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2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review

2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review & Road Test

Five doors, five seats, five cylinders… perhaps good things come in fives

Model Tested:

  • 2008 Ford LV Focus XR5 Turbo 2.5-litre, five-cylinder, six-speed manual – $36,990 (RRP)

Options:

  • Metallic Paint $310; Premium Paint $1,800 (Fitted – Electric Orange); Rear Parking Sensors $600; Electric Sunroof $1,900; Overhead Stripes $350; Recaro Sports Leather Trim & Seat Heaters $2000; Mullin’s Motorvatr 18” Alloy Wheels $1064

Balance, Power Delivery, Grippy Handling, Exhaust Note, Price Tag
Panel Lighting, Brake Pedal Position, Road Noise, No Cruise Control

CarAdvice Rating:

2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review

- by Matt Brogan

A lot of so called sports cars these days comprise of little more than a badge, a spoiler kit and a set of alloy wheels – an anodyne, half baked attempt at attracting the brain dead if you ask me. But if instead you’re the type whose right foot gets a little itchy at the mere idea of pounding down a twisty country road in a no holds barred bona fide hot hatch, then perhaps you’d better take a look at this.

The face-lifted LV Focus XR5 Turbo, unlike its LT series South African siblings, is a completely German designed and manufactured five-door, five-seater boasting not only the sporty good looks deserved of wearing the XR badge, but a tremendous and dynamic engine and handling package sure to delight the driver in all of us.

From the supportive embrace of the Recaro bucket seats to the passive-aggressive attitude of the restyled (kinetic) front end, the XR5T offers a combination of looks, practicality, performance and price that has lured many an eight-cylinder purist in recent times. Not hard to see then how this little champion has earned an almost cult-like following.

Far from being a bare-bones boy racer though, XR5T includes such modern niceties as a sweet sounding Sony MP3 compatible premium six CD tuner with remote audio controls, a sassy leather bound tilt/telescopic adjustable steering wheel, multi-function trip computer, sports instrument cluster, power windows with one touch up front, power and heated wing mirrors, air-conditioning, remote control central locking with keyless starter button, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, and height adjustable halogen headlamps.

2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review

You also pick up some juicy external appendages with a set of salient 18” alloy wheels (space saver spare), unique twin exhaust outlets, front and rear fog lamps, moulded sill panel skirts, oversized rear spoiler, clear tail light lenses and larger diametre rear discs all adding to XR5T’s already athletic appeal.

But aesthetics aside, a hot hatch needs a pretty big heart to win any respect at all given the amount of competition out there (think VW GTi, Volvo C30-T5, Honda Civic Type R, Mazda MPS3, Subaru WRX, Holden Astra SRi), let alone keep fans coming back for more with every re-incarnation released. XR5T is one such car, and here’s why.

The 2.5-litre, in-line five-cylinder, turbocharged engine is the embodiment of all that’s right in forced induction. Strong, linear boost and flat, early torque delivery make the 166kW, 320Nm, at 6000rpm and 1600rpm respectively, offering a lithesome, overtly usable affair that has an uncanny habit of putting on more pace than you’d at first give heed to.

Next page…

2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review

Pages: 1 2 3

Whilst the sub-seven second 0-to-100km/h time may at first seem a little off pace, it’s worth remembering this is but a small part of the overall equation and the car should not be penalised in the eye of a potential buyer for this fact alone. This engine shines for other, better reasons.

What I love most about the T5 engine, aside from that blissfully curious symphony under acceleration, is the smooth throttle mapping and progressive power delivery on tap through fast flowing corners, that ubiquitous mid-range pull, and best of all how it offers that extra little bit of low down grunt from a tight hairpin in second gear. It’s just so flexible and usable that you tend to get a little carried away by it all – and isn’t that what maketh a true hot hatch?

Coupled to a slick shifting six-speed stick, the cog swapping is fast and fluid with a near-perfect clutch taking up exactly where it should. Changes are swift, light, but exact, which makes flicking through gears in a hurry a grin inspiring experience, especially when hard under brakes.

Despite a little torque-steer under heavy throttle, especially around the climatic 6000rpm mark, the delivery is manageable, controlled and a lot of fun, especially once you’ve got a feel for what’s going on, which in this little number, happens quickly thanks to a communicative chassis feel, direct steering and superb balance.

