2018 Ford Focus Estate review
Our Rating

4.5/5

2018 Ford Focus Estate review

After the hatchback made a successful return to the market earlier this year, we get behind the wheel of the Focus Estate to see if it matches up to its sibling

Introduction

The recent release of the Ford Focus has led to even more success for the American brand, as the latest hatchback has continued where the last iteration left off – close to the top of the British sales list.

Even though the Estate wasn’t a secret, we have finally been able to get behind the wheel and with it you get extra space plus an altered chassis to suit the extra length.

The standard Focus is the best handling family hatchback currently available, and with that basis, the Estate should be on par with even the best of its rivals.

We take a look at the new Focus Estate and see whether it can lead the way in the same way its hatchback sibling does…

2018 Ford Focus Estate

Performance

As with the hatchback, customers get the choice of 1.0- and 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engines and 1.5- and 2.0-litre diesel units, which can be paired to six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmissions. The option we tried was the 1.5-litre diesel with its lowest power offering – 118bhp and 300Nm of torque – while being matched to the six-speed manual.

Although this may not be the fastest unit available to the Focus Estate, it will likely be the most popular as it can offer great fuel economy and excellent refinement while cruising. It takes 10.1 seconds to get from 0-60mph, while its top speed is 120mph. It doesn’t feel sluggish at all and you can easily perform overtakes on the motorway without the car feeling out of puff.

2018 Ford Focus Estate

Ride & Handling

Drivers after a well-balanced and well-handling estate should find the Focus Estate to be the perfect option. Even with the extra weight and bodywork over the rear axle, Ford has managed to capture the same drive ability of the hatchback and put it onto the Estate without much hassle at all.

The steering is sharp, accurate and flat, as you get lots of grip of the front axle and the chassis is well-tuned. The ride in the ST-Line model we tried wasn’t the most refined available as it is fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels, but on smaller rims that would be solved. The overall feel of the Focus Estate means that not even more recognisable driver’s models, such as the Volkswagen Golf, are as good.

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2018 Ford Focus Estate

Interior & Equipment

It’s safe to say that you won’t find much difference between the cabins of the hatchback and estate models, but that means you get a well-thought-out layout with soft-touch plastics and controls that are solid enough. Passenger space is improved over the hatch as head and legroom are slightly better due to the raised roof and slightly longer body – while the 608-litre boot is marginally larger than the Golf Estate.

In the ST-Line trim we tried, the Focus Estate comes well-equipped with features such as sports tuned suspension, LED daytime running lights and front fog lights, an ST-Line styling kit, polished tailpipes, auto headlights, cruise control, the Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth and smartphone connectivity, and selectable driving modes.

Safety systems also come as standard, with pre-collision assist with autonomous emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, post-collision braking and lane keeping aid with departure warning fitted to the ST-Line.

On the model we drove, Ford had also added a series of optional extras, including a larger eight-inch touchscreen, rear privacy glass, the driver assistance pack – which added traffic sign recognition, auto high-beam and adaptive cruise control – and the convenience pack that included a rear-view camera, door edge protectors, active park assist and parking sensors.

2018 Ford Focus Estate

Cost

Prices for the Focus Estate start from £19,400, which is £1,100 up from the hatchback version and you get plenty more space to work with without losing any fun while driving. The model we tried has a starting price of £23,950, but with all the optional extras on top it was priced at £26,575 – which is a bit on the pricey side.

Thankfully, running the Focus Estate in this spec won’t be that costly, as the 1.5-litre EcoBlue diesel has a quoted return of 76.3mpg and emissions of 97g/km CO2 – both of which mean you’ll be spending money at the pump much less often than you might think.

2018 Ford Focus Estate

Verdict

Despite the extra heft over the rear axle and added load space, the Focus Estate drives as well as its smaller hatchback sibling, which should make it an instant favourite among family drivers. With plenty of kit on offer from standard models and cheap-to-run powertrains, it will be no surprise to hear that the Focus is a truly excellent option in the estate market. The success of the hatchback should be carried over into this model and it should also be near the top of your list if you’re after a practical long-distance machine.

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