Living with a… Ford Focus Active X Estate

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First published: 26th September 2019
"Oh no no no, I’m a rocket (wo)man, burning up my fuel out here alone." This month I’ve said hello to my new spaceship for the next six months. It’s the Ford Focus Active X Estate.

You might be wondering what the ‘Active X’ bit stands for. It’s an SUV-inspired, slightly more rugged version of the Ford Focus Estate. What that translates to is some aggressive-looking bumpers, black plastic cladding around the sills and arches, roof rails, and a slightly raised ride height, thanks to bigger tyres and a different suspension from the ‘normal’ car. This isn’t an SUV by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s an estate that likes the look of an SUV, and has nicked a few bits for a night out.

I’ve been used to life with a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, so to switch that up for a 2.0-litre diesel with 150 horsepower feels like switching a barge for a rocket ship. Plenty of power for getting out of any sticky situation, although if you put your foot down a bit too forcefully, it’s quite easy to spin up the front wheels.

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I may have ticked one or two boxes on the ‘options’ list, although according to the configurator, there are 12 extras and 52 dealer-fitted accessories I could have gone for, so I think I’ve been quite restrained.

Unusually for me I went for Metropolis White paint (£700), but it’s not any ordinary white. It’s a sparkly, dense cream colour which looks really lovely, and even better, it doesn’t show up dirt too badly.

Quite a few of the other features I’ve opted for are tech or safety bits: the hands-free tailgate is really convenient (except when friends or family try to open or close it like a normal boot, ARGH); and the head-up display is always handy, meaning you don’t have to look down to check your speed or sat-nav directions.

Ford’s B&O audio system is one of the best on the market, and as a £550 extra it’s definitely worth considering. Really clear treble, decent bass, very good sound.

The blind spot information system has already proved a godsend in the first month on the M25, showing up with an orange warning light on your door mirror if there’s a car lurking in your blind spot. With the standard of driving on the M25, it really does help…

I also went for two of Ford’s ‘packs’, which combine a few desirable items in one hit. The driver assistance pack gets you traffic sign recognition; auto high beam; and adaptive cruise control with lane centring assist and stop & go (if you’ve got an auto, which I do).

The convenience pack gets you a rear wide-view camera; door edge protectors; and active park assist 2, which also takes control of the accelerator, gearshift and braking (again on the auto).

I’m really looking forward to my next six months with my spaceship. I think we’re going to get along just fine.
Ford Focus Active
Key specs

-Model: Ford Focus Active X Estate 2.0L EcoBlue start/stop 8-speed auto
-List price: £29,355
-Price as tested: £33,705
-Engine/gearbox: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo diesel, eight-speed automatic
-Power: 150 horsepower
-Top speed: 127mph
-0-62mph: 9.3 seconds
-Economy: 44.1-51.4mpg
-CO2 / BIK tax liability: 117g/km / 28%
-Boot space: 608/1650 litres

Extras fitted to our long-termer:
Metropolis White paint £700
Hands-free tailgate £450
Wireless charging pad £100
B&O Audio system with 360-degree sound, 10 speakers, 675 watts of amplifier power and a digital sound processor £550
Blind spot information system £400
LED headlights £750
Head-up display £400
Driver assistance pack £500
Convenience pack £500

Interested in buying a Ford Focus?

Related topics:
Estates Family cars