2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review

With four-wheel discs, enlarged slightly at the rear, the braking power is robust and well spread front to rear offering little in the way of fade. To top it off there’s also a tight but progressive feel to the pedal with enough feedback in the ABS to keep the foot informed of the grip beneath you. My only qualm would be that the middle pedal sits a little higher than the other two which gets a little tiring when you’re on and off the brakes repeatedly.

Suspension, though a typical independent MacPherson strut front/multi-link rear (with stabiliser bars), is well matched to the chassis and presents few, if any undesirable traits. There’s a touch of understeer in the wet, but only if you’re off balance and trying too hard, and even then it’s manageable.

The ride is a little firm, which is to be expected, but doesn’t bang and crash around like some of these modified hatches tend to, and allows quick directional changes without upsetting balance. In all I’d say it’s one of the better examples of handling versus comfort combinations I’ve driven in this category.

Electro-hydraulic power steering, though not usually a favourite among sports orientated drivers is in the case an exception to the rule. Settings can be adjusted through three modes (Standard/Sport/Comfort) which adjust the level of feedback and assistance accordingly. With Sport Mode on the turn-in is especially quick and responsive, but even when punting a little close to the knife’s edge remains predictable and settled.

2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review

Now I know what the challenge will be when you tell the better half you want one: “It’s too loud and I can’t drive it” – that’s only partly true. Although the Rice Bubbles exhaust (plenty of snap, crackle and pop) is audible, it’s the road noise on longer trips that will get to you, with tyre noise being especially irritating. Despite having some World Rally Championship heritage, the XR5T is no harder to drive day-to-day than any other hatchback.

Next page…

Ergonomics, visibility and driving position are excellent (excluding the afore mentioned brake pedal height), and in all it’s comfortable ride offering proportions adequate for a family of four, except perhaps that the rear leg room may be a tad tight for lanky teenagers. There’s generous shoulder and headroom, and with a respectable but somewhat shallow 362 litre boot (seats up – parcel shelf down) a weekend away in the XR5T is still an absolute pleasure.

The ESP (or Dynamic Stability Control in Ford speak) calibration compliments the car perfectly, and isn’t as overly obtrusive as some systems tend to be. Traction too isn’t overtly sustained but still provides enough grab without being too sensitive on take-off. Adding to the usual raft of three letter acronyms (ABS, EBA, EBD, ESP & TCS), there’s also dual front, side and curtain airbags to keep you safe which have contributed in earning Focus a Five Star ANCAP rating.

2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review
2008 Ford Focus XR5 Turbo Review

I’d very much like to have seen cruise control fitted, or at least made optional. Given it’s available in the Mondeo XR5 Turbo and Volvo C30 (which both share this engine) I cannot see why it isn’t included here. The instrumentation back lighting is also a nuisance on the open road as the central multi-function display on the cluster has a red hue which does not dim with the gauges, making for an unpleasant and distracting glow in your peripheral vision. That said though, I still love this car.

With the fistful of rivals all so very close in terms of bang for your buck, a great deal of hot hatch selection will naturally fall back to personal preference and driving style, but for my money the balance of price, punch and panache puts the XR5T within a sniff of first place.

 

CarAdvice Overall Rating:
How does it Drive:
How does it Look:
How does it Go:

 

Specifications:

  • Engine: 2522cc, DOHC, five-cylinder (20 valve)
  • Induction: Multi-point & turbocharged
  • Power: 166kW @ 6000rpm
  • Torque: 320Nm @ 1600rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual
  • Brakes: Four-wheel discs with ABS, EBA & EBD
  • Driven Wheels: Front
  • 0-100km/h: 6.8 seconds
  • 0-400m: 13.52 seconds @ 174km/h
  • Top Speed: 241km/h
  • Fuel Type: 95RON Premium Unleaded
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 55 litres
  • Fuel Consumption: 9.3 litres/100km (Combined)
  • Airbags: Dual Front, Side & Curtain
  • ANCAP Rating: Five stars
  • Safety: ESP with Traction Control
  • Service Interval: 12 month/15,000km
  • Spare Wheel: Space Saver
  • Turning Circle: 11.7 metres
  • Warranty: 3 year/100,000km
  • Weight: 1366kg (Tare)
  • Wheels: 18 x 8.0-inch Alloy

