I have always liked the Ford Focus, having driven various versions of the car over the past 21 years. But while it’s a decent sized car, it’s not a model I would often associate with an estate version.

I couldn’t remember driving an Estate version of the Focus, but my computer told me that I had tested what was called a Wagon version a few years back.

Last week I got to drive the Active Estate version of the Focus and was impressed. My test model came in a Frozen White colour and it certainly stood out from the crowd in the September sun.

A black roof complimented the white body colour. At first I thought it was a sunroof, but it looks like the black roof was for aesthetics only.

Ford had a manufacturing plant at the Marina in Cork city for many years and Irish people have a great love of Ford cars.

The interior of the Fotd Focus Active Estate. (Pictures: Christian Rolfes)

The Focus, which was launched in 1998, replaced the best selling Escort and we are now into the fourth generation of the Focus. It has proved to extremely popular with Irish motorists, who have purchased over 129,000 units over the past 21years.

The Focus was named Irish Car of the Year in 1999 and 2005.

Each revamp means more improvements and modificatons. The new version includes significant changes to the grille and the rear lights.

The letters Focus are now spelt out on the door of the boot which looks class. Volvo already had used idea and I notice that Skoda has now done likewise with their new Scala.

You may remember the first versions of the Focus when the most popular colour seemed to be silver. You still see a lot of those silver cars on Irish roads.

Ford Focus Active Estate. (Pictures: Christian Rolfes)

The Focus quickly established a reputation as the C-segment leader in terms of both technological excellence and great driving dynamics. 

Ciaran McMahon, MD of Ford in Ireland said: ‘‘In spite of the rise of the SUV over the last number of years, Focus is consistently in the top 10 for car sales in Ireland and we are sure that this high-tech new Focus will delight the many fans that the nameplate has won over the last 21 years.’’

I have always been a huge fan of cars with the famous Blue Oval, but was a bit disappointed at the fuel consumption in the 1.0-litre Eco Boost Focus my daughter bought in 2015.  It certainly was/is a bit thirsty.

My test car last week was also a 1.0-litre Eco Boost and I didn’t really have any worries about the fuel consumption. It certainly was a relaxing car to drive and travel in. A few of my passengers commented on how comfortable the seats were.

It’s was an Estate so naturally there was massive room in the boot. And the really good news is that underneath all that space was a ‘mini’ spare wheel.

The only thing I didn’t like was the electric handbrake. Please Ford bring back the old-fashioned hand-brake. There were front and rear sensors, but I probably would have preferred a reversing camera.

Prices for the regular Focus start at €22,805, while the Active Estate version I drove starts at €25,879. The Active version gives you lots of goodies, but of course you pay for them! Road tax is €190.

For me, just one word describes the Focus range, dependable.