Other Ford Focus (2005 - 2011) models:

This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Ford Focus RS review.

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Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
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Rivals

Volkswagen Golf R (10-12)

4.5 out of 5 4.5

While the Golf GTI is undoubtedly the most famous hot hatch around, there is an even more powerful model available - the Golf R. This model replaces the previous R32 from 2005 but the reason for the name-change is that it no longer uses a 3.2-litre V6 engine. Instead it's powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit boasting an impressive 271bhp which... read more

PROS

Storming performance, great usable power, aggressive looks, superbly agile and poised in corners, four-wheel-drive traction

CONS

Stiff ride, expensive even compared to a GTI

Thanks to a high profile in rallying, Subaru is well-renowned for its performance cars - in particular the Impreza. You could spot the previous model a mile off with its huge spoiler and booming exhaust, but the firm has taken a different tack and the 2008 Impreza WRX STi is a very different car compared to what went before. For starters it is a... read more

PROS

Storming acceleration, corners well with minimal bodyroll, hatchback practicality

CONS

Lacks refinement, light steering, dated and cheap-feeling interior, anonymous styling

Audi A3 S3 (06-13)

4 out of 5 4.0

The ultimate incarnation of the Audi A3 might not have the biggest engine or access to hi-tech transmissions, but it is comfortably the quickest version on sale. The original Audi S3 had a strong following in the UK and this model should keep fans happy. The four-cylinder turbocharged engine, slick-shifting six-speed gearbox and quattro four-wheel... read more

PROS

Supremely effective at covering ground quickly, excellent build quality, understated image

CONS

A little too clinical, lacks feelgood factor of rivals, harsh high-speed ride

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