When the Ford Focus RS launched, demand was at a fever pitch. Some sold considerably above MSRP. Fast forward a few months, and pre-owned RS models are beginning to languish for days on used lots. One just sold locally for about $32K after spending over three months on the lot.
What’s the deal?
Well, it’s hard to live with daily. Auto Mentality named the ST one of our top driver’s cars under $35K. At these pre-owned RS prices, we would move the RS to that group as well. But, the ST is considerably easier to live with, as were all the other cars on the list. The RS is a brilliant weekender. It is exceptionally fun on the back roads, fun to drift, fun on the track, but not fun creep in traffic with.
Here are a few reasons:
The Focus RS clutch is either on or off, a lot like the GT350 we wrote about a few weeks ago. It has a quick engagement and release. Again, that’s great for the weekend, not for the commute.
The seat bottom is angled back. Overall, they’re firm, and supportive. However, when set in the correct “track day position”, you feel a bit scrunched.
The suspension is firm. There’s very little body roll. It tracks fast through corners. It’s also brutal for everyday driving.
The car is pretty fast and fun through tight corners. It pulls hard down low, but there’s no top end torque after about 4500 RPM.
It can fit 4 adults in a pinch semi-comfortably, but a Golf R and WRX STI are better.
Overall, the RS feels like a rally car. It’s planted, holds the road, and can drift. Unfortunately, an STI can do all that (but drift well) and still do the daily commute. To be clear, this article is not a dis on the RS. We really do love it. It is very capable and fun. It’s just not easy to have as your only car. It’s a weekender.
Photo Credits: Ford Motor Company, JJ Aerial Productions