Its job is to make serious performance accessible, pleasurable and affordable to the man in the street. Adjust the front seat to where you like it and then sit in the rear seats and gauge how much room is left. The way it snaps forward feels a league above, too, and because you don’t have to dip the clutch and manoeuvre a small stick when you want to change gear, there’s zero break in the torque, just all the acceleration, all the time. Immediately the ride feels firmer than the others in their softer modes, although there’s less of a gap with the Merc when you crank the dampers up. OK, so the width of the track means there’s only enough room for three abreast, but on our hastily constructed, slightly uphill, fifth-of-a-mile drag strip, the Honda would be left for dead, so we leave things to our four-wheel-drive, launch-equipped trio. Focus RS does battle with Merc A45, VW Golf R and Honda's Civic Type R. Nowhere else do the tectonic plates shift quite as quickly as on the hot hatch continent. It’s a proper fireworks factory this engine, with bursts of artillery fire from the exhausts that are denser, more varied and louder than the RS. Strange man. In half an hour it will burn through,” he claims before setting off in his well-used Honda CR-V for an ill-advised exploratory lap. From the grippy Alcantara on its wheel to its chunky paddles nicked from the AMG GT, the A45 comes from a rarefied world that’s alien to the blue-collar Focus. When judged on price, efficiency and resale values, the Focus is just about bang on with the Seat Leon, so it should cost roughly the same to own over a typical three-year period. The low emissions of this BlueMotion model only add to the appeal. Wrong, I’m afraid. Eco-friendly yet fast and fun... green Golf remains a brilliant contender. You can still trim your line with the throttle, but it’ll never rotate beyond a degree or two. It’s fast, fun to drive and packs the dramatic styling so many buyers in this class love. The A45 looks like a serious piece of kit and is extracting all the right sort of “phwoars” and “oofs” from our cultured TG crew. It’s always worn its performance lightly, the Golf R, but in this company it’s elbowed to the back of the lunch queue. Read the definitive Ford Focus 2021 review from the expert What Car? Trail-brake into corners, and the rear swings around obediently, and from there satisfying four-wheel slides are yours for the taking. This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Would you like to compare the Ford Focus against similar cars? Leading Competitors of General Motors (GM) Ford Motors: Ford Motors is also one of the leading players in the automobile industry that has maintained a strong global presence and caters to a large segment of consumers worldwide through its large product range. And so with every upshift, they pull further ahead, the A45 winning at a canter. Bringing up the rear is the Astra. I leave it out of the drag race. At the other end of the taste spectrum are the A45 and Type-R, both constantly vying for your attention, desperate to add a few more mph or shave a tenth with another vent here or wing there. We set off to the nearest building to hunch ourselves around cups of coffee and stare at our foursome through the glass doors. They’re essentially crossover-type vehicles without being the full-on SUV body. It achieves that, no question, but to leave it there would be damning it with faint praise, because it’s fundamentally a better driver’s car than the other three here. Use our side by side comparison reviews to help you find the perfect car. Instead, it feels soft and slow-witted, underendowed both aurally and visually, and generally outclassed. Official: Renault 5 reborn as compact EV due on sale by 2025, Pure-electric Sony Vision S begins road testing programme, New Dacia Bigster concept previews future SUV. And our Focus 1.6 TDCi Zetec even featured stop-start, to add a dose of economy to proceedings. Nope, for that you need to select Drift (and switch the ESC off completely, if you’re feeling bold) and unleash the beast. Well, I say “beast”, but it’s more of a large domestic cat really, given the welcoming way in which it lets you approach the limit, go straight past it and still keep your underpants fresh. Photography: John Wycherley & Rowan Horncastle, Full screen So has Ford done enough to propel the Focus back to the front of the family car class? In meeker colours than this Nitrous Blue, it would be a touch too apologetic for our liking. Built on the outskirts of Detroit—for another year or so—and with a well-deserved spot in driveways across the country, the Ford Focus is as American as apple pie. The third-generation Ford Focus has hardly been challenged in the three years it’s been on sale. Yup, we’re looking at you, Mercedes-AMG A45. It’s handicapped by its outdated engine and high price. Fun to drive, well-equipped and backed up by a large dealer network, it isn’t hard to see why it’s one of the highest selling new cars in the UK. It didn’t require a genius to deduce that traction was going to be an issue. So, let’s start with the positives. The Ford Focus ST is a popular choice in the hot hatch segment. There was a winner, eventually, but frankly we’re still debating/throwing stationery at each other over the result. Our trip took in everything from congested city streets and monotonous motorways to thrilling British back roads. The new car addresses many flaws of the old model, such as its dated cabin and engine line-up, but it doesn’t make the leap required to topple the best in the sector. The Focus was released in July 1998 in Europe, succeeding the Ford … Search & read all of our Ford Focus reviews by top motoring journalists. It starts from just over £17,000, whereas the Focus starts from about £14,000. We love the athletic handling that Ford engineers into all of its cars, yet there is a trade-off when it comes to low-speed comfort. The best competitors to the Ford Focus The Ford Focus has long been one of the class leaders in the family hatchback segment. BBC Studios is a commercial company that is owned by the BBC (and just the BBC). We did too. It arrived fresh from hitting the top of the UK sales charts in December, so the 1.7-litre CDTI Exclusiv would be no pushover. You can sense that this is a car set up with lap times at the top of the job list because it feels wider than its dimensions, with immense lateral grip. Can Ford’s all-new Focus regain its place at the summit of the family car class? I’m not so sure. With a starting price of $41,120 you get a turbocharged 2.3-liter four cylinder engine that makes an impressive 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. by: Auto Express team. The Ford Focus is a compact car (C-segment in Europe) manufactured by the Ford Motor Company and created under Alexander Trotman's Ford 2000 plan, which aimed to globalize model development and sell one compact vehicle worldwide.The original Focus was primarily designed by Ford of Europe's German and British teams.. It's just not as cut out as it used to be, at least in comparison with newer competitors. Ford is positioned as a low-cost competitor with a focus on function. No. Our man Frank returns triumphantly announcing that the circuit is suitably thawed and like a slow-mo Le Mans start, we leap up and tiptoe gingerly across the pits. It has a classy cabin, desirable looks and a capable, confidence-inspiring driving experience. And yet here we are, but seven moons later, and there’s a new world order in waiting. The Focus is outclassed by la… But despite the willy-waving rear wing, double diffuser and silly exhaust (kept permanently in its shouty setting, of course), it still lacks a layer of interactivity at and beyond the limit – space that the Focus RS now officially owns. The Focus has the rest of the bases well covered too. You’re thinking Mercedes, Ford then VW, right? All rights reserved.Auto Express™ is a registered trade mark. Perfect hot-hatch territory, then, and unshackled by the rules of the public highway. The Ford Focus falls short of competitors here with only 32.0 inches of rear legroom. It’s on this basis that I make a call which will infuriate keyboard warriors everywhere. It starts to find its voice, too – a metallic gnash rather than anything overly dramatic – and the gearbox is the best auto here. Oh it’s good, this car, very good. Soon enough, with four of us lapping, the sheet ice turns to slush and there’s meaningful feedback to work with. Love the Ford Focus? Unfortunately, these gifts come with some compromises. Like most cars, the Fusion has its high points, but in a crowded class, it lands somewhere in the middle of U.S. News’ midsize car rankings. Things get a little more serious in Track. In many ways, it’s a modern-day Mitsubishi Evo, born to flatter the driver, but also to deliver those hero moments that you can’t wait to embellish in the pub. Add in a purchase price several thousand pounds less than some of the competition, and it isn’t hard to see why the Ford so desirable.. Copyright © Dennis Publishing Limited 2021. The same can’t be said of the flamboyant Civic, but its main contribution on this test was to highlight the shortcomings of front-wheel drive. Last year, we undertook our most vigorous audit of the class ever: 20 cars carefully dissected on an unforgiving circuit and bruising Scottish roads. You provoke the rear end with a hefty prod of the throttle then simply keep it pinned and enjoy the sideways ride. GM is without a doubt one of the top most Ford Competitors. As we’re on a track, that’s not a huge concern right now. Meet the E-Type specialists taking restoration to new heights with their exquisite new Lightweight GT. We compare design, practicality, price, features, engine, transmission, fuel consumption, driving, safety & ownership of all models and give you our expert verdict. It’s not just the extra grunt (unlocking a 0–62mph time of 4.2 seconds, four tenths faster than the pre-facelift model) at play here – there’s a new locking front differential and a faster seven-speed dual-clutch ’box. Frank Guittard, the track’s manager, is less concerned about the ice than a bunch of sleep-deprived, soft-centred Brits. New Ford Focus vs rivals Can Ford’s all-new Focus regain its place at the summit of the family car class? The all-new Ford Focus – which is set to arrive in South Africa before the end of 2018 – will offer a host of new technologies, higher levels of occupant comfort, plus enhanced performance and efficiency. This website is made by BBC Studios Distribution. Straight away, there’s a playground pecking order. This e I appreciate that this is a Golf and needs to ace the daily grind better than anything out there, but while it’s doing an impression of a 1.4 TSI SE, the other three are gurgling and goading, without resorting to unbearable refinement. Not so the Focus RS that sports its RS-embossed wing, 19-inch wheels and angular front end with pride, but it’s still a far cry from its heavily muscled predecessor. See all 59 photos. Ford has a whole range of these Active cars, with the dinky Ka+ Active starting it off and Fiesta Active in the middle. Ford Focus RS vs. Honda Civic Type R vs. Volkswagen Golf R vs. Subaru WRX STI Type RA Sport compact car revival: Four pocket rockets vie for the title of best hot hatch. And then, when I’m all but ready to give up, I hit the track, attack hard and the whole thing comes to life. First things first: Frank’s idea of a thawed track is slightly different to mine. Please read Top Gear’s code of conduct (link below) before posting. Build your confidence to approach the higher limits, and it can even be coaxed into a bit of power oversteer, all the while responding instantly to your inputs and feeling shot through with a build quality the others cannot match. It’s as if it’s lifted several inches and is suddenly up on its toes, sidestepping, dancing, anticipating the next turn. Volkswagen Golf. Except, whereas the Civic has been tinkered with for too long and the end result is quite frankly a dog’s dinner, the A45 looks like a serious piece of kit and is extracting all the right sort of “phwoars” and “oofs” from our cultured TG crew. Slow things down, use a gear or two more than you would normally and it’s possible to stick to the track, but by that point you’re going so much slower than the other three that it saps the fun. So, in Sport, you get sharper throttle response, meatier steering and more explosive tailpipes, plus a more neutral stance in corners. Whether that’s worth the £10,000 entry ticket in itself is up to you, but let’s see how it moves before making snap judgements. First Place: 2018 Ford Focus ST – Stephanie Wallcraft The competition between these four cars is as tight as it is between the owners who take them to their local autocross events. How to make the most beautiful Jaguar E-Types on the planet, City, slicker: Honda City Turbo vs Honda e. Ford has completely redesigned its 2020 Ford Focus sedan, a move that couldn’t come too soon, as the current Focus sits near the bottom of the compact segment in Consumer Reports’ ratings. As our convoy rolls into the Circuit des Ecuyers, 66 miles east of Paris, the sun is still hiding behind the firs and the thermometer is firmly in the negative. The previous afternoon had been spent exercising the cars on public roads around Reims, but this circuit does a better impression of a perfect B-road than a ‘proper’ racetrack: narrow and surrounded by a welly-stealing bog. If the Merc’s willingness to play the fool is the day’s biggest surprise, then the Golf R is the biggest disappointment… on the road, at least. It may cost precisely £10,000 more than the RS, but Ford makes no secret that it’s the Merc and the similarly pricey