Road Test the Rivals:



  • edd

    Hmm ive never really associated this hot hatch much with twisty country roads but i guess ill have to belt one of these around the twisties one day to find out. I know someone who had one of these and basically he felt the handling was more comfort orientated, which obviously translates to less feedback

    also, it would be great if ‘bang for your buck’ wasnt the be all and end all of rating performance cars because there really is more to cars than just comparing the kilowatts to the dollars. especially in the hot hatch segment where people are more concerned about a total package than just an engine

    just my 2 cents

  • Bob

    Worth the wait, a great review for a great unsung hot hatch. Certainly surprised it doesn’t seem to sell as well as you’d expect given how all round great it really is.

    I did notice you mentioned a 4 star ANCAP result. Focus actually has a 5 star result standard on the XR5 Turbo. Even a base model Focus gets 5 stars with the safety pack with ESP and 6 airbags.

    A good friend of mine had an original LS XR5 Turbo in the same orange and man was it an awesome sounding engine!!

    Definitely the car I’d buy if I ever got out of company cars.

  • http://nlasmartchat.net.au Marino

    Doesn’t the XR5 Turbo have a Volvo engine? The same brand that Peter Brook was racing? I might look to buy the real thing, a Volvo!

  • RoFlmaTiC

    Slow 0-100 time, but then very impressive 1/4mile!

    I guess its more a traction issue than a power issue?

    Seems like a very solid and capable car, and pretty aggresively priced when compared to the likes of the hsv vxr… hopefully this could encourage a lower base price for the lancer ralliart?

  • John

    Great review.

    In the specs though you have:
    “0-400m: 13.52 seconds @ 174km/h”
    Is that correct? Last time I checked and seen some XR5′s running at WSID they struggled to break 15 seconds. I’ve yet to see a review with 400m times under 15 seconds also.

  • Matt

    Hi All,

    Many thanks for the comments, just a couple of things:

    Edd – I do believe I went in to a lot more detail than to just highlight the “bang for buck” potential of this car. But thanks for the comment all the same.

    John – Yes, we were a little shocked as well. We tried the run three times and had near identical results (dry track, 14 degrees cel). But, our little G-Tech unit assures us that’s the case. Maybe it’s due for re-calibration.

    Cheers Matt.

  • pious

    my missus has the same engine in her s40T5, and it is very good (though she has the auto, dammit!). Huge torque at low revs makes it surge a little on taking off (with a little wheelspin even with dtc in the FWD model) but that was cured in the later AWD (which took the fun out of it, IMO). 0 – 400m times assisted by the 14 degree temp, I suspect. Very noticeable difference driving on a 30 degree plus day, against a cold one (and I think wet and cold is best, but that might be imagination).

  • Revhed

    Thanks for that excellent review, although the 0-400m does seem a bit too quick…

    I have driven one and although not as fast as some its seriously on my list as my next car. One of the best things about it I found was although it had a relatively comfortable ride (compared to say a Civic type R) the body felt extermely well controlled and the steering feel is one of the best I have experienced in any car. So Edd, do yourself a favour and take one for a drive – Feedback is not something this car is lacking (cruise control and climate control are though).

  • Tom

    No way could it run mid 13′s, most magazines quote the current HSV and turbo FPV’s as running those type of times, only on ideal days can they get into the low 13′s.

  • http://integra What The ?

    Marino…yes it is a Volvo engine because Ford own Volvo, so why not use this engine ? Its a ripper……..

  • Buckles

    Matt, great job on the review! I love the look of the Kinetic Face lift!
    I’ve got an LS XR5 in Electric Orange and I love it to bits!
    It gives me a reason to go for a drive for the sake of it and the 5 Cylinder Burble/Snap Crackle Pop/ is addictive!

    Edd, believe me, Hills and corners is where this car shines. Hot hatches aren’t meant to be straight line killers (as Mazda and Holden may try to make us believe). They’re about handling and the ability to launch out of turns..
    With 320NM on tap from 1600-4000RPM, this is where the XR5 is at home and makes me smile whenever I jump in for a drive :)

  • http://integra What The ?

    another Ford with character, style, great handling and performance and the ability to make you smile as you drive it…….if ony they fixed up their marketing and actually got people to drive their cars and let them know how good they really are !!!!

