- Superb ride and handling balance
- Punchy, frugal engine and gearbox combo
- Roomy, practical interior
- Not for sale anymore
- Options make it expensive
- Slightly pricey
With SUVs being the all the craze these days, it might just appear that the humble wagon is dead. When the 2020 Ford Focus was launched in Australia, Ford was kind enough to import the wagon variant for the very first time.
Sadly, Ford Australia recently killed off the Focus wagon, opting for a revised line-up consisting of solely hatch variants in ST-Line, Active and sporty ST spec.
Whilst it may now be dead, the Focus wagon remains the standout of the Focus range, and we can only lament the fact that no more are due to be imported into the country. We tested the 2020 Ford Focus ST-Line wagon to put Ford’s latest small car through its paces.
Price & Specs
Priced at $30,990 plus on-road costs, the Focus ST-Line wagon was positioned right in the middle of the 2019 Focus range in Australia. It carried a $2,000 premium over the equivalent ST-Line hatch.
The car comes relatively well equipped for the money, with a crisp 8.0-inch touchscreen supporting satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Other highlights in the standard equipment for ST-Line models include auto headlights and wipers, wireless phone charging, digital radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, sports seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, lowered sports suspension as well as sporty body kit with “ST-Line” badging.
Standard active safety includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB), with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keeping assist with lane departure warning, rear parking sensors with a 180-degree wide-angle reversing camera, adjustable speed limiter, post-impact braking emergency assistance, along with six airbags. The Focus scored the maximum five ANCAP stars when it was assessed in August 2019.
Two optional packages were available on the Focus ST-Line wagon, both of which were ticked on the car we tested. The $1,250 Driver Assistance Pack includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring. The $1,800 Design Pack included 18-inch alloys, cornering LED headlights and auto high beam. A $2,000 panoramic sunroof can also be optioned.
Engine & Drivetrain
Under the bonnet, the Focus ST-Line wagon is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine, with only three cylinders. The engine produces a punchy 134kW of power and 240Nm of torque, which means that performance always feels plentiful. The engine works well with the creamy smooth eight-speed automatic transmission, meaning that whether in town or on the freeway, performance feels plentiful. The engine has a nice growl from the exhaust when pushed and adds to the sporting aura of the Focus wagon.
Your hip pocket will thank Ford for only fitting the Focus with a three-cylinder engine, as opposed to its predecessor’s four-cylinder engine; average fuel economy is listed at a claimed 6.4 litres per 100kms. Our test average was around 8 litres per 100kms, when we drove both around town and in the Victorian country side, a fantastic result considering the size and performance of the car.
The only complaint we really have is the automatic transmission’s hesitation when moving from drive to reverse and vice versa, shifts take way too long and can be frustrating when doing a three-point turn.
Ride & Handling
On the road, the 2020 Ford Focus wagon further impresses with being smooth on even some of our most poorly surfaced roads. The Focus is quiet at speed and would cruise beautifully between our capital cities.
Show the car a twisty road and you’ll love the direct, sure footed feel the car has which most modern Fords have. The Focus wagon manages to be both sporty and comfortable at the same time. This is because the wagon rides on vastly more sophisticated independent rear suspension (IRS) compared to the hatch’s more rudimentary torsion beam. Each wheel in the wagon can move independently on its own accord, whereas in the hatch, both rear wheels are tied together. As we reported earlier, all variants of the revised Focus range will now feature IRS with small standard equipment boosts such as standard LED-headlights across the range.
Interior & Practicality
The interior of the 2020 Ford Focus wagon is generally a nice place to travel in with decent quality materials in most areas of the German-made car. All buttons and air vents feel solid to use and the leather steering wheel feels great in your hand.
Quality does not however meet the levels set by the leading Volkswagen Golf, and you will quickly notice that the plastics tend to get cheaper the further down you happen to look.
Whilst still a small car, the latest Focus grew substantially over its predecessor. Front leg and headroom are both fine and two adults will sit behind two in the front quite happily without their heads rubbing the car’s roof.
Seating three adults in the rear will be tough, but complaints on short journeys shouldn’t be too loud as the middle seatback is fairly supportive. The Focus also features a flat floor in the rear meaning that everyone’s feet will be happy too.
There is ample storage for your items in the front with two cupholders, a nice large storage spot for keys and a pad for your phone underneath the climate controls which can charge your phone. The doors feature flock lined bottle holders which can hold 1.5 litre bottles. Unfortunately, rear seat passengers don’t get a centre armrest or their own air vents.
Adding 29cm to the Focus hatch’s length gives the 4.67-metre wagon a cargo capacity of 575 litres, 234 more litres than the hatch. When the rear seats are folded down, you’ll find a whopping 1653 litres of storage. This is the wagon’s main selling point, demonstrating that wagons can have more cargo space than SUVs such as the Mazda CX-5 and Hyundai Tucson.
The boot is wide and very practical with Velcro securing straps on both sides, flip-out hooks, tie-down points, and a 12-volt socket to hook up an external fridge.
Lifting the boot floor will reveal more storage space (with a temporary spare wheel under everything). Lowering the 60-40 split-fold rear seats is easy courtesy of the quick release tabs found on either side of the boot.
Running Costs & Warranty
The F2020 Ford Focus ST-Line wagon should be an easy car to live with, and ownership shouldn’t break the bank. Servicing is required every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever comes first, with years one to four not being too expensive at $299 each, jumping to $350 for the fifth-year service. Ford’s service price calculator gives servicing cost estimates for over 12 years into the future. Over five years this means that the Focus will be around $800 cheaper to service than the rival Volkswagen Golf ($1546 v $2329).
Having said this, Fords tend to depreciate more strongly than rivals and usually struggle to retain their value well.
The wagon is covered Ford’s five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and when serviced through Ford dealerships comes with free roadside assistance.
Even though Ford culled the ST-Line wagon from the Focus line-up for 2020, it is worth asking around your local Ford dealerships to see if any remain. The wagon is simply delightful both on the open road and inside, with ample room and a fun personality that is so frequently lacking in some cars.
Fun to drive, comfortable and roomy for a small car, we’ll miss the Focus ST-Line Wagon and can only hope that Ford Australia reintroduces it into the line-up once again.