Ford Focus Wagon – The bulletproof estate saves the day

By Philip Hedderman

What’s the difference between Kevlar and the new Ford Focus Wagon?

Well, one is bulletproof and the other is just a clever marketing ploy.

Now, before you decide that I’ve lost the plot, let me explain.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to pre-empt the Budget and the likelihood that the bike to work scheme would be scrapped.

Availing of a tax free loan was too good to ignore so I set off to my local dealer looking to trade a mountain bike for a lightweight hybrid.

The young buck in the road bike section was a very slick salesman indeed and tried his damnest to flog me everything from a stirrup pump to state-of-the-art LED flashing lights to fashion accessories.

Sensing that he was getting nowhere with the usual pap he then opted for plan B – bamboozle me with science.

It worked and I fell for it hook, line and sinker.

Lightweight frame?

Check.

Quick release wheels?

Check.

Double wall alloy rims?

Check.

Sixteen-speed Shimano gears?

Check.

Puncture proof, high performance tyres made of Kevlar?

Ye Wha?

Puncture proof tyres, I gasped …. I’ll have ‘em.

Now not only was the new bike lighter and faster it was now literally bulletproof.

No more side of the road fiddling with a repair kit as you tried to ignore sneering motorists beeping smugly as my little arms pumped furiously.

The elation didn’t last long and on the bike’s second outing …  disaster.

A shard of glass had ripped through the Kevlar, tearing through my ego and faith in humanity.

Luckily the walk home wasn’t too long and thankfully the Focus Wagon was there to rescue what was left of the day.

You see, the new estate is longer leaner and a hell of a lot sexier than its predecessor.

It is 20cms bigger – freeing up almost 160 litres of extra space adding to the very impressive tally of 1,502 litres.

More than enough to accommodate a shiny new bike and one impenetrable tyre.

But its not just its load lugging ability that makes the Wagon desirable.

No, a combination of factors come into play including versatility, economy, style and handling.

The estate has all the comfort, drive and dynamic of the hatch coupled with the capability, capacity and size of a much bigger car.

It’s mega economical too with a 113bhp, 1.6 litre diesel which has CO2 emissions of 117g/km – putting her in Tax Band A and road tax of just €104.

Other variants include a 1.6 litre petrol and 2.0 litre automatic falling into tax band B (136g/km and 139g/km respectively and €156 annual road tax).

Thanks to Stop/Start technology (standard on all models) and improved injection systems, it has the thirst of a city car returning an eye-watering 55mpg.

The car is also loaded with technology and the top of the range Titanium we tested came with lane departure warning which alerts you before you drift out of lane by vibrating the steering wheel and gently nudges the car back into line.

The entry-level Focus features: ESP with traction assist; Ford Intelligent Protection System; body colour bumpers, mirrors and spoiler (5 door or roof rails on Wagon); electric front windows; power door mirrors; remote central locking with flip key; stereo radio / CD with USB connectivity; and capless refuelling.

The top end Titanium comes with the all of the above including 16” inch alloys; dual-zone electronic temperature control; automatic wipers; automatic lights; auto-dimming rear view mirror; hill start assist; and cruise control with automatic speed limiter.

But the biggest lure of all is the price which starts at €21,925, just €1,100 more than the hatch, which in terms of estate premiums is hard to beat.