  • Brett

    Great review! This might be a little off topic but perhaps somebody here can answer. Why doesn’t Ford Australia offer any of its imported models (Mondeo, Focus ST) with Xenon headlamps, when they are often standard in overseas markets? Just curious…

    Cheers

  • http://www.geardiary.com Mitchell Oke

    Nice review, and very nice car. Ford have done and awesome job with it, it looks brilliant!

    Very odd about the cruise control though, how can a car over $20k these days not come with cruise standard!!

  • BIG JIM

    Matt:

    Good review. In future reviews could CA include 80-120kph and possibly 80-160kph, as these times are a good indicator of real world performance and every day driveability eg. the quick blast to get around a B-double etc.

  • Brett

    Why not add the Reno R26 as comparison too. A great handling car and quicker than the Ford. Has cruise, auto lamps, auto wipers and 5 star rating. It was voted Autocar’s hot hatch of 2007. Anyway yet another great Ford, so why are they not selling? Their range apart from lack of oil burners in Falcon and Territory is certainly complete.

  • http://www.ausringers.com Liam

    Hmm, woulda tought they added cruise control in this update. A bit daft considering the competition. Lack of climate control also is puzzling and goes some way to explaining the cheaper entry price.

  • Grumpy01

    Hi All,

    i have had one of these new little rippers as my company car for the last 4 weeks. only add ons were black metallic and the leather pack. i have had a series of XR6Ts and XR8s and i like this one better than all of them.
    downsides? no bloody cruise, and a small tank (i average 1000kms per week.)i test drove a new wrx and this; in the real world; is a better overall package. now i just have to work out to stay in one of these…..

    Grumpy

  • jeremy

    no cruise is nuts.

  • Allan

    I so want an XR5 now…well until the new GTI comes out…then i’ll want one of them too. gotta buy lotto tonite.

  • Stevo the Devo

    This is how to make a small car – other manufacturers take note. It’s gonna be built in Aus in a few years – these will sell like hotcakes.

  • Buckles

    BRETT:

    In the UK/Europe, there are a few different variants of the XR5 (known as the ST in Europe)

    ST-1
    ST-2
    ST-3

    These all come with different levels of Kit depending on what you want to spend 18-21,000 Pounds
    Seeing as FoMoCoAU only import one model into Australia, they went with they’re own pack which is a blend of the ST-1,2 and 3…So some of the options like the Steering Feedback settings arent available in the base model in the UK and were fitted here…I can’t remember where the other bits and bobs have been thrown in…
    Climate Control: woopde-do…if its hot, set ur A/C to cool…if its cold, set ur AC to Warm…

    Liam, et al….

    As for the cruise, originally there was an incompatibility issue with the Focus ECU running the cruise Control unit back to the Volvo Mill…i think that issue may still be there but after market options are available if you desperately want it…I get along fine w/o it fine :)

  • http://www.fordxr5turbo.com/forum Paul

    Great article, it does a good job of capturing the essence of why XR5T owners love the car. :)

    If anyone is interested in more info from owners then jump onto the local community site –> http://www.fordxr5turbo.com/forum

    Members are always very accommodating and willing to show interested parties.

    Cheers,
    Paul

  • AC COBRA

    Great review CA, A++++++++++++++++, I have always wanted to drive one of these pocket rockets but it is one of those book in before you can, putting my name down as soon as they hit our showroom.

  • http://www.fordxr5turbo.com/forum TIm

    Mine arrives on Friday! Same colour with leather! :D

    Great car!

  • victory

    I think it’s time you got a new G-tech unit CA.

  • Tom

    How can it not have Cruise control as even an option?

  • GhisGT

    G-tech’s are callibrated? Since when?

    I’m surprised you even wrote that, considering there is no chance of the car ever achieving that figure.

    Hell, I should know, the missus has one as a daily but with a flash tune and exhaust. Even with 186kw at the front wheels on 18psi (around 205kw at the fly), we got a 14.2 out of it at WSID

  • John

    Matt: even if the G-tech was totally out it’s still a fast example of the XR5 you’ve tested there. I’ve noticed the kerb weight has come down also 1366kg. They use to be well over 1400kg, could this have anything to do with it? I wonder. Maybe it’s time for caradvice to invest in a V-Box, under $1000 last time I checked (although I could be wrong).

