Used 2018 Ford Focus RS

2018 Ford Focus RS
List Price Estimate
$28,972 - $33,059

Pros & Cons

  • Huge turbo power from a small engine
  • Clever all-wheel-drive system improves handling in the wet or dry
  • Remarkably civil at low speeds
  • Sport front seats might feel constricting to the wider-bodied
  • Ride quality is quite stiff
  • No automatic transmission available
Ford Focus RS years
2018
Ford Focus RS for Sale

Which Focus RS does Edmunds recommend?

Considering the limited-run nature of the 2018 Ford Focus RS, we recommend moving quickly. Those in chillier climates should consider the Winter Wheel and Tire package, as the standard summer tires are useless in the snow. The optional Michelin Cup tires are overkill with regard to grip, but you won't be able to find a set of four cheaper anywhere else.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.6 / 10

The 2018 Ford Focus RS has everything you'd expect from a sports car, including a high-output engine, super-sticky tires and stout brakes. Certainly, the RS is a blast to drive. Yet this hatchback also delivers a decent amount of utility.

The Focus RS fits squarely under the "hot hatch" category of cars, meaning it combines the utility of a hatchback commuter car with serious performance. But it also goes beyond more common hot hatches such as the Volkswagen GTI or Ford's own Focus ST. The RS' turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four makes 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, while its all-wheel-drive system can selectively bias power to individual wheels. It even has a drive setting that allows a tail-out "drifting" style of cornering easier.

This year marks the final run of this generation Focus RS. To send it off, Ford is providing a run of only 1,500 cars for North America, each outfitted with performance-enhancing options such as a front locking differential and lightweight forged wheels. We suspect this RS is going to be prized by enthusiasts for a long time to come.

Ford Focus RS models

The 2018 Ford Focus RS is a high-performance hatchback that is available in one fully loaded trim level. As this is the last year of its production, there are only a handful of options to choose from. The RS employs a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four (350 hp, 350 lb-ft of torque) that is connected to a six-speed manual transmission. A torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive system is standard.

Standard features include keyless entry, 19-inch wheels wrapped in summer tires, a Quaife limited-slip front differential, LED lights, RS badges throughout, a high-mounted rear spoiler, carbon-fiber interior accents, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, a rearview camera, and Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system.

Aside from a moonroof, the Focus RS' options list mostly consists of tire options. Available Michelin Pilot Cup Sport 2 tires dramatically improve tire grip at a significant expense of tread life, while the Winter Wheel and Tire package provides smaller diameter (18-inch) wheels shod with Michelin winter tires.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Ford Focus RS (turbo 2.3L inline-4 | 6-speed manual | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2016, the current Focus RS has received some revisions, including the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in 2017 and newly standard features for 2018. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Focus RS, however.

Scorecard

Overall7.6 / 10
Driving8.5
Comfort7.5
Interior7.0
Utility7.5
Technology7.0

Driving

8.5
There's barely a mark against the Focus RS in terms of performance. Its torquey engine delivers solid power. Combine it with the trick all-wheel-drive system and powerful brakes, the RS is a backroad beast. But the RS' brakes, when cold, are grabby, and cold tires have low limits.

Acceleration

8.0
A robust wallop of midrange power helps you forget the turbo lag under 2,500 rpm and the power drop after 6,000 rpm. Using launch control, the RS tears away from the line with a bit of wheelspin. The shift linkage isn't the most positive but it is quick. The sprint to 60 mph takes 4.9 seconds.

Braking

8.0
The powerful and predictable Brembo brakes have a firm pedal feel and trustworthy feedback, but they can be a bit grabby when not up to temperature. Very heavy braking results in some rear-end instability, which is odd for an all-wheel-drive performance car. Spirited real-world driving produces no noticeable fade.

Steering

8.5
Just off-center, the steering feels darty and takes some getting used to, but everything starts to feel more natural once the wheel passes the 10 or 2 o'clock position. Accuracy and feel are good, especially from a front-drive-based AWD performance car. The steering weight changes with drive mode but is never unduly heavy.

