainly won’t be short of kit on board either; ST-Line X models come as standard with part leather trim, six-way adjustable heated seats, dual-zone air conditioning, Ford’s SYNC3 infotainment system with sat nav, as well as auto lights and wipers. A few reasonably priced options worth looking at are the B&O 10-speaker sound system (£550), panoramic glass roof (£995) and heated steering wheel (£150).

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