This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Ford Focus RS (16-18) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The RS is a true hot-hatch and very exciting. It has a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine giving 215bhp for a 0-60mph time of just over six seconds and a top speed of 145mph - figures that stand comparison with the best rivals. It has a five-speed manual gearbox.

Unlike its four-wheel-driven predecessor, the Escort RS Cosworth, the Focus RS is front-wheel-drive. A limited-slip-differential helps ensure it can put its power to the road effectively, but it also makes the steering inclined to tug sharply when driven fast over bumpy roads. The ride is quiet firm, but it's a competent cruiser on the motorway.