We’re not kidding when we say we’ve found a quintet of things that places the i30 Turbo ahead of the Focus RS. If you’re thinking of placing an order for Ford’s newest hero you might want to read these first.
We apologise that it may all seem a little BuzzFeed-esque, but it’s hard not to get swept up in the euphoria surrounding Ford’s new fast Focus. So just to ensure it definitely isn’t the second coming of Christ, we wondered if there was any way it could be beaten. Having just posted our review of the commendable Hyundai i30 Turbo, we decided to use that as a benchmark for comparison. Here’s how the Korean hatch can laud it over the fast Ford.
The i30 Turbo is cheaper!
Whilst the Focus RS is something of a performance bargain with a list price of £29,995, the i30 Turbo undercuts it by £7,395, starting at £22,600. That’s enough of a difference to buy 12,325 Kit Kats, or subscribe to Amazon Instant Video for nearly 94 years at current prices. Either a whole lot of biscuit goodness to work through, or so much streaming TV access that you’ll probably have to leave it in your will to someone. You won’t have either option with the Focus RS.
The i30 Turbo comes as a three door!
Ford’s move to making ‘world cars’ is a major undertaking to promote economies of scale, but it isn’t without problems. Whilst both previous generations of the Focus RS have featured three door bodyshells, the newest version only comes with five doors. It’s more practical, and will no doubt save the Blue Oval money, but there may always be that small part of you that yearns for fewer openings. Was the Escort RS Cosworth a five door? No, no it was not. But the i30 Turbo can be had with three apertures, and it’s actually the only i30 in the range to offer that choice. Exclusivity assured.
The i30 Turbo has better fuel economy!
Before we get into any Volkswagen-based discussion about the accuracy of fuel consumption and emissions testing, let’s look at the cold hard facts. Officially, the i30 Turbo will achieve 38.7 mpg on the combined EU cycle, whilst the Focus RS can only achieve 36.7. Yes folks, ignore the fact the Ford has almost twice the horsepower, because the EU says the Hyundai is more efficient. We’ll also overlook the 29 mpg we actually achieved when testing the i30, as we haven’t driven the Focus RS to get a comparison…
The i30 Turbo has a bigger fuel tank!
Oh indeed it does, by two whole litres. Which means, based on the official combined fuel consumption figures, the Focus RS has a theoretical average range of only 412 miles, whilst the i30 Turbo could do 451 miles. That’s a difference of 39 miles – enough to drive from Middlesbrough to Newcastle upon Tyne. Useful if you have a lot of Kit Kats to sell, for instance.
The i30 Turbo has a heated steering wheel!
Whilst the UK weather system may only seem to lurch from unseasonably mild to unseasonably wet at present, you can’t rule out the possibility that it might get properly cold at some point. Probably in June. So when that big freeze finally hits, which steering wheel do you want to be wrapping your hands around? The shapely, flat-bottomed, leather Focus RS helm, or the one fitted to the i30 Turbo which will lovingly warm your digits as you drive. Yeah, we thought as much. Other markets have the option of a heated wheel for the RS, but not the UK it seems. Also, don’t forget the Hyundai has heated seats, too.
Obviously the above is all intended to be tongue in cheek, so don’t take this as genuine consumer advice. There’s no denying just how substantial the arrival of the new Focus RS is, and it’s rare to see a car get such universally positive reviews and feedback. It can slay supercars, it’ll do crazy drifts for fun, yet can still just bumble down to the shops. However, we thought it was worth maintaining a little perspective, and not getting too lost in superlatives. Plus, we liked the i30 Turbo, even if we didn’t try filling the boot with Kit Kats.