A FEW weeks back I had a drive in the fiery Focus ST Estate which combined blistering pace with bags of practicality and style.
It is powered by a 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.
That also means that the ST costs quite a bit to insure and is also heavier on fuel than less powerful models.
You can however, have all the style and great looks of the ST model without the financial penalties by buying the ST-Line X model.
It costs a lot less to buy, is still a very good looking car and offers the same 608-litre boot which increases to 1,653 litres with the rear seats folded.
Power in this EcoBoost model is supplied by a 1.5-litre petrol unit combined with a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox.
It delivers 182ps and tackles the sprint to 62mph in 8.6 seconds before going on to max out at 135mph. That means it is fast enough for most people and it is able to deliver up to 46.6mpg with much lower emissions.
Out on the road the car feels and behaves much the same as its sibling as it still has a sports suspension. It offers fine driving dynamics and lots of fun.
The ride is not as firm and the slightly smaller alloys means that it feels more supple on our rough roads, while the steering is sharp and accurate.
As well as 18-inch alloys, it comes with unique upper and lower ST-Line grilles, a full bodystyling kit, large rear spoiler, privacy glass and red brake calipers. It also has polished twin tailpipes, folding door mirrors with puddle lights and alloy finish pedals.
Standard equipment is generous with an eight-inch screen with sat-nav,Apple CarPlay,Android Auto, front and rear parking sensors and cruise control, heated seats and much more.
All the latest safety equipment is included and in this weather the Quickclear heated windscreen is fantastic. The car also has pre-collision assistant with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian/cyclist detection, rain-sensing wipers and auto-headlamps.