Ford Focus RS

  • Incredible performance
  • A true driver’s car
  • Holding value (some appreciating in value)
  • Retains practicality of a Focus hatch
  • Extremely firm ride
  • The driver’s seating position too high for some
  • Some used models may have been abused
  • Interior is feeling its age

The Focus RS is one of the all time great hot hatches. Amazing performance, endless grip, a rear bias and balanced chassis in an attractive, practical 5-door hatch featuring body-hugging Recaro sports seats, Fords SYNC 3 infotainment system and a decent suite of safety technology. The Focus RS makes for an incredibly compelling purchase option.

But, all is not perfect with the RS (and its more track-focussed Limited Edition sibling), the ride quality is considered too hard for many and quite a few questions have been raised regarding blown head gaskets.

Should you buy one? Read on.

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What goes wrong

Due to a mix up of Mustang Ecoboost head gaskets being accidentally fitted to Focus RS engines, quite a few Focus RS engines required either new head gaskets, new heads or entire new engines. Ford quickly repaired and resolved this issue but make sure any RS you’re looking at has had this recall seen to.

The Focus RS is very well engineered but even the best engineering has a limit when it comes to wear and tear. Try to diagnose if the RS you’re looking at has been abused or driven well beyond its limits. If it has been thrashed, repair bills can add up quickly.

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Model range, pricing and features


  • Price when new: $50,990
  • Price used: $40,000 - $60,000

Available in Australia in two trim levels, the Ford Focus RS and Ford Focus RS Limited Edition.

Standard RS features:

  • 19” alloy wheels
  • Forged-alloy 19-inch rims in black (Optional)
  • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres (Optional)
  • Privacy glass (Optional)
  • Brembo disc brakes
  • Rear wing
  • Moulded bumper ducts
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and voice recognition
  • Satellite Nnavigation
  • 12-Volt Socket and USB outlet
  • 2 ISOFIX child seat mounts
    Oil Temperature, Oil Pressure & Turbo Boost
  • Gauges
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Leather gear knob
  • Recaro seats
  • Multiple driving modes (Normal, Sport, Track and Drift)
  • Exhaust valve settings (Normal, Sport)
  • Electronic Stability Control settings (Normal, Sport and off)

RS Limited Edition

  • Price when new: $56,990
  • Price used: $50,000 - $65,000

The Limited Edition asked a $6000 premium over the standard RS, and while the used car market has compressed the price difference between the RS siblings, a mint condition Limited Edition still requires an extra spend to get behind the wheel.

RS Limited Edition adds:

  • Nitrous Blue paint
  • Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential
  • Forged-alloy 19-inch rims in black
  • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres
  • Brembo disc brakes in Nitrous Blue
  • Black Rear wing
  • Black Moulded bumper ducts
  • Privacy glass
  • Black side mirror caps and roof
  • Nitrous Blue leather highlights in the interior for a two-tone effect
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking
Should you buy it

If you’re in the market for a quiet, understated, luxurious hatchback, no.

But if you’re after a hatchback that gets your heart rate firing, ignites your passion and love for driving, can handle a track day as easily as picking up the kids and groceries and is sure to be a future classic, then yes.

The Focus RS, even in the current deluge of superb hot hatches, offers a unique and very special experience.

The ride is too firm and the seating position too high but if you’re happy to deal with these issues, the Focus RS is a must.

Warranty & servicing



5-years/unlimited kms (From 14/5/2018)


15,000kms or every 12 months with Ford’s Lifetime Capped Service Plans.

Tech Specs

Body style:

5-door hatch

Engine & outputs:

2.3L, 4-cyl turbo Ecoboost petrol – 257kW / 440Nm


6-spd manual, AWD

Fuel use:

8.1L/100km (combined)


Height: 1480mm
Length: 4390mm
Width: 1823mm
Weight: 1575kg
Ground clearance: 104mm


Information correct as of February 25, 2021.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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