Ford Focus RS review – is Ford's hyperactive hatchback a cut price Audi RS3? (2016 - 2018) - Prices, specs and rivals

The Focus RS impresses with strong performance and great handling

Evo rating
Price
from £32,795
  • Incredible pace while being fun and adjustable
  • Interior lacks sophistication and quality of German rivals

Prices, specs and rivals 

The RS crowns the Focus line up and has a range-topping price tag, but at just a couple of thousand over £30k it’s only marginally more than the electric Focus. It is £5k dearer than the junior performance Focus derivative, the ST, but in light of what the Focus RS offers it’s an awful lot of performance for the money.

Luckily the RS has a pretty sparse options list with plenty of kit fitted as standard. The Optional Recaros at £1000-plus are worth considering if you have track days in mind, although if you prefer mod cons you could opt for the Luxury pack which adds power fold door mirrors, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and cruise control for about £1000. If the standard Stealth (grey) is a little tepid for your tastes, there are four other finishes to choose from ranging in price from £250 to £745, including Nitrous Blue. A set of black wheels will supplement the final price by about £1000.

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The VW Golf R is one many cars competing in the hot hatch melting pot. While priced on a par with the Ford, the options list is much longer, so a nigh-on £40k Golf R is possible. Despite the similarities of a four-wheel drive platform, the German hatch simply can’t live with Focus in performance terms; down on both power and torque by 48bhp and 67lb ft respectively – ultimately it isn’t as thrilling either.

The Ford’s power output is only trumped by the Mercedes-AMG A45 and recently refreshed Audi RS3 in the hot hatch arena, both knocking on the door of 400bhp. The German duo exude a much more premium feel which of course you pay for – both cost over £40k – although they’re less engaging to drive as the Focus in spite of the extra speed offered.

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The latest FK8 Honda Civic Type R may not boast two driven axles but it’s all the better for it. With less weight to carry the Type R is lithe, responsive and well balanced too.

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