My long-term Focus is continuing to win over friends thanks to its blend of excellent road manners, high equipment levels and spaciousness. As an example, my sister-in-law currently runs a Nissan Qashqai as a company car, but has been looking around for a replacement. She wants a car that firstly has an automatic gearbox, offers more boot space than the SUV-sized Nissan, but also comes within the budget that her company has allocated. A trawl through the company car lists and I narrowed it down to three cars, with each of them affordable so that she wouldn’t need to spend out more than £50 per month of her own money to choose them. The Citroën C5 Aircross Flair BlueHDi 130 made it onto the shortlist, along with the Kia ProCeed GT-Line 1.6 CRDi and Ceed 3 1.6 CRDi Sportwagon. All of them were credible choices and she liked all three, but having spent time in my Focus, including a week in Cornwall, she’s now decided that she’ll pay the extra cash each month (around £85), as it impressed her so much. Commission cheque care of the Diesel Car offices, please Ford!
One of my friends is lucky to get the Ford Privilege discount, thanks to his uncle working for Ford for a large part of his life, and so he tends to change his car for a new one every 12 to 15 months or so. He’s had a Mondeo, several Focuses, a Grand C-MAX and more lately quite a few Kugas, and the time is coming up to change again. His wife likes the stature of an SUV and prefers an automatic gearbox, and so they’ve been thinking of downsizing to Ford’s new Puma. Except that it’s unlikely that it will be available on the discount scheme for a while, and automatic transmission versions aren’t expected until mid-way through next year. So my friend has been looking at alternatives to tide them over for a year until the costs and availability of the Puma is more favourable. He likes the look of my Focus ST-Line X and thinks that the estate bodystyle would be perfect. He’s just got to sell it to his wife, which is easier said than done.
For me, the Focus Estate provides a great blend of versatility that the family needs. My nephew’s bike broke last week, and the Ford just swallowed it up with ease, helping to take the cycle back to the shop. With 575 litres of carrying capacity with the seats up and 1,620 with them folded down, the outright capacity is just 10 litres shy of the Mondeo Wagon at 1,630 litres. And I get why both of the ladies in my examples above prefer an automatic with the roads in the South East of England so congested. The macho part of me says that I’d rather drive a car with a manual transmission, especially along a beautiful driving road, however, stop-start motoring means that the opposite is generally true a lot of the time. And as the country gets ever more congested, it’s likely that an automatic will make better sense for more of the time, as sad as that may be for those that prefer a more involving drive.
Date arrived 26th April 2019
Fuel economy 45.6-49.6mpg (combined) 47.1mpg (on test)
The boot is generously sized, with the seats up or down.
The spaced-out ‘F O C U S’ badge on the tailgate comes down to a matter of taste. Some like it, some don’t