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This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Ford Focus ST review.

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Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
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Rivals

Volkswagen Golf GTI (09-12)

4.5 out of 5 4.5

The Volkswagen Golf GTI launched the trend for hot hatches in the late 1970s and has grown from a cult car, to - in its current incarnation - perhaps the best all-round fast family hatchback. This sixth-generation Golf GTI is effectively a thorough re-working of the previous car, itself a superb performance hatch. Volkswagen, therefore, had a... read more

PROS

Outstanding blend of performance, agility, comfort and practicality

CONS

Not as quick outright as many alternatives, less overtly sporty styling than some

Honda Civic Type-R (07-10)

4.5 out of 5 4.5

While many hot hatches are aiming for headline grabbing power figures, Honda has stuck to the basic principles of driver appeal for the Civic Type-R. It boasts 200bhp from a non-turbocharged engine, which is fairly modest when compared to rivals like the Ford Focus ST or SEAT Leon Cupra. However the Type-R is the most involving and rewarding... read more

PROS

Sporty engine note, sharp handling, spacious interior, striking looks

CONS

Firm ride, frantic driving experience, engine has to be worked hard

SEAT Leon Cupra (07-11)

4.5 out of 5 4.5

At the top of the Leon range is the performance Cupra model. Unlike the similarly sporty FR version, the Cupra only comes with a petrol engine, but the 2.0-litre turbocharged unit boasts 240bhp making it one of the most powerful hot hatches around. It's also quick with a 0-62mph time of 6.4 seconds while fuel economy is a reasonable 35mpg. It's... read more

PROS

Superb engine and performance, wonderful styling, precise handling, refined ride

CONS

Some hard interior plastics

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