Handling

8.0
Quick and clean or fast and ultra-aggressive, the RS can cover ground any way you like. The optional tires are temperamental and need heat to work properly. Some bumpy transitions result in the RS oscillating and hopping, likely a result of the all-wheel-drive system binding up under power. But grip is still impressive.

Drivability

9.0
The RS benefits from a wonderfully flexible motor. It's happy being driven sedately as well as aggressively. The clutch takeup is easy. Despite the serious level of performance, the RS remains friendly and true to its humble Focus roots.

Comfort

7.5
The seats, like the ride, are going to be a love-it-or-hate-it affair for most buyers. The seats are aggressive and supportive or tight and unnecessary, and the ride is either passable for its capability or unduly harsh and unforgiving. Either way, no one will have much room in the back seat.

Seat comfort

8.0
These are possibly the most aggressively supportive seats on the market, and certainly in the class. We found the optional heated and power-adjustable leather-trimmed seats mostly comfortable and hugely supportive, even for long distances. Breathability is only fair, however.

Ride comfort

6.5
The RS has two suspensions modes, "stiff" and "are you kidding me?" — the latter of which is the default setting in Track mode. Thankfully, settings can be selected independent of drive mode. It's best in its standard setting, which is acceptably aggressive. The Track setting is simply too much unless you're actually on a racetrack.

Noise & vibration

5.5
It's hard to tell if there's any wind noise at high speeds because the huge amount of tire noise drowns everything else out, including the radio. At lower speeds, the cabin is vibration-free and seems to be well-insulated, letting in just enough engine growl and pops from the exhaust.

Climate control

7.0
The vent size and placement could be better since the center vents are too narrow and the side vents are a bit too low. The interface is also a bit too low for quick changes and it looks dated, but the system does a good job of maintaining cabin temperature.

Interior

7.0
The interior of the Focus RS is polarizing. The tall and tilted driving position provides good visibility but can feel awkward. Along those lines, some will find the layout busy, dated and ergonomically unfriendly. Others will see it as endearing and honest to the character of the RS.

Ease of use

6.5
The RS is still a Focus on the inside. Quibbles arise over the usability and large real estate that Ford's Sync 3 infotainment systems demands. The menus in the instrument panel are slow to browse, and the climate controls are pushed low and are less convenient to access.

Getting in/getting out

6.5
The pronounced lateral seat bolsters prevent front-seat occupants from simply sliding in to the RS. The optional leather accents make it a bit easier, but it's difficult to make an elegant entry or exit. Rear passengers have a much easier time provided the front seats are far enough forward.

Driving position

7.0
The seating position in the RS seems unnaturally high. The flat-bottom steering wheel is of actual use since your knees are close to both it and the dashboard. It's not difficult to adjust to the unique seating position, and there's good visibility. Some editors found the shift lever too low.

Roominess

6.5
Even though the driver sits tight to the steering wheel and the dashboard and the seats hold you firm, the cabin doesn't feels cramped or claustrophobic. Rear passengers won't have much legroom if the driver or front passenger is over 6 feet tall, but headroom and shoulder room won't be an issue.

Visibility

8.0
There's plenty of glass and visibility out of the cabin. Only the view out the back seems a little pinched by a small rear window. The slightly awkward seating position does provide a commanding view of the road ahead. The blind-spot mirror inserts are of questionable value.

Quality

7.5
The RS is generally well screwed together with tight gaps and no discernable rattles or squeaks. But some of the plastics, especially the piece around the touchscreen, are hard, which looks and feels cheap. The RS is still clearly based on an economy hatchback.

Utility

7.5
The Focus RS trades none of its hatchback practicality for capability. Oversized items are easily swallowed, and even though the trunk floor is a little high and there's not a lot of room for larger car seats, this is a usable, everyday performance car.

Small-item storage

6.5
Though there are plenty of places to put things, most of them seem not designed to hold anything specific. Most are slightly too large or too small for a given object and made solely of hard plastic. The rear storage bins outboard of the rear seats are a good example of odd sizing.

