All-wheel drive

2.3 Litre engine

Under £35k

Think you know what a hot-hatch drives like? Think again. The Ford Focus RS 2016 is possibly one of the best handling cars in its category and the exhaust sound acts as a not-so-gentle reminder that you have all of the 2.3 litre engine power at your foot.

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When you first get in to the Ford Focus RS, you immediately notice the drop into the Recaro bucket seats (although admittedly these are optional extras). What follows, is the Ford Focus that you've grown up with and, like a pair of comfortable shoes, you immediately feel at home, a sense of confidence and belonging.

What you're not prepared for is the sheer acoustics as you push the stop / start button. The roar of the straight four engine, with a turbo so scientifically and mechanically advanced that I still don't understand it now after having it explained to me on multiple occasions. Herein lies the second most-impressive part of the Focus RS, and where the similarities to the Ford Focus you know ends, the 2.3 Ecoboost engine.

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The technology in the Focus RS 2016 model is on-par with many of the premium manufacturers and, most importantly, the technology actually works! I connected my phone in just a few seconds and from that point in I was away without any issues whatsoever.

The ride itself was geared towards a sports set-up and so don't expect the comfort of the Focus that you know and love. This car has one job to do; get you around corners. Fast. Expect every part of the driving experience to flow through the car, the seat, the wheel and the peddles. This is more akin to a sports car or rally car than it is to its hot-hatch label.

We had the upgraded Recaro buckets seats in our vehicle, something that most Ford Focus RS 2016 owners that we spoke with recommended against fitting, largely due to having to compromise on being able to install the heated seats upgrade; a much needed comfort in the UK.

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At this point, you may be wondering why I'm talking so much about seats and what exactly is the most impressive part of the Focus RS if the engine isn't it.

I'll answer those questions in their respective order. Firstly, the seats are important because you are going to spend a serious amount of your life taking this car onto twisting, bending, country roads just to see how far you can push it. When you think you've had enough fun for one day, you find yourself accidentally nudging the accelerator that little bit too hard before the outstanding exhaust crackles and pops on it's way down the rev counter and the fun begins all over again.

Secondly, by far the most impressive part of the Ford Focus RS 2016 is the handling. It's absolutely fine to get in to this car with the confidence of those old shoes because my word the RS will take it! It's possibly one of the best handling cars in its category and the last time somebody invented a contraption that stuck quite this well it was named, the glue gun.

For around £36k, it's great value for money and no doubt will follow it's older predecessors in holding its value. If you're considering buying one, you won't regret it.

Equipment in the Ford Focus RS 2016

Standard Equipment

  • 2.3 Ecoboost Engine
  • Twin Turbo
  • All-wheel drive
  • Limited Edition blue paint
  • Brembo Brakes
  • RS detailing
  • Six-speed gearbox
  • Four driving modes (including Drift mode)
  • Launch control
  • Recaro Seats
  • MP3 player with phone pairing

Optional Extras

  • Keyless entry*
  • Recaro 'Shell' seats
  • Parking sensors*
  • Cruise control*
  • Folding mirrors
  • Satellite navigation
  • Door-edge protectors

* comes as a part of the Luxury Pack

Want your own?

We were kindly lent the Ford Focus RS 2016 by Sandicliffe's FordStore in Leicester.

Behind the scenes

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Filming started early (for most of us) on the Ford Focus RS shoot. The alarms went off between 4.30-4.45am to meet by 5.30am on location in the Leicestershire countryside. It was a double shoot. Both the Ford Focus RS and the Mustang GT V8 were to be shot in one day with three videos needed to be created so getting out for the early morning winter light was essential.

That was the case for most of us. Carl, on the other hand, had been out in the Mustang all night and managed to sleep through several alarms and a phone call!

We soon got to grips with the power of the Focus RS and all were in agreement that the handling was something that Ford could be immensely proud of.

As the day drew to a close, Olly had to head back down South and we had all of the footage we needed. We headed back to the showroom to drop the cars back off and something clearly had been on Kris' mind...

...being an Focus RS owner! The next thing we knew, Kris was back at Sandicliffe buying his very own factory order version with a deposit landed so quickly that we could hardly believe it. The tales of a Focus RS owner are soon to start!

Craig TV Crew

Craig Neale

Presenter

Kris Brown

Production

Olly Peter

Videographer

Carl Martin

Photography