Owner Review

2017 Ford Focus RS review

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For every positive thing about this car, if I try hard enough, I can find a negative. But I'd be nit-picking. On the whole, the car is one hell of a package.

Pure performance comes at a hit to economy. If you daily-drive the car like I've done for the past 2 or so years, and you should be genuinely happy if you see anything below 12 litres per 100 kilometres.

Immense handling comes at a hit to ride quality. The car jostles around over rough surfaces and follows grooves in the road like you wouldn't expect from a $50k+ all-wheel drive hatchback.

The technology, while reliable and tested and proven across the entire Ford range, does feel a little dated already. I'd suggest holding out for an 'LE' variant, in the hope that at least you'll get some safety features back, like AEB. The RS also loses features like auto-parking that some of the lower model focuses have as standard.

In Australia the options we had available were: colour and wheels. That's honestly both ridiculous and infuriating. Australia continues to prove that it loves a good sports car (based on per capita sales figures) yet we continue to get screwed by the "Market Researchers" that decide we're not ready for choice and should just be happy with what they dish out.

I'm not complaining too much though, as it turns out that when buying new, the RS was surprisingly well-kitted out for the price from the get-go. When compared against UK or even US pricing, we arguably got a bargain. On clearance you could easily pick up a new RS for around $47k, which is a whole lot of car for the money.

The cabin is probably its main weakness. It's where costs were definitely cut to deliver an impressive AWD system in a chassis that was probably not designed for it in mind. The seats are superb, but the seating position is far from. The seats also meant we missed out on curtain airbags and a 5-star safety rating.

The infotainment is simple, clear and incredibly easy to use, with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (available from October 2016 builds onward) both working flawlessly.... most of the time. That being said, the audio lacks bass and sounds very average. We missed out on the in-boot sub-woofer in Australia for some reason.

Overall, the fit and finish - at least for me - is starting to show very un-German build quality characteristics. Squeaks, rattles and other nuisances are coming out of the woodwork, driving me invariably insane on roads that are anything less than perfect. This however, could very, very, very easily be my own doing. Not leaving my Focus well enough alone, I have modified mine. Originally making 350hp and 440Nm with a sprint to 100km/h in 4.7 seconds, I'm now somewhere more near the region of 440hp, 580Nm, with the 0-100 dash coming in about 4 seconds flat. If I can manage the manual shifts "perfectly".

Overall the drive train has definitely been able to keep up with my abuse thus far. Launch control is mind boggling for someone who's not used to it. I even got sent a bill for a chiropractor from a friend who wanted me to show me what all the fuss was about.

Drift mode, though a gimmick in reality, is an absolute hoot in the right conditions and makes 'hooning' about as easy in the car as on a PlayStation.

But that's what this car is; it's a hero car for the younger generations, and if you've ever called yourself a driver then you would absolutely love what this car is capable of.

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