IF you need lots of space but still want hot hatch pace then Ford may have just the car to meet your demands.
It comes in the shape of the Focus ST Estate which combines all the fun of a regular hot hatch with bags of practicality and style.
The ST estate retains the fantastic chassis and engine from the latest ST hatch but offers it and a practical body style for just over £1,000 more and that makes it a really useful tool.
It is still a very good looking car but offers a 608-litre boot which increases to 1,653 litres with the rear seats folded and it does that without having any adverse impact on the superb driving dynamics.
The estate only weighs an extra 35kg and I could not detect any difference when on the move.
Power comes from the fantastic 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo engine which produces 276bhp and 420Nm of torque. It lets you tackle the sprint from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds - just one tenth slower than the hatchback - while the 155mph top speed is the same.
The latest WLTP figures say the estate is capable of up to 39.8mpg with a low of 23.9mpg and Ford claim the average figure of just over 35mpg with the same 179g/km CO2 rating.
Out on the road the car feels and behaves exactly the same as its sibling hatch which means it offers huge grip and great fun.
The suspension is excellent but obviously on the firm side to cope with the performance and the steering is sharp and accurate. The sports seats help to protect you from getting bounced around too much when you encounter poor surfaces.
Standard adaptive dampers also help and when you put the ST in Sport mode you can tackle fast corners with confidence and a smile on your face while the electronically-controlled limited-slip differential works hard to find traction.
The ST Estate is also a good-looking car with large 19-inch alloys, unique upper and lower ST grilles, a full bodystyling kit, large rear spoiler, privacy glass and red brake calipers.
Inside standard equipment is generous with an eight-inch screen with sat-nav,Apple CarPlay,Android Auto, parking sensors and a reversing camera, as well as e-LSD, adaptive cruise with lane keep and autonomous braking, part-leather Recaro sports seats, a B&O stereo, heated seats and steering wheel, keyless operation and adaptive LED lights.
All the latest safety equipment is included and in this weather the Quickclear heated windscreen is a real bonus.