Ford Focus RS Review

Ford Focus RS
Finder.com.au is a personal finance comparison site that provides you with the tools you need to make better decisions. Learn
how we work and how we make money.

finder score: 81.67%

Avg. critics score: 81.67%
3 critics
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of Motoring, Car Sales and Cars Guide to bring you the finder.com.au score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below.
Finder.com.au is personal finance comparison site that provides you with the tools you need to make better decisions. Learn
how we work and how we make money.

Critic reviews

Website Rating Notable quotes
Motoring 77% "There’s not that much more to be said about the Ford Focus RS, except that we enjoy driving it. Immensely" Read more
Car Sales 85% "I can't help but feel something more extreme would have been a more fitting swan-song for the current-generation (LZ) Ford Focus RS, a car that single-handedly changed the hot hatch playing field." Read more
Car Guide 83% "Even with a 10 per cent price premium the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition is the hot hatch bargain of the decade. " Read more

How does the Ford Focus RS compare with its peers?

Updated October 17th, 2019
Name Product Boot displacement ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score Read review
381L
5 stars
$26,490
86.25%
316L
5 stars
$50,990
81.67%
335L
5 stars
$80,240
80.33%
434L
5 stars
$44,990
79.67%

Compare up to 4 providers

The complete Ford Focus RS review

Ford Focus RS Review: Overview & Price

In the fiercely competitive hot hatch market, Ford's Focus RS has a well-earned reputation as one of the most enjoyable and engaging drives around. The Limited Edition Focus RS – an apt name when you consider there are only 500 of these models in Australia – was a highly-anticipated arrival to our shores and has generally been very well received by motoring journalists.

Fast, funky and fun, the RS is often described as a true driver's car. With 257kW of power, dynamic handling and a six-speed manual gearbox, this is a model for passionate petrolheads. Its impressive on-road performance is matched by standout looks that give the RS an imposing on-road presence.

Most reviewers agreed that the included list of standard kit also represents good value for money, while the interior is reasonably practical to ensure that the RS is comfortable to use away from the track.

That said, a $60K price tag means the Focus RS Limited Edition is a sizable investment for most people, and choosing a performance hatch usually means making some sacrifices in terms of day-to-day functionality.

Is this limited-edition Focus RS the right choice for you? Let's take a closer look at what the reviewers had to say.

Engine and performance

Before taking a look under the bonnet, let's cast our eyes over the eye-catching exterior of the Focus RS Limited Edition. While there's nothing overly outlandish by class standards, this is still a model that's going to turn heads on the road. The "Nitrous Blue" colour scheme is suitably sporty, while the "Absolute Black" roof, spoiler and mirror caps also add flair. 19-inch alloys and a wide front grille complete the look.

From a performance point of view, the RS Limited Edition is powered by a 2.3L GTDi 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine that packs a 257kW punch. The turbo petrol engine sends power to all four wheels via an all-wheel drive system with launch control, while there's a Quaife limited-slip differential that distributes engine torque to the front wheels. This model comes with a smooth six-speed manual gearbox; there's no automatic available, so if you're sick and tired of changing gears when driving, you'll need to look elsewhere.

On the road, the engine packs plenty of grunt. The reviewers were impressed not only by its acceleration speed off the line but also the ample supply of torque in the mid-range, with the RS Limited Edition making the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in under 5 seconds and boasting a top speed of 266 km/h. This is backed by a sweet-sounding, growly engine that's very pleasing on the ear.

The official fuel consumption figure of 8.1L/100km is quite good for the level of performance on offer, with premium unleaded needed to fill the tank. However, some reviewers did point out that the 52-litre capacity of the fuel tank is a little on the small side.

Engine Type 2.3L GTDi 4-cylinder EcoBoost
Maximum power output 257kW @ 6,000rpm
Maximum torque 440Nm @ 1,600-5,000rpm
Transmission 6-speed manual
Fuel consumption 8.1L/100km
Fuel tank capacity 52L

Ford Focus RS Review: Handling

Top-notch handling performance is key to the success of any hot hatch, and this is one area where the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition drew plenty of praise from motoring journalists.

There are four drive modes available – Normal, Sport, Track and Drift. These modes adjust steering, stability control and a range of other settings to suit the type of driving you plan on doing.

Even in challenging conditions, the reviewers reported that this sporty Focus RS delivered balanced and agile handling, maintaining a confidence-inspiring planted feel in tight and fast corners. This is where the Quaife differential comes in for plenty of praise, helping to tame the engine's ample power and ensuring that the car goes exactly where you tell it to.

The 19-inch alloys are clad with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. These offer good grip in wet and dry conditions and will be a welcome addition whenever you rock up to a track day. However, the reviewers did point out that while the firm ride on offer will help you feel right at home on a track, it can make things a little uncomfortable on a rough road and detracts from this model's overall practicality for use in your everyday commute.

Happily, braking performance in the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition is excellent. Brembo front disc brakes help you shed speed quickly without producing any nasty surprises along the way.

Interior and other features

Step inside the Focus RS Limited Edition and the first thing you'll notice is the Recaro shell seats for you and your front passenger. They're supportive and comfortable – it feels more like you sit in them rather than on them. They also boast "Nitrous Blue" trim and offer a telltale hint at the sort of performance this car is capable of.

However, some reviewers did mention that the seating position is quite high – an arrangement which will annoy some drivers who like to feel closer to the road. The inclusion of these seats also means that there are no side airbags in the front seats, so you're not as well protected as you could be in the event of a side-impact collision.

The rest of the cabin layout is a little more conventional. The Ford Focus RS Limited Edition gets an eight-inch touchscreen and Ford's SYNC 3 multimedia system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both supported. Satellite navigation, cruise control, keyless entry and start, ambient lighting and a nine-speaker audio system are also included to ensure that you get good bang for your buck.

