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Ford Focus Estate review - Interior, design and technology

The most practical Focus is a technological tour de force, wrapped in swoopy styling

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.5 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£29,630 to £40,305
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While the previous generation Focus lacked a bit of pizazz on the style front, Ford’s designers upped their game with the fourth-generation car to make it more individual and eye-catching. The midlife facelift of 2021 brought LED headlights to all models in the range while the front grille and bumper area are altered according to trim level, giving the different variants a more distinctive look.

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Inside, the Focus Estate shares the hatchback’s clean and uncluttered dash, as well as a ‘floating’ tablet style touchscreen of either 8” or 13.2” depending on the trim level. The quality of the interior fit and finish is good for the family hatchback class, with soft-touch materials and with attractive metallic finishes making the cabin a welcoming environment. There are harder plastics to be found lower down on the doors and the centre console. 

Entry-level Trend models feature a good level of standard equipment but, crucially, get the older 8.0-inch touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC 3 operating system. All other models get the 13.2” screen with the newer, and better, SYNC 4 software.

Aside from that, all models get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, selectable driving modes, air conditioning, cruise control with a speed limiter, a Quickclear heated front screen and LED headlights. As well as the improved infotainment system, Titanium models add alloy wheels, LED rear lights, power folding mirrors, climate control, keyless entry and keyless start.

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The ST-Line variants get 17” wheels, tinted glass, sports suspension and other styling upgrades. Active variants, meanwhile, feature subtle body cladding around the sills and wheel arches, a raised ride height and some extra off-road driving modes. You can add the Vignale pack to any trim level except Trend and that gives you the full 12.3” digital instrument cluster in place of analogue dials with a small display between them, as well as various trim upgrades. 

The flagship Ford Focus ST cars include 19-inch wheels, a unique bodystyling kit with rear spoiler, alloy finish pedals and ST sports suspension.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

Ford's SYNC 3 infotainment system is still on the entry-level Focus Estate Trend models in combination with the 8” touchscreen but the 13.2” SYNC 4 screen on all the other versions is much more impressive.

Ford has crammed the majority of the car’s minor controls into the SYNC 4 system with only a few shortcuts and the volume control getting physical buttons. For the most part it works very well with a fixed bar at the bottom of the screen for climate control settings, which means adjusting the fan speed and temperature is just a matter of a quick press and a swipe.

The menu system is intuitive, the important button areas are large enough to press on the move and the large screen is split so it can show the status of different functions at the same time. The system can receive software updates wirelessly as well.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 EcoBoost 85 Style 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £19,415

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 EcoBlue 120 Zetec Edition 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,585

Fastest

  • Name
    2.3 EcoBoost ST 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £33,710
Head of digital content

Steve looks after the Auto Express website; planning new content, growing online traffic and managing the web team. He’s been a motoring journalist, road tester and editor for over 20 years, contributing to titles including MSN Cars, Auto Trader, The Scotsman and The Wall Street Journal.

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