Written and Photos by Alex C.
In the automotive industry, there are good handling cars like Subaru BRZ and then there are legends like the Ford Focus RS. For those who may not know, unfortunately Ford pulled the plug on the Focus RS in 2018 when Ford decided to axe their entire car lineup. Unfortunately that means you can no longer buy this 350 horsepower, All Wheel Drive, 6-speed manual vehicle new, however, there are still quite a few of them left on the used market which is a good thing for your wallet. In this review I will be going over the vehicle’s interior, handling and my overall experience before concluding on what makes this car legendary.
The Ford Focus RS interior is basically a stock Ford Focus with Recaro sport seating for both the driver and passenger. For those who need a car just to run to the grocery store to pick-up some milk, the sport seating may be too harsh as it aggressively puts you in a racing position. However, if you actually track drive the vehicle or performance drive it, the seats are incredible as they keep you glued to them even when flying through corners or turns. Unfortunately given that this is a premium vehicle, the Focus RS’s bland and hard plastic interior was a bit of a letdown and also the supposedly premium Sony sound system left a lot to be desired.
On the road though is where the Focus RS is the king and I can tell you it certainly handles accordingly. Driving the Focus RS feels like you’re driving a supercar. The Focus RS has prodigious amounts of grip on the road and it feels so well balanced. Even when the car slides a bit on snow or ice, it regains its footing with ease and points where you want it to go much like a good rally car. I am sure this is due in no short part to the dynamic torque vectoring built into the All-wheel drive system. The vehicle also has a limited slip differential for superior power delivery and the suspension is quite firm which reduces body roll and increases traction.
The Focus RS is also just stupidly powerful with its 2.3L engine putting out 350 horsepower and 350 ft lb of torque. This monster of an engine is mated to a six speed manual transmission that is actually quite good, providing satisfying shifts on top of a competent clutch. I am so happy that Ford decided to make the Focus RS a stick shift because learning to control 350 horsepower through your clutch is half the fun. Also, shoutout to the engineer who designed the exhaust system which can only be described as blissful. Stomping on the gas only to hear a blip and gurgle of the engine at the end is just icing on the cake.
Unfortunately 350 horsepower is going to cost you somewhere and that’s gonna be at the pump. You’ll be lucky to get 25mpg (10L/100km fuel economy) as the Focus RS will melt your gas tank. I guess if you want to feel like a professional rally car driver, you got to pay to play.
In closing the Focus RS is probably the most fun you’re gonna have on your way to work. The Focus RS has prodigious grip and it’s rally car type handling inspires confidence in all conditions. It’s also stupidly powerful and a blast to drive with a 6 speed manual transmission. The Focus RS’s incredible handling and steering are what make this hatchback legendary. The only two cons are its cringy fuel economy and bland interior. If you want to feel like you’re driving a supercar on the streets of Edmonton, the Focus RS will do that for you.