In February this year I picked up a Focus RS mk3.
I spent a *lot* of time trying to work out what car could possibly replace my Coupe to do between 3-5,000 miles per year in.
It took me quite a while to work out what I wanted but ended up with this list:
- 4 seats and large enough to sit a child in the back comfortably
- At least boot space
- More power / faster
- Ideally with warranty or if not less than 10 years old
- The wife would have to approve / something she would be happy to drive
- Something that would stand out
- Fuel economy to be on par circa 20-25 mpg
- Put a smile on my face when driving
- Petrol cars only
- Nothing German
- At least as good stereo (I spent a lot on my Coupes)
- Sound as good when on full throttle
Trawling through the threads on here were a great help and I considered a number of cars which appealed but fell down in a critical area:
- Jag XKR (rear seats too small)
- Maserati 4200 (reliability fears / cost of repairs)
- Abarth 595 (Acceleration slower than Coupe)
- Lexus ISF (too understated)
- Lotus Europa (rear seats too small)
- Mini Cooper S Works (Acceleration on par with Coupe)
- Impreza Turbo (newer ones were £550 tax and I just couldn't bear to pay the gov't this amount)
- Vauxhall Monaro VXR (everything I'd read said they were slower than they should be)
So after going through the motions I began to realise I wanted a hot hatch and only 2 really stood out - the Honda Civic Type R and the Focus RS. The mk2 RS's Ioved the look of and have the 5 pot engine so sound fabulous but I just thought they were too expensive for their age / mileage.
So I drove a 2015 and a 2018 Civic Type R and while they were both fantastic to drive I drove them both in typical British February wet and damp conditions and it just couldn't get the power down, they would simply spin its wheels. Which given it rais for 5 - 7 months of the year significantly devalued them for me.
I then drove the Focus and while the gear change wasn't as slick as the Honda's it felt as fun to drive and with its 4WD system could get the power down. That made my mind up and then the search began for the spec I wanted. I ended up picking an ex demonstrator which was for sale in Chester. 5 hours on the train a few forms signed and I had a 4 hour drive to get to know it on the way home.
The compromises I ended up making were the sound is no where near as good as my Coupes, for 2 reasons, 1 it's a 4 pot and 2 it pumps fake engine noise through the speakers; the other major compromise was despite the stereo being the 'upgraded' Sony its not as good as my Coupes; and arguably the looks as whilst it’s a RS it’s still a Ford Focus.
That said I am very happy with it - the Focus has a chunky Recaros, 'Nitrous' Blue paint against black wheels and a few other bits and pieces to keep me happy.
The wife loves it and whenever I travel away from home she ditches her car to drive the Focus!
My Coupe was a big part of my life but it was the right time to move on. At Auto Italia this year I followed MrC in his gorgeous Sprinty in and that made me miss my Coupe.
Anyway here are a couple of photos.