The list of active safety tech includes ABS brakes, brake assist, traction control and a rear view camera. Reviewers were also pleased with the addition of autonomous emergency braking for extra peace of mind on the road, but the Focus RS Limited Edition loses points for lacking blind spot monitoring and lane keeping assist.

The steering wheel is reach and rake adjustable and all the necessary instruments and information are easy to access when needed. Some of the interior plastics do look a little on the cheap side – you won't get the same level of quality you can find in a top-of-the-line performance hatch from Audi or Mercedes-Benz – but there were no major complaints.

Moving into the back seats, many reviewers were pleasantly surprised to find a decent level of comfort and space provided for rear-seat passengers. Travelling with a carload of four people should be reasonably comfortable, with sufficient legroom available, while there's a decent amount of storage space on offer (particularly with the rear seats folded down).

Ford Focus RS Features

Dual-zone climate control Yes
Keyless entry with push button start Yes
Leather-wrapped RS steering wheel Yes
Leather-wrapped gear knob / shifter Yes
Auto rain-sensing front wipers Yes
RS branded Recaro shell front seats Yes
8-inch touchscreen Yes
Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth integration Yes
Satellite navigation system with voice control Yes
USB ports 2
Active City Stop Yes
ABS brakes Yes
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Traction Control and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) Yes
Hill Launch Assist Yes
Rear parking sensors Yes
Rear view camera Yes
Tyre pressure monitoring system Yes

The Ford Focus RS Review Verdict

If you're looking for a practical and affordable hatch to help you get from A to B, the Ford Focus RS Limited Edition won't be the right car for you. But if you're in the market for a hot hatch that offers on-road thrills in abundance, this compact entertainer should be somewhere near the top of your shopping list. As its Finder score of 81.67% shows, this sporty and dynamic performer was very well received by all three critics.

With impressive power and handling, the Focus RS is a true driver's car. It's also surprisingly practical inside, ensuring that it's capable of handling a trip to the shops as well as tearing it up at your local track day.

That said, the reviewers did point out a few shortcomings. The level of tyre noise and the high seating position attracted some complaints. The firm ride isn't perfect for all conditions either.

A price tag in the $60K range may also be a stumbling block for some buyers. However, when you consider the fact that the Focus is still substantially cheaper than some of its European competitors, and in the same ballpark as Honda's Civic Type R and VW's Golf R, it's well worth a look for anyone keen to get behind the wheel of a performance hatch.

Compare some options to finance a Ford Focus RS

Updated October 17th, 2019
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
From 4.79% (fixed)
5.34%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$400
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.79% p.a. with a comparison rate of 5.34% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

5.49% (fixed)
5.84%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$250
$0
Borrow as little as $2,000 at a competitive fixed rate
Finance a new car up to two years old. Competitive 5.99% p.a. rate available to all approved applicants.
6.99% (fixed)
8.1%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$295
$10
Finance a range of vehicles including cars, motorbikes, boats and caravans.
Apply online to finance a new or used motor vehicle and receive a response in 90 seconds. You will receive a competitive tailored rate of between 6.99% p.a. to 9.99% p.a.
5.49% (fixed)
5.73%
$25,000
1 to 7 years
$175
$0
Offset your interest with a Car Budget Account.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.
From 5.19% (fixed)
6.08%
$5,000
3 to 7 years
$655 (Includes PPSR registration and private sal fee, if applicable)
$0
You'll receive a personalised interest rate from 5.19% p.a. to 5.69% p.a. based on your risk profile
A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $50,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

From 5.69% (fixed)
6.39%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.69% p. a.
Purchase a new car with this loan and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
From 5.69% (fixed)
6.39%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
Benefit from 5-hour pre-approval.
A competitive rate car loan from RACV with no monthly fees.
From 4.89% (fixed)
5.44%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$400
$0
Optional balloon payment available to reduce your repayments.
A competitive rate car loan suitable for a new cor used car.
From 5.71% (fixed)
6.57%
$1,000
1 to 7 years
$500 (from $100 to $500)
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.71% p.a. and 8.66% p.a. based on your personal credit history
A flexible loan to help you finance a car, motorbike or boat up to five years old.
From 4.69% (fixed)
5.64%
$10,000
3 to 7 years
$700 (for private seller vehicles this fee is $608)
$9
Fixed or variable rates starting from 4.69% p.a.
Apply for up to $100,000 and have up to 7 year(s) to repay. You can use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit.
From 7.99% (variable)
8.96%
$10,000
1 to 10 years
$200
$10
Your choice between secured or unsecured.
Apply for a loan up to $75,000 and benefit from loan terms up to 10 years.
8.49% (fixed)
9.67%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$250
$12
Use a new or used car as security.
A flexible loan thats lets you benefit from a car search tool as well as the option to borrow extra for on-road costs.
From 8.49% (fixed)
9.6%
$3,000
1 to 5 years
$195
$12
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a. based on the value of your car
Get a competitive rate and apply for a larger loan up to $80,000 when you attach a new or used car as security to the loan.
6.69% (fixed)
7.04%
$2,000
1 to 5 years
$250
$0
Secure this loan with a car and use the funds for any purpose.
Competitive 6.89% p.a. rate available to all approved applicants. Loan amounts up to $60,000 available.
From 6.99% (fixed)
7.7%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.99% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
From 5.99% (fixed)
6.63%
$10,000
1 to 10 years
$200
$5
You’ll receive a fixed rate of 5.99% p.a. ( 6.63% p.a. comparison rate ).
Apply for up to $75,000 available with asset security. Only good credit applicants can apply for this loan.

Compare up to 4 providers

Pictures: ford.com.au

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site