Cargo space

8.0
There's plenty of room to load larger items, even if the floor of the trunk isn't very deep. The rear seats are a 60/40-split, making it easy to load in items over 6 feet long. Our only issue involves the cargo cover, which is a bit finicky to remove and reattach.

Child safety seat accommodation

6.0
The LATCH anchors are where you'd expect them but they're difficult to access through the cushions. Larger car seats also might prove to be a bit of a struggle without moving the front seat far forward.

Technology

7.0
Not only is the Focus platform aging, but its tech is also getting a little gray around the temples. Patches to make the RS Apple- and Android-friendly are available but the interface and presentation hold it back. The audio system receives high marks for its power and clarity.

Driver aids

7.5
Stability control and tire-pressure monitoring are standard. The selectable drive modes have varying degrees of traction and stability management built in, but the stability control system can be fully disabled independent of the mode.

Voice control

5.0
Because of the high levels of road noise in the RS, the voice recognition system had a difficult time responding to requests. Requests other than tuning to a radio station usually resulted in looking at the center screen prompts to decipher your options.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Ford Focus RS.

5 star reviews: 50%
4 star reviews: 33%
3 star reviews: 17%
2 star reviews: 0%
1 star reviews: 0%
Average user rating: 4.3 stars based on 6 total reviews

Trending topics in reviews

  • engine
  • handling & steering
  • appearance
  • brakes
  • emission system
  • wheels & tires
  • maintenance & parts
  • interior
  • seats
  • comfort
  • value
  • ride quality
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • sound system
  • transmission
  • steering wheel
  • technology

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars, Super capable Super fun
Joe,
4dr Hatchback AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I’ve waited a long time for the MK to arrive stateside and the 3rd gen doesn’t disappoint. Yes the ride is firm and at times bouncy (new springs will help that). All that dissapears to nothing when you press the throttle and feel a wall of TQ shoving you against the seat. The trick rear drive unit is AMAZING. Wanna pop the back end out a little around that 90 degree turn? Press Drift and apply throttle. So much fun....snow? Even more fun with less $ going up in smoke in the form of tires. The exhaust pops as I slip around corners makes me feel like a WRC driver. A -Mazing. I cart my boys around, do grocery duty then hit a track on the weekend and put up some really good LapTimes all the while grinding. I will NEVER own a FWD sports car again. ...way too much fun with this....

5 out of 5 stars, I traded up.
Gordon Day,
4dr Hatchback AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I traded a 16 ST,for this sexy beast of a vehicle. I could of put a crap-load of money into the ST,but it's still going to be an ST. The awd in this vehicle,outweighs having 500+hp ST. Plus the looks on this vehicle,is soo much better than the ST. The nitrous blue is one sexy looking color. The 2018 Limited Edition,basically the last year of owning an RS,in the usa. I bought the RS for the history,and you'll find alot less RS,than you will an ST. I read about the ride quality,but it isn't as bad once you press that accelerator. The Inside for the price you pay for the vehicle isn't upscale,but I bought the car for the performance. I ain't rich,and 40k is alot more than 22k otd for an ST,but the all around package is well worth it.

3 out of 5 stars, Trade in 2014 ST for 2018 RS
R.T,
4dr Hatchback AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

