Ford Focus Titanium X 1.6 TDCi 115 Estate
With the standard Focus hatch on sale for over a year and the estate available for nine months, Autoblog was keen to see if the estate was as good to drive despite the extra space.

To see if Ford have succeeded, we spent a week with the £22,895 1.6 TDCi 115 Titanium X.

The Focus estate gets off to a promising start by looking almost like a scaled-down Mondeo estate, itself a good example of the company's kinetic design language.

Ford Focus Titanium X 1.6 TDCi 115 Estate
At 20cm longer than the hatch, the Focus estate has 1,502 litres of load space, which is actually less than the outgoing car. So, maybe style has triumphed over practicality on this occasion but it's still a very useful loadspace.

Highlights include the slim rear lights, the small rear screen and the curvy roof line.

Perhaps more distinguishable than the hatch, the Focus estate certainly looks better in some colours than others. With the now unavailable Chrome Yellow paint, it stood out even in the dullest spring week we had the car.

Ford Focus Titanium X 1.6 TDCi 115 Estate
Inside, the fine driving position has remained unchanged, but the packaging problems still exist. The button-heavy Sony stereo and over-complicated multi-function steering wheel annoy, but the Focus's interior is a good place to spend time because of the excellent refinement.

The car we drove was in range-topping Titanium X trim, specifications include rain sensitive wipers, LED rear lights and cruise control.

So what's the 115bhp version of the 1.6 TDCi version of the Focus estate like to drive? To be honest, fairly underpowered. This engine is not very responsive and speed takes a long time to build, then when you do work it, it get quite noisy and unrefined.

Ford Focus Titanium X 1.6 TDCi 115 Estate
If it were our money, we'd save up the extra cash and go for the 138bhp 2.0-litre diesel. Still happy to rev, it's a smooth performer feeling much more powerful than its 1.6-litres would suggest.

Despite being fitted with standard 17-inch alloys, the ride remains composed. The larger wheels seem to have a positive knock-on effect on the already excellent body control and precise steering, as it rides the bumps far better than you'd expect.

The new Focus estate is an excellent car and fitted into our everyday life perfectly. But, we'd probably go for a lower specification model such as the Zetec, with a more impressive engine for the perfect combination. Also, we wonder now whether the Focus estate's style statement looks have come at the cost of practicality, as other rivals offer more space.