    Brett: Why would you compare a limited imported version (only 100 examples i think were ever imported over 2 years) of the R26 with a “buy anytime you want” production version of the Focus? The R26 should be compared to the Focus RS if Ford decided to do what Renault did and import a handful. No use comparing a car that has been sold out and can no longer buy. Compare the 4 door Renaultsport 225 Megane with the Focus if you want a fair comparison. Oh wait it’s been done in many mags over the years with the previous XR5, and the Focus smacked the Megane.

  • John

    Stevo the Devo: I’d hate to say it but when they start being built locally quality will go out the door like every other locally built car in Australia. Ever owned a new Ford or Holden, I have both and not just your plain Jane models but HSV and FPV. Turned me off locally built cars for good. It’s a shame because our design is great in this country, we just can’t get the lazy monkeys to build the actual cars on the assembly floor properly. If I was to buy an XR5 it will be now that they are still being imported from Germany.

    Those complaining about no cruise control, what are you whinging about? In Sydney with the kind of traffic we have you would never use it not even on the M4, M5 etc Unless you were travelling interstate or way out of the Sydney Greater area. Yes the car should probably have it to appease the whingers but if you don’t buy a driver’s car based on whether it has cruise or not, really you should be driving a Kia or something.

  • fasthonda

    A capable alternative to the over rated Golf GTI.Although a tad lacking in the performance area for a 2.5L turbo.

  • riceboy

    lack of cruise and DSG was a deal breaker for me, I bought a GTI Golf… Europe gets dual clutch don’t they?

  • Fenno

    I agree with Johns Comments on the G-tech. They can be optimistic little buggers. Vbox is the way to go.
    Great review!
    Would love to see CA do a comparo of all the Hot hatches. (like the large car comparison).
    Had a go in the last model at Sandown against an MPS3.
    MPS3 smashed it in every way except looks. The Ford is definately a better looking car.

  • JayBee

    love this car. especially in the Orange!

    ive been fortunate enough to drive and XR5T Mondeo, and the engine is absolutely superb. i drove up Bulli-Pass in 5th and 6th with no problems, absolutely brilliant!

    and the engine noise is so unique, almost boxer like. like a “worble” noise, its great.

  • Matt

    Thanks guys for the kind words. We’re currently looking in to a Vbox unit as I think my old G-Tech has seen better days.

  • Tom

    John, that’s very interesting that you wouldn’t use cruise control in sydney traffic or on sydney freeways, but not all of us live in sydney, but thanks for the tip.

  • Realcars

    John u refer to lazy monkeys not building cars properly on the production line. If there is major quality issues with the home grown products then perhaps u should be turning your venom towards the overpaid Manager Monkeys in Corporate Australia that should be accountable for any quality shortfall.

  • aubz

    Hard to like this when the RS has so much more!

  • edd

    Matt – I wouldnt say you didnt detail other things about the car, that would be silly of me. Overall you wrote a good review. Im pointing out how the bottom line closing statement was all about ‘bang for your buck’, as if it were the deciding factor.

    To show what i mean, there is a clear contrast between the closing statement in this review and the closing statement in other random reviews i found below:

    “Overall you are getting a vehicle with graceful performance, an excellent ride, great handling, and enough features to satisfy most drivers. All of this comes at a shockingly low price of AUD $35,990. So in my opinion you are getting a great deal owning a vehicle of this quality for a pocket friendly price, and you can’t ask for much more than that.”

    “Ford’s Focus XR5 turbo, VW Golf GTI and the just-arrived Holden Astra SRi are highly polished performance hatchbacks. If you thought you had outgrown this style of car, or just considered it too much hard work, it might be time to take another look. On the evidence here, the hot hatch is still great value and can now be a pleasure to own as well as to drive.”

    Revhed – what you said was actually appropriate for me because i own a civic type R. ive put it through the twisties a lot and i find theres too much bodyroll and not enough feedback from the steering (due to it being electronic). if the car is in less demanding situations its perfect, but its only when i really push it that i start to lack feedback, hence ‘sportyness’. because of that, i really am curious as to how the XR5 would fare in that same situation. so if everyone says its that great, ill give it a go

  • fasthonda

    EDD:-If you think that the Civic Type R has too much body roll then I feel that you are going to be disappointed with the other hot hatches.
    I bet, apart from the Megane R26 you’ll probably find the other hot hatches won’t feel as planted and may have even more body roll than your CTR.

  • Buckles

    RICEBOY:

    There is no DSG Gearbox for the Focus ST as yet from what we know…
    Ford are introducing their own dual clutch automatic gearbox in the ST next year from what I’ve heard…I think its going to be called dura-shift

  • ZANDIT

    Absolutly love this car, Had a white one in the showroom where i worked(white has only just been added to the range) and was only ten grand away from being able to get it(hand brake came on!!) so we got a mits lancer vrx!!
    Love the orange in the LS model but i think its not quite there on the LV, you have got to see this in the white.

  • Hendrik

    Buckles & RICBOY,

    Ford released a dual-clutch gearbox for the new LV Focus in the UK and Europe this year, because we get our regular focii from south africa which is still producing the LS, we only get the 4-speed auto or the 5-speed manual.

    Now the new LV XR5 turbo which is imported from europe doesnt come with a dual-clutch gearbox, only the 6-speed manual.

    So thats why we dont get the dual-clutch 6-speed auto here.

    hope that clears things up :-)

  • falcodore

    While the xr5 is a nice car the mazda 3MPS would be my pick, it has a few things the ford was missing. The 3 also drives brilliantly in the twisty stuff & when overtaking nothing in the segment comes close. Also mazda do not charge a premium for mettalic paint whereas the others do, why is that?
    I wonder if that fisrt sentence in the article was a stab at toyotas efforts, sloptivo anyone?! lol

  • Buckles

    Falcodore,

    Ford only charge a small extra for metallic, they charge a LOT more for the Hero colour, Electric Orange…
    To be frank, I don\’t know whether to call the MPS a sleeper or Boring. Its a Hot Hatch and even with the fancy machined wheels looks *yawn*. An XR5 in EO crawls to the other end of the WOW spectrum but in Black or Blue…it\’s just sexy.
    Quite a few reviewers have jabbed Mazda for putting so much power into the engine which apparently makes it torque steer but also lacking in other areas…to quote them \”it appears Mazda have set out to make the fastest hot hatch but thats about it\”

  • Buckles

    Hendrik, Thanks for the heads up dude!

  • edd

    Fasthonda – yeah i feared that would be the case all along. thats why after reading some things here im curious to see if a somewhat more soft-riding XR5 is actually more ideal for the twisties when riding the twisties too hard in my CTR makes me rethink the steering and suspension setup. im happy with my CTR, but i’d like to know what the competition is like too

  • Jon

    @ Edd:

    hello..which model CTR do u own?

    im just curious to see which hot hatch is the best as i am currently looking around.

    cheers

  • Ronald

    I test drove the XR5, Golf GTI, Volvo C30 T5, and the Audi S3. I was only ever seriously considering the GTI or XR5 due to budget restrictions but after stepping out of the S3 it was hard to look back. Coughed, wheezed and spluttered up the extra $20k and don’t regret it for second, now that’s a hot hatch!!! Quatro and 188kw…to sum it up in one word…WOW.
    Now if good sense had prevailed I probably would have chosen the GTI over the XR5, similar cost, loads more for your $, much better resale.

  • Buckles

    Ronald, congrats on your purchase! I’ve always had a soft spot for the S3 :)
    The only thing I would questions in also the resale of the S3 and in addition to that…the Mods you can put in a GTI or an XR5 with relative ease that will give you 300Hp or about 200KW (Chip, CAI & Zorst)…Ok, it’s missing Quatro but relative investment in proportion to performance is the point i’m trying to make :)

  • edd

    Jon:

    i own a 2007 FN2 CTR. the one they sell in australia. if youre considering a new CTR make sure youre a person more concerned about how a car drives and feels as opposed to how much power it has. if youre a person who enjoys big oopmh at the hit of the throttle then even a GTI is better than the CTR for that. if you like hanging onto a high speed corner at 7800rpm while wondering whether to change up or stay in gear then CTR is for you

  • http://Skoda andy

    Try a ralliart Colt cheap as and fun to drive, I bought one for only $25k drivaway and got a ralliart upgrade for another $500. 128kw 240m/n and ONLY 1120KG!!! Do the maths, it keep up with a XR5 with heaps of change in the bank

    • Numb1er

      Andy there is no way that a Colt Ralliart can keep up with a XR5 Turbo. I’ve driven both cars and the XR5 has alot more grunt. If not why would people buy this over the Colt. XR5 best there ever was best there ever will be.