Con: the ride is horrible, the Sony sound system sounds like boom box, the car is expensive for what it is. Pro: all is forgiven on mountain roads. I traded in my 2014 ST ( a great handling/ sporty daily driver) after 4 yrs. I want to know what's all the hype about the RS, espically the AWD system. The first thing I noticed after delivery was the ride comfort. It is horrible!! It's not the stiffness of the ride, but the tuning. I have my share of "stiff cars", 2000 Acura ITR, 2005 Lotus Elise are among them. Those cars are stiff rides, they went over bumps and would let you know, and moved on. The RS goes over bump, amplified the shock 4-5 times what the bump is, bounds up and down a few times before the suspension settle down. My head feel like the bobbling head figure on dash board. I don't think I can survive in the passenger seat for more then an hour. The Sony sound system is the same as in ST, has not change since then, i.e. Sounds very bad as an upgraded system. The Recaro seat has to be broken in before it can be semi comfy. The RS is expensive for what it is. For the price I paid, I can get almost TWO 2018 ST (with rebates applied). No doubt the acceleration is much better then ST, and I have not fully explore the awd system to see if it's worth the $18k increase vs ST. I could have bought a 2018 ST and save the ~$18k for modification, should be able to match the RS output and performance minus the awd system and the extra weight. The shifting is notchier on my copy of RS vs ST. The price point treaded into BMW/Audi base 3 and 4 series already. I cannot tell if performance is above them yet, but they probably has better interior, and ride compliance. BUT, once goes on back road/ mountain roads, all the above negatives are forgiven. Compared to the ST, the RS turns in/ move out faster on the curves, accelerates faster / effect less, stays betw/ 3and 4 gear instead of 2 and 3 of ST. So far that's all I found out in my RS. On another thought, at the time I was shopping for my RS, if the local Honda dealers had the civic type R with the color I like, I might not be writing this review. Update: Have the car for about 8 months, about 10500 miles, mix in town/ highway driving, just came back from a 1300 mile trip. These are the issues: 1) major issue , sometime last month, during normal driving, rpm surge between gear change ( surge up 2k-4K rpm instead of dropping rpm with clutch down/gas up)!!! Not reproducible every time, went to dealer, test drove, cannot duplicate the issue, ran diagnostics, no code, no issue. They said they can’t don anything. Checks in the forums, it happened in some st and rs!!! 2) the tires are NOISY!!!! Intolerable in 10 hrs driving, they transmit and amplify whatever they contacted with. But they have tons of grip!!!!! 3) the ride is horrible, the pogo stick effect is there, every time it ran over bumps, pot holes, etc, the car hopped up and down a few time before settled down. A few times after lunches, it made me felt I would see the lunches again!! Plan to change the springs, hope that might solve the issue. 4) It’s fun to drive, espically on the back roads!!!!! Nov 2019 update ~23 k miles So far so good, change to mountune sport springs, reduced the pogo stick effect somewhat, still a rough ride, but FUN to drive. Mechanically, replaced the gps/info display unit. ( the gps non responsive and the voice command/response has TIA.) The gas pedal assembly was finally replaced also🙏🏻🙏🏻

5 out of 5 stars, Great car, even with recall for cylinder head
dan wasdahl,
4dr Hatchback AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M)

I upgraded to this from a wrx sti. The handling is superior, with remarkably precise steering. Torque biasing via differential braking makes tight turns at speed a joy. Chassis is well balanced. The car is a joy to drive, almost as fun as my Lotus. Maintenance issues (clutch master cylinder, head gasket recall) have arisen, but were fixed under warranty without difficulty. I would definitely buy one of these again if they continued to make them.

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Features & Specs

4dr Hatchback AWD features & specs
4dr Hatchback AWD
2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M
MPG 19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed manual
Gas
350 hp @ 6000 rpm

See all Used 2018 Ford Focus RS features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the Focus RS models:

Rearview Camera
Shows what's behind you in order to make reversing safer and easier.
Blind-Spot Monitoring
Description: Signals when a vehicle is occupying your blind spot, which makes lane changes safer.
Hill Start Assist
Holds the vehicle in place when stopped on a hill, which prevents you from rolling backward.

NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall4 / 5
Driver4 / 5
Passenger4 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver4 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat4 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
RolloverRating
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover11.1%

FAQ

Is the Ford Focus RS a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 2018 Focus RS both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.6 out of 10. You probably care about Ford Focus RS fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Focus RS gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Ford Focus RS. Learn more
Is the Ford Focus RS reliable?
To determine whether the Ford Focus RS is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Focus RS. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Focus RS's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2018 Ford Focus RS a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2018 Ford Focus RS is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2018 Focus RS and gave it a 7.6 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2018 Focus RS is a good car for you. Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2018 Ford Focus RS?

The least-expensive 2018 Ford Focus RS is the 2018 Ford Focus RS 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $41,120.

Other versions include:

  • 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M) which starts at $41,120
Learn more
What are the different models of Ford Focus RS?
If you're interested in the Ford Focus RS, the next question is, which Focus RS model is right for you? Focