Ford Focus Estate - Interior & comfort

The Ford Focus Estate is closer than ever to matching the Volkswagen Golf Estate in this area

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In years gone by, the Focus’ functional but uninspiring interior has been one area where the Volkswagen Golf Estate has been clearly superior. But the Focus has taken a big step forwards and pulled itself closer to the VW than ever before, although the latest VW and SEAT models have advanced even further. Looking rather like a grown-up Fiesta, the Focus has a similarly uncluttered feel and plenty of attractive materials.

These vary according to trim level, with contemporary metallic, wood or carbon-effect highlights to draw the eye. Like most models in the class, there are still harder plastics to be found lower down and out of sight, but these should at least prove hardwearing.

Ford Focus Estate dashboard

As in the Fiesta, most buttons have been eradicated from the dashboard, replaced by a prominent colour touchscreen. An update in October 2019 means this measures eight inches even on the entry-level Zetec model. The display can also recognise the ‘pinch and swipe’ gestures we’re used to from tablets and smartphones.

The infotainment system uses the latest version of Ford’s SYNC 3 software, which works well enough, but is also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto if you prefer software that more closely resembles your smartphone. For the first time in a Focus, you can also choose a head-up display, projecting information directly in your line of sight. It’s standard on the Vignale and around a £400 option on other trims.

Equipment

Just like the Ford Focus hatchback, there are plenty of trim levels to help the Focus Estate appeal to a broad range of customers. The previous base model, Style, is no longer available, but Zetec adds a lot of extra kit for not much more money. As well as the SYNC 3 touchscreen, it offers 16-inch alloy wheels, wireless phone charging, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and air-conditioning. Other handy features you might not want to live without include cruise control, a heated windscreen, all-round parking sensors and front foglights.

Titanium adds more luxuries, such as heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and auto wipers. You also don’t need to take the key out of your pocket to unlock or start the car. Upgrading to Titanium X gets you part-leather seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, tinted glass, bright LED headlights, a digital instrument cluster and 17-inch wheels as well.

If you want high-performance looks without hot-hatch running costs, there’s the ST-Line trim. This gets a comprehensive styling makeover with different bumpers, unique 17-inch wheels, spoilers and twin exhaust pipes. It’s a similar story inside, where there are alloy-finished pedals and gearknob, a dark headlining and sports steering. This too can be upgraded to ST-Line X, garnering 18-inch alloys and the luxury kit from the Titanium X model.

Vignale prioritises style and comfort over sportiness, replacing all the lights with LEDs and cloth upholstery with leather. The steering wheel is heated to take the edge off cold mornings and there’s technology like a rear-view camera, automated parking assistance and head-up display, plus a Bang & Olufsen stereo upgrade with 10 speakers. It feels like the most convincing Vignale model yet but we'd avoid entry-level engines as the upmarket feel is diluted by a lack of punch when you put your foot down.

Options

Adding the B&O Play speaker upgrade from the Vignale is more affordable than you might expect, costing £350 for the ST-Line X, Titanium and Titanium X trims.

You can also choose a £500 Convenience Pack for ST-Line and Titanium, adding a rear-view camera, door edge protectors and automatic parking capability.

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