As a car enthusiast, you’re often faced with the tough decision of choosing between two or more fantastic vehicles. In this article, we’ll compare the Honda Civic Type R with the Ford Focus RS, two highly-acclaimed hot hatches that hit the market in 2017. We’ll take a close look at their horsepower, torque, driving dynamics, technical specifications, technology features, exterior and interior design, real-world performance, pricing, value for money, and expert opinions. So, buckle up and let’s dive into this ultimate hot hatch showdown!
The Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS are both high-performance hot hatches that deliver exhilarating driving experiences, thanks to their powerful engines, sharp handling, and aggressive styling. The Type R is the performance-oriented version of the popular Honda Civic, while the Focus RS is the top-of-the-line variant of the Ford Focus lineup.
Both vehicles are equipped with turbocharged four-cylinder engines, front-wheel drive (Type R) or all-wheel drive (Focus RS), and manual transmissions. Both hot hatches are also loaded with advanced technology, modern styling, and high-quality materials that make them stand out from the crowd.
Style – Advantage Honda
The Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS both feature aggressive and sporty exterior styling, which sets them apart from their more pedestrian counterparts. The Type R’s design is characterized by its large rear wing, distinctive front grille, and aggressive body kit. It rides on 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in high-performance tires, and its LED headlights and taillights give it a modern and sleek appearance.
The Ford Focus RS boasts a large rear spoiler, aggressive front fascia, and dual exhaust outlets. Its 19-inch alloy wheels and HID headlights add to its sporty demeanor. Inside, both vehicles offer comfortable and supportive sports seats, with the Type R featuring heavily-bolstered seats with red accents and the Focus RS offering Recaro seats with partial leather trim.
In terms of interior space, the Honda Civic Type R offers more generous front and rear legroom, head height, and overall passenger space compared to the Ford Focus RS. The Type R also provides more trunk storage, making it a more practical choice for those who need extra cargo capacity.
Tech – Advantage Honda
Both the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS are packed with cutting-edge technology features that enhance the driving experience and provide added convenience. The Type R comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility. It also features a 12-speaker, 540-watt premium audio system and a multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines.
The Ford Focus RS also offers a touchscreen infotainment system, albeit slightly smaller at 6.5 inches, with navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility. Its 10-speaker Sony audio system delivers high-quality sound, and it features a rearview camera as well. Both hot hatches come equipped with standard Bluetooth connectivity, USB ports, and satellite radio.
Driving Dynamics – Advantage Ford
When it comes to raw power, the Ford Focus RS has a clear advantage over the Honda Civic Type R. With an additional 44 horsepower and 55 lb-ft of torque, the Focus RS is undoubtedly the more potent of the two hot hatches. However, the Civic Type R’s lighter weight and better power-to-weight ratio help it stay competitive, despite its lower output.
The Type R’s 2.0-liter VTEC Turbo engine provides an impressive amount of power across the rev range, making it a responsive and exciting drive. The Focus RS’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine also offers strong performance throughout the rev range, but its peak power is delivered at a slightly higher RPM than the Type R’s engine.
In terms of acceleration, both hot hatches deliver thrilling performance. The Ford Focus RS is slightly quicker, reaching 0-60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, while the Honda Civic Type R takes 4.9 seconds to hit the same mark. The difference in acceleration times can largely be attributed to the Focus RS’s all-wheel-drive system, which provides better traction and grip off the line.
When comparing the driving dynamics of the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS, it’s essential to consider how each vehicle handles and performs on the road. The Type R features a front-wheel-drive layout, which some purists might argue is the true essence of a hot hatch. It also has an advanced suspension system, featuring adaptive dampers and a limited-slip differential that helps maintain grip and stability during hard cornering.
The Ford Focus RS, on the other hand, is equipped with an all-wheel-drive system that provides exceptional traction and handling, especially in wet or slippery conditions. It also features a unique Drift Mode, which allows drivers to indulge in controlled oversteer for a more exciting driving experience. The Focus RS’s suspension is stiffer than the Type R’s, providing a more direct and responsive feel during cornering.
