The Ford Focus RS has become a reasonably popular choice in recent years for those looking practical performance since its launch in 2009. It is a wider, faster and more aggressive upgrade to the ST model. It runs a 2.5litre 5cylinder turbocharged engine producing 305bhp enabling this hot hatch to accelerate from 0-62mph in under six seconds. On starting the car via its rather sporty start button, clearly audible was the glorious burble from its twin exhausts.
The driving experience got off to a great start with this note and more so due to the RS’s very comfortable and supportive Recaro seats clad in a mix of leather and alcantara. The rear even has Recaro seats with ample leg room available in the back however due to the seats there is only room for two people in the rear rather than the five it’s lesser model can accommodate.
Whilst adjusting the electric mirrors and browsing the well laid out speed display my eyes wer drawn to even more dial’s placed on top of the dash in the middle. Being a turbocharged car these extra displays prove a great aid in making sure temperatures and boost are all as should be.
Drawing my eye down the centre console I couldn’t help but fault the cheap looking carbon effect dash trim, though it housed a rather pleasing SONY audio system with DAB radio, CD and mp3 support. In fact within the centre armrest there is a hidden iPod holder with USB as well as an AUX port to hook up your favourite tunes.
Safety wise there is all the usual gear you would expect from a modern car with a five star Euro N-CAP rating as well as driving aids such as ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and emergency brake assist. ISOFIX child seat fixing aids are unusual on a used model as they had to be ordered from the factory when new as an option.
Back to why we are here though, the driving. As I left RB Automotives yard I was instantly on a B road and I felt right at home in this RS. It made short work of gathering ground and corners just appeared in no time at all. Cornering was flat and confident while the steering was precise and you knew exactly what the car was doing.
There is a wide band of power across the rev range, making quick acceleration possible without dropping down the gears, though if you like using the gears you will be rewarded with the odd pleasing “pop” from the exhaust.
With supercar levels of performance you’d be forgiven in thinking that you may need to re-mortgage your home to have an RS but you will be surprised. It emits 225g/km of CO2, meaning the tax band stays below the maximum at band K. on top of this the RS will return a combined fuel consumption of 30mpg which is very reasonable for such a car, but (and there is always a but) if you drive this in a manner that the RS entices then the mpg will drop dramatically.
The model featured has the £1200 optional metallic green paint and the LUX 1 pack. This pack gives you the leather/alcantara seating while the LUX 2 pack gives leather seats as well as sat nav and a reversing camera. If you want a bargain though an RS in white with no LUX packs was the cheapest you could buy from the dealers.
Based on the basic family Ford Focus, boot space is very good and with split rear seating it is most certainly one of the few cars about offering everyday practicality combined with breathtaking performance.