Test drive: Ford Focus estate Titanium 1.6 EcoBoost 150PS petrol 6-spd manual
The TotallyMotor Verdict
We’ve already had the pleasure of test driving Ford’s accomplished all-new Focus in 5-door hatchback trim and with the estate variant in Ford dealers now we thought it the perfect time to take a TotallyMotor look around the more space-inspired car.
The 5-door Focus has already stacked up 10,000 sales in the UK since its launch in March and Ford will smile to tell you that the estate car has been pre-ordered to the tune of 2,000 cars. Importance-wise, Focus estates are expected to account for 18% of total sales; up from 12% for the previous incarnation.
Happy car-sales-days indeed but happiness with the 5-door Focus is found in driving comfort and chassis prowess, modern safety tech and the latest range of eco-engines. Will the grins be as wide in the bigger car?
In short, yes. The Focus estate very closely matches the hatch for agility while the glove-like driving position is in full relaxing effect regardless of overall body length. And, of course, you get that extra estate load space; all 1,500 litres of it.
Test drive: Ford Focus estate Titanium 1.6 EcoBoost 150PS 6-speed manual
Dressed in its Panther Black metallic tuxedo and rolling on large 5-spoke, 18-inch alloys; this TotallyMotor test car could be the James Bond of estates. The more I see of the all-new Focus on the road – I live right near Ford’s Essex HQ, so I see plenty of them – the more the styling grows on me.
It’s a quietly confident-looking car and in white or black the modern and angular shape works well. On this Titanium near-top-of-the-ranger – priced at £20,850 OTR without options – we’ve got the aforementioned black metallic paint (£495) and 18-inch alloy wheels (£400), and an Appearance Pack that adds a dash of sinister excitement with tinted rear windows. Keyless entry also comes in the Appearance Pack, but it’s more convenient than menacing.
So, as with many new cars these days, it’s the options that help to turn up the style. But, I think that £400 is reasonable enough for a nice big set of rims, and I’d probably want the privacy glass too.
However, making zero impact, styling-wise, on the UK’s second best-selling and segment-leading car (after the top-selling Fiesta) but proving very popular with buyers of the 5-door car is the £750 Driver Assistance Pack. And as the name suggests it’s all about safety, and helping to keep a couple of points off the driving licence.
The Lane Departure Warning system reminds you – by way of a vibrating steering wheel - to keep the Focus between the road lane markings; while Active City Stop stops the car automatically at speeds below 20mph, should the driver not spot an imminent collision.
And particularly useful for keeping those dreaded points at bay is the Traffic Sign Recognition system that reads speed limit signs with a front-end-mounted camera and shows the current speed limit in the dashboard display; lest we forget.
So, a handsome chap, especially in black, but with a great deal more going on under that smooth skin.
Into the interior:
First up – and just like the 5-door – the seating position in the Focus was spot on for me. As a tall chap I’m always looking for lots of seating and steering wheel adjustment, as well as my preferred low-in-the-chassis seating position. And these Focus estate seats delivered in every single direction. There’s not been another new car recently that’s fitted my long frame better.
The third incarnation of the Ford Focus continues the upward trend in interior quality with a modern and well finished inner space that I found hard to fault, especially when seated so comfortably.
The leather trimmed steering wheel is as pleasant to hold as it is to regard and the dashboard vista and touch-feel are all generally very good. And I’m a big fan of the baby-blue highlights seen on the instrument needles.
The heavily-buttoned centre console will take a little learning for some less techno savvy drivers but perseverance will bring some sweet sounds from the Sony stereo, and the in-dash screens are bright and colourful. It all comes together to leave a lasting impression that the new Focus is packed with the latest in prime technology, but without a gold-plated price tag.
What you don’t get for your near-£21k in Titanium trim is leather seating, but the fabric choices are ultra-modern and understatedly stylish; without a dubious pattern anywhere in sight. But, if the soft moo-skin really is a must for you then look up to the very top Titanium X trim where you’ll find it partially covering the seats.
Here we have the near-150bhp, 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol EcoBoost engine as found in the 5-door Focus and, in 160PS form, under the bonnet of the recently refreshed Mondeo range.
Power stays the same for the bigger Focus estate car and I did notice a little less pep than in the hatch, but chances are if you’re buying the estate it’ll more than likely be regularly full of kids and/or flat-pack furniture. Sure, you can still hustle the estate but faster Ford Focus owners will buy the hatch for its class-leading handling, while estate buyers want space and style above rally stage prowess.
The completely turbo lag-free EcoBoost engine works sweetly with a trademark accurate Ford 6-speed manual gearbox, with its wide spread of engine torque bringing a smooth and effortless driving character that suits an estate car right down to the tarmac.
Regardless of speed or corning commitment the all-new Focus chassis is composed, comfortable and ready to please. And composure brings mechanical safety to partner those electronic safety aids.
The bigger 18-inch wheels, with top-notch Michelin lower profile tyres, actually add further turn-in grip to an already tenacious chassis but without the sometimes big-wheels-payback of a choppy and noisy road-ride. So this time you can have your styling cake and eat it.
This 150PS Focus will calmly catch 62mph in a respectable 8.8secs and push on to 130mph where conditions allow, just in case that flat-pack wardrobe has a particularly pressing appointment, and all to the eco-tune of 139g/km of CO2.
Engine choice is wide with the latest Ford powerplants ranging from 105PS and 109g/km CO2 (1.6 TDCi) to 163PS and 139g/km (2.0 TDCi PowerShift Auto). By the way, “PS” very closely equates to horsepower.
Ten second sum up:
The all-new, modern-engine-powered Ford Focus estate wears its fresh new Focus styling well and gives customers a wide choice of style, extra safety and convenience upgrades at reasonable prices; all whilst retaining the impressive on-road dynamics of the 5-door car.
Prices and availability:
The Ford Focus estate range starts at £17,100 OTR for the Edge 1.6 105PS 5-speed manual, rising to £25,100 for the Titanium X 2.0 TDCi 163PS PowerShift Auto. Price as tested for the Titanium 1.6 EcoBoost 150PS 6-speed; £20,850, plus options of Panther Black metallic paint (£495), Driver Assistance Pack (£750), City Pack (£275), 18-inch alloy wheels (£400), and Titanium Appearance Pack (£525). Focus 5-door and estate are available now.
By Daniel Anslow
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