  • Sal

    This is a good machine but I can not understand why no cruise and hard to believe no left footrest engineered for RHD version…..even for the larger UK market. My test drive noticed a huge turning circle 11.7m and annoying road noise (like all Mazdas and the Focus). No car is perfect so it is good value but……I will wait for the new Subaru WRX 4WD sedan for only $3000 extra.

  • Hugo

    One of my friends recently purchased an LV XR5 and I must say, it seems to me to be a thoroughly impressive hot hatch for the dollars. Not to impliedly deride the car’s looks, chassis or build, but I still think the motor is its standout feature. That engine is brilliant!

    I thought my mate was bullsh##ting about being able to drive around in 6th gear at 40km/h without the motor struggling, then I sat in the passenger seat and ate humble pie while he demonstrated. Then to add insult to injury, he went up a steep hill – still at 40km/h in 6th gear – and the thing didn’t even break a sweat. Then opened it up on a straight shortly after, and it sounded awesome! Indeed that is a fine engine..

    I’d always harboured the unfortunate misconception that the XR5 weighed in at 1440kg+ and hence I never bothered to test drive one when I bought my last car (an MY08 WRX.) At 1360 odd kg, it’s about the same as a 5 door Golf GTi and with considerable advantages in both power and torque, I’m surprised it isn’t faster to 100km/h.

    The suspension on the XR5 is fantastic too, sadly better than my WRX, although to be honest, I think the car’s still not quite spot on.

    Front wheel drive still kills it for me, and whilst it’s probably among the more capable of the breed, you’re never far from your friends in the ‘steer’ family (understeer, torque steer, and cousin lift-off oversteer..) if you really push it. Whilst the grip is commendable, I don’t imagine those 18 inch 225/45 Continentals would be cheap to replace either. And what’s with the miserly 50 litre fuel tank?

    The lack of cruise control too (esp in Victoria, with our speed camera infested highways) is somewhat unforgiveable this day and age. Certainly not a deal breaker in itself, but an unnecessary inconvenience by its curious omission.

    In all though, I guess one has to remember the XR5 only costs $37k or so, and that said, on a bang-for-your-buck assessment, it pretty much trounces all the competition in my book.

  • Watto_Cobra

    That was a pretty good mini-review Hugo. Good stuff.

  • Donna

    We just bought the LV in Performance Blue (no stripes) with leather and sunroof. Trouble is my hubby hogs it so I’ve only driven it once but made sure the experience was worth it! Had an XR6 T in auto a couple of years ago, but love the size and manual box in the XR5 T more than I thought I would. I can put up with the few nuisances it has like no C/C, foot rest and being a bit noisy (not too bad) because as a package it is sensational. Love the engine and gear box, engine noise, seating/comfort and paracacality and it can go like stick if you want it to. No regrets so far – just want to drive it more!!

  • Yanzo

    interior… very nice, fords interiors are very consistantly eye pleasing. exterior… can’t complain. engine… not as impressive as when i saw the vtec. but wtf is up with the way you open up the hood? wtf???

    • Ashley

      Hey Yanzo,

      Yeah I know… you need to put the spare key in the hood? I guess it’s so no one steals your engine… riiight -.- hahahha

  • Phill

    Is that 400m time Fair Dnkum???Seems a bit fast.

  • andrew

    I’m very much doubting the 0-400 time, in a car that weighs 1366kg and only has 166kw at the engine.

  • Vivashal Singh

    An addictive car that makes you want to go on long trips, yet I find the difference in weather conditions (Temp and Humidity) to really effect Performance of the XR5. I owned the R26 and driven the ST in South Africa – and they seem to have a more consistent power delivery across all weather changes. Does the ECU have anything to do with this ?

  • Ashley

    I have the 2008 model ford focus xr5 turob (yes, in orange of course) and it has curise control? Not too sure why. I noticed the 2008 models don’t but do the 2009? Maybe mine is a later model..

    Really good car however, could pull a bit more. I think it’s missing one cylinder haha

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