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Ford Focus estate: Test Drive Review

Date: 18 July 2011   |   Author: Rachel Burgess

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £19,540
Key rival: VW Golf estate

The Ford Focus is the ubiquitous volume car in the UK, and the new model released earlier this year continues to bolster sales.

Now comes the arrival of its estate sibling, which, with revised styling and engines matching the hatchback, is expected to grow its share of overall Focus sales, rising from 12.5% to 18%, says Ford.

The most popular model will be the 1.6 TDCi 115hp, with emissions of 109g/km and official economy of 67.3mpg.

The Focus hatch debuted the manufacturer's host of safety options bundled into the driver assistance pack, which cost an additional £750 and which is seeing a 15% uptake from buyers, a trend expected to continue in the estate. The pack includes active city stop, lane departure warning, auto high beam, and blind spot information systems.

Four trim levels are available - Edge, Zetec, Titanium and Titanium X - with Zetec expected to be the big seller. All specifications come with Bluetooth, USB connection, rear spoiler, roof rails and electric front windows.

Prices start from £17,000 although Ford says there is over £1000 of additional standard equipment over the outgoing entry-level Style.

Boot space is always high up the agenda for estate buyers, and the Focus estate loses out here over its key rivals, the Vauxhall Astra estate, Volkswagen Golf estate and Renault Megane Sports Tourer. But there's not a drastic difference: the Focus offers 476 litres against the Astra's 500, the Golf's 505 and the Megane's 491. With the rear seats down, the Ford has 1502 litres of space versus the Astra's 1550, the Golf's 1495 and the Megane's 1567.

The 1.6 TDCi 115hp is a pleasure to drive with plenty of torque and excellent handling. The interior is comfortable and good quality; once more, Ford has produced a car, if unexciting, that is hard to criticise.

It also wins on whole-life costs. According to BusinessCar's WLC provider KwikCarcost, the Focus estate will cost 46.6p per mile, compared with the equivalent Golf's 46.8ppm. Falling further behind is the Renault at 47.9ppm and the Vauxhall at 49.1ppm. So, the Ford Focus estate is the sensible choice for fleet managers while also being an efficient, comfortable and decent drive.

Ford Focus estate 1.6 TDCi
115 Zetec 6sp manual
P11D price£19,540
Residual value29.8%
Service, maintenance
& repair
Vehicle Excise Duty£40
National Insurance£1186
Cost per mile46.6p
Fuel consumption67.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 109g/km/(13%)
BIK 20/40% per month£42/£85
Service interval12,500mls
Insurancegroup 15
Boot space (min/max)476/1502 litres
Engine size/power1598cc/115hp
Top speed/0-62mph120mph/11.1secs
On sale May 2011
VerdictImpressive all-rounder
though loadspace
versus rivals poor


Impressive all-rounder though loadspace versus rivals poor