In terms of braking performance, both hot hatches are equipped with powerful Brembo brakes that provide excellent stopping power and fade resistance. The Type R’s brakes are slightly larger than the Focus RS’s, which could contribute to better heat dissipation and more consistent performance during repeated hard braking.
As far as the timing belt or timing chain, the Honda Civic Type R has the better feature of a timing chain, which is more durable and requires less maintenance than a timing belt. The Ford Focus RS, on the other hand, features a timing belt, which will need to be replaced at more frequent intervals.
While both the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS are designed to deliver exhilarating performance on the track, it’s essential to consider how they perform in everyday driving situations. The Type R’s adaptive suspension system provides a comfortable and compliant ride, making it well-suited for daily driving. Its front-wheel-drive layout also makes it more fuel-efficient than the Focus RS, with an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.
The Ford Focus RS’s stiffer suspension and all-wheel-drive system make it a more engaging and dynamic drive, but it may not be as comfortable for long commutes or rough road surfaces. Its fuel economy is also slightly lower than the Type R’s, with an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
Safety – Advantage Honda
When it comes to safety, both the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS come with a range of advanced safety features to help protect you and your passengers in the event of a collision. Both hot hatches feature standard front and side-impact airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control.
The Honda Civic Type R also comes with a range of advanced driver assistance features, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. The Ford Focus RS, on the other hand, features a rear view camera and parking sensors as standard, with optional blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have not yet crash-tested the 2017 Honda Civic Type R or Ford Focus RS, but both vehicles have a solid reputation for safety and reliability.
Fuel Economy – Advantage Honda
Fuel economy is an essential consideration for many car buyers, especially those who plan to use their vehicle as a daily driver. The Honda Civic Type R is the more fuel-efficient of the two hot hatches, with an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The Ford Focus RS, on the other hand, has an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
While the difference in fuel economy between the two vehicles may not seem significant, it can add up over time, especially if you’re driving long distances or using your car for commuting. However, it’s worth noting that both hot hatches require premium unleaded gasoline, which can be more expensive than regular unleaded.
Availability and Price – Advantage Ford
When comparing the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS, it’s essential to consider the overall value for money that each vehicle offers. The 2017 Type R base model started at $33,900, while the Focus RS kicked off at $36,120 when new. With a lower base price and better fuel economy, the Type R initially offered a more attractive value proposition for budget-conscious buyers.
However, the popularity of the Honda Type R has made finding one a costly exercise as the average price has risen and is between $35,000 and $40,000. The Focus RS however has come down slightly and on average will cost between $30,000 and $35,000 for its all-wheel-drive system, more powerful engine, and unique features like Drift Mode making it around $5,000 cheaper overall.
Plus, there are many more Ford Focus RS examples on the used car market compared to Honda’s Type R, especially on Autotrader which only returned one result for the Honda when I checked upon writing this article. You’re better to look on other sites like Cargurus where there are plenty more models of both the Honda Type R and Ford Focus RS for sale.
Expert Opinions and Reviews
Both the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS have received rave reviews from automotive journalists and enthusiasts alike. The Type R has been praised for its responsive handling, comfortable ride, and practicality, while the Focus RS has been lauded for its blistering performance, engaging driving dynamics, and all-wheel-drive capabilities.
Car and Driver called the Type R “a front-wheel-drive miracle” and praised its “astonishingly adept chassis and potent engine.” Meanwhile, Motor Trend Magazine described the Focus RS as “an unapologetic, no-holds-barred hot hatch” that offers “an exhilarating driving experience.”
In conclusion, the Honda Civic Type R and Ford Focus RS are two exceptional hot hatches that offer thrilling performance, advanced technology, and modern styling. While the Ford Focus RS has a more powerful engine and all-wheel-drive capabilities, the Honda Civic Type R offers better fuel economy, more interior space, and advanced driver assistance features.
Ultimately, the choice between these two hot hatches comes down to personal preference and what aspects of each vehicle are most important to you. Whether you choose the Honda Civic Type R or Ford Focus RS, you’re sure to have a blast behind the wheel of these high-performance machines.