FORD FOCUS (ESTATE)

OVERVIEW

The new Ford Focus Estate is based on the same stiffer, safer and lighter platform as the hatch. The only real difference between the two is a bit of extra metalwork behind the B-pillar, which at the expense of a few kilograms adds a decent whack of boot space. It’s for the family that won’t fit in a five-door hatchback and doesn’t want a high-riding crossover or SUV.

Little estates like the Focus are almost always more economical, better to drive and more practical than similarly-priced crossovers.

Prices start at around £19,400 – £1,100 more than the equivalent Focus hatch, but around £2,500 less than the Seat Ateca, for example, a typical (and very good) family crossover.

Both inside and out, the Focus Estate is a massive improvement on the car it replaces.

A facelift in 2014 improved matters, but by the end of its life, the MK3 Focus was a car that felt its years.

The MK4 borrows heavily from the new Fiesta for its interior and exterior styling.

Either way, this is undoubtedly a car that responds well to a bit of spec. The bigger wheels and more aggressive bodykit of ST-Line models do wonders for the Focus’s road presence.

Petrol engines are from Ford’s ‘EcoBoost’ family of three-cylinders, and naturally there are diesels too. Ford call these ‘EcoBlue’ engines.

HISTORY

The Ford Focus is a compact car (C-segment in Europe) manufactured by the Ford Motor Company and created under Alexander Trotman’s Ford 2000 plan, which aimed to globalize model development and sell one compact vehicle worldwide. The original Focus was primarily designed by Ford of Europe’s German and British teams.

The Focus was released in July 1998 in Europe, succeeding the Ford Escort, and replaced the Mazda Familia-derived Ford Laser in Asia and Oceania along with the Laser-based North American Escort. Wayne Stamping & Assembly started producing the Focus for North America with sales beginning in 1999. The last North American-produced Focus rolled off the line at the Michigan Assembly Plant on May 4, 2018. Production of the fourth generation Focus began in 2018 in Germany and in China.

DESIGN

Ford’s designers upped their game with the new one to make it more individual and eye-catching. The effect is not overly-dramatic or extrovert, and the overall effect is relatively conservative. However, especially at the front where a handsome new grille and sculpted bonnet have been styled, the changes mean the Focus has a strong presence on the road.

The rear of the car is more carefully integrated too, with a rising beltline and tapering window glass above the rear haunches giving the car a sporty demeanour. That’s emphasized on ST-Line models with a black egg-crate style grille, while the luxurious Vignale gets LED headlights and rear lamps for a more premium feel.

Inside, the Focus Estate shares the hatchback’s clean and uncluttered dash, as well as a ‘floating’ tablet style touchscreen. The quality feel of the interior fit and finish is now as good as you’ll find anywhere, with soft-touch materials and with attractive metallic finishes making the cabin a very welcoming place to be.

Entry-level Zetec models feature a good level of standard equipment, including a 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, air conditioning, cruise control with a speed limiter, a heated front screen and LED daytime running lights. Active models build on Zetec specification, with bigger alloy wheels, keyless go and selectable drive modes.

Top-of-the-range ST cars include 19-inch wheels, a unique bodystyling kit with rear spoiler, alloy finish pedals, LED headlights and taillights and ST sports suspension.

Titanium models build on the base Zetec trim to include Ford’s excellent SYNC 3 infotainment system, along with sat nav and a 4.2-inch TFT coloured display. It also adds heated front seats, front and rear parking sensors and rain-sensing wipers.

The expensive Vignale trim features an upgraded B&O audio system with ten speakers, along with a head-up display, a rear wide-view camera and Active Park Assist.

SOME INFORMATION ABOUT THE FOCUS ESTATE

The Ford Focus Estate has long been a popular choice among families. Historically, it has delivered fun handling to make you smile and low running costs that won’t make you weep. In its current guise, it allies the generous rear-seat space of its hatchback sister with a much more versatile boot.

There are various trim levels to cater for most budgets and requirements, along with a number of petrol and diesel engines to choose from. Essentially, Ford has made sure that the Focus Estate really does tick the ‘cater for every need’ box.

Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox

Meanwhile, if you’re a diesel fan, the 118bhp 1.5-litre (Ecoblue 120) represents the sweet spot of the diesel range, offering a good spread of shove once you get past its initial low-end turbo lag. The 148bhp 2.0-litre version (Ecoblue 150) doesn’t feel that much faster, especially if you order it with the optional eight-speed automatic gearbox. In fact, whichever engine you go for, the auto ‘box takes the edge off its performance.

Suspension and ride comfort

The Focus Estate gets a more complex suspension set-up than the basic hatchback and pricier versions provide the option of adaptive dampers, should you want to the opportunity to fine tune your ride further. Essentially, it’s a fine-riding car, no matter which version you buy; it sits somewhere between the ultra-supple Golf Estate and occasionally lumpy Octavia Estate in the comfort stakes.

There are also sportier ST-Line and ST-Line X trims that have a lower, stiffer set-up. While neither are boneshakers, you do notice their greater firmness over potholes and corrugated surfaces, especially in the ST-Line X with its bigger 18in wheels.

HOW TO MAINTANCE OF YOUR FOCUS?

  • Maintain your engine

Maintaining your vehicle properly helps it lasts longer and run more efficiently. An oil and filter change is important, and should be done frequently.

Learn more about the benefits of scheduling maintenance at your dealership.

  • Repair your exterior

If you are in an accident, promptly file an insurance claim and use the claim money to repair the damage as soon as possible. Waiting can allow rust to set in, leading to other more serious problems.

  • Drive smart

Avoid aggressive driving, which can damage your vehicle and may decrease its resale value. Refrain from jackrabbit starts, fast stops, speeding and weaving through traffic, as well. Following these recommendations can help keep your brakes, engine, tires and suspension from wearing prematurely – and even help improve your fuel economy.

  • Keep complete service records

Keep complete service and maintenance records, along with any other receipts for parts and accessories, so you can show prospective buyers that your vehicle is well cared for.

Source: wikipedia, topgear, whatcar

 

 

 

 

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