Audi RS3 it’s gunning for. The algorithm with which it divvies up the torque is up to you. We’ve already bombarded you with the gritty technical details of how the electronic clutch-based system operates, but suffice it to say that it can shift up to 70 per cent of the torque to the rear axle, and then up to 100 per cent of that to either of the rear wheels. The steering is under-geared in this company, and with a 50/50 torque split from the Haldex four-wheel-drive system, it never feels rear-driven like the RS, but lifts of the throttle or dabs of the brake are your tools for getting the car turned in, then there’s masses of traction to sling you down the next straight. Top Pull the left-hand paddle three times and it’ll stack the shifts, waiting until you’re done then dropping three cogs in quick succession. What hasn’t changed much is the interior, and that’s good. There’s a reason I’ve left the Civic Type-R until last: these are far from ideal conditions for a 306bhp, front-wheel-drive, turbocharged nutter-hatch, and I’ve just watched our road test editor being towed back onto the track following a spin that left the front tyres two feet from the tarmac. Moments before I disappear into the mud, the RS bites, with all four wheels still spinning and adopts a 45° angle as I claw my way up and out the other side. 2) Toyota Motors Toyota Motors hails from the land of engineering and automation – Japan – … But good enough to win again? Like GM, Ford also places a heavy focus on product innovation. Ford is among the most renowned car makers of the world. Click here for more information on the retirement of the Focus. I discover this as I barrel into the first of them on cold summer tyres and plough straight on. Rowan Horncastle points out that the seats are the best here, too, which I agree with, before he adds that he likes “fighty” cars like this and does an impression of a lion. The six-speed manual is a revised version of Ford’s trusty unit, but with a shorter lever and revised mechanism – not quite the precision-milled action you get in the Type-R (the only other manual here), but positive enough and compatible with a gobsmackingly effective launch-control system… more on that later. GM is competing with Ford for both low-cost and function. A mist hangs over the 2.2 miles of tarmac and 19 turns, lifting its skirt just enough in places to reveal a worryingly glazed surface. In Exclusiv trim, it’s short on creature comforts, while the unrewarding dynamics leave it trailing for driver appeal. The Octavia and Golf are 118kg and 37kg lighter respectively than the 1,413kg Ford. Another very popular hatchback in Britain, the Volkswagen Golf is pricier than most of its rivals. Today, Ford Motors Company is a global brand that designs, manufactures, markets, sells and services a large range of … The steering is rife with feedback and has a brawnier weight to it than the other cars do here – I wouldn’t say it requires serious muscle, but it feels like you’re operating something manly and mechanical. A small car to compete against the like of the Hyundai i30, Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla, the Ford Focus will be the freshest rival among this crowd until the … Go on, have a guess at the result. If the Merc’s willingness to play the fool is the day’s biggest surprise, then the Golf R is the biggest disappointment. Main Competitors of Ford Motors. The 2012 Ford Focus has plenty of new features aside from the return of the hatchback body style. Check specs, prices, performance and compare with similar cars. What happens when you go hardcore off-roading in a soft-roader? It possesses a genuinely mighty engine – boosty, yes, but in a straight line it doesn’t feel any slower than the Focus RS, despite giving up a second in the official 0–62mph figures. We pitch it against Vauxhall and VW rivals on UK roads. 10 Ford Focus RS Competitors to Consider 10 Fun Small Cars for 2018 10 Great Hatchbacks with a Manual Transmission 2018 Ford Focus RS vs. 2018 Honda Civic Type R: Which is Best? It came into formation through the acquisition of Ford Motor Company that made and sold vehicles engineered by Henry Ford. Renowned car makers of the class leaders in the family hatchback segment cars that represent good to... At a canter s a playground pecking order, for people who are Active we Look at competitors! We ’ ve already separated the wheat from the chaff all of our Focus. Pool of contenders is smaller, but seven moons later, and from there satisfying four-wheel slides are yours the! 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