Ford Focus RS (2016-2018) review - MPG, CO2 and Running Costs
EcoBoost engine is tuned for performance over emissions, but standard stop-start boosts economy
You’re not going to buy a Focus RS if you want efficient transport, but Ford has added stop-start to the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine to help reduce your fuel bills when you want to take it easy.
An official NEDC combined economy figure of 36.7mpg is around 3mpg behind the VW Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A 45, but is slightly ahead of the Audi RS 3 in the same test cycle. Of course, if you’re going to use the EcoBoost engine’s performance, then you’re unlikely to come close to Ford’s claimed economy figures, and the car will easily dip in to the 20s without too much provocation. That’s especially true if you use the car’s overboost function, which bumps torque up from 440Nm to 470Nm for 15 seconds at a time - perfect for rapid overtakes, but less so for efficiency.
Emissions of 175g/km are high, but the Focus RS has a lower list price than rivals, so company car tax costs will be lower. Earlier cars registered before April 2017 cost £205 a year in road tax, which is £25 a year more than the VW and Mercedes, but cars registered after that date are charged at the standard rate for road tax, courtesy of an initial price tag that is well under the £40,000 road tax premium threshold.
As it’s a performance car, the Focus RS sits in insurance group 40, which is seven groups higher than the Focus ST. It’s in the same band as the Audi RS 3, while the Mercedes A 45 is four groups higher, and the Golf R is six groups below. A Thatcham Category 1 alarm is fitted as standard.
The Focus RS features Ford’s MyKey system, which allows you to set up user profiles for whoever is driving the car, while xenon lights and a Quickclear windscreen help visibility. Ford’s Door Edge protectors were available as an £85 option – these pop out of the doors as you open them and place a plastic strip on the edge of the door to prevent car park scrapes.
New Focus RS models were expected to retain 51 per cent of their value after three years, which is slightly behind the VW Golf R and nearly 10 per cent behind the Audi RS3, but it is marginally better than the Mercedes A 45. As the RS has a lower list price than all of these rivals, you should be able to pick up a used example for a bit less, too.
In this review
- 1VerdictWild looks, rocketship speed and sharp handling put the Ford Focus RS at the top of the hot hatchback tree
- 2Engines, performance and driveTurbocharged engine spells scorching performance, while clever transmission delivers incredibly agile handling
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running Costs - currently readingEcoBoost engine is tuned for performance over emissions, but standard stop-start boosts economy
- 4Interior, design and technologyFocus RS gets just enough of a cabin revamp to mark it out from the Focus range
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Focus RS is practical for a sports car, but fast hatch rivals have more space inside
- 6Reliability and SafetyFocus RS’s mass-market roots mean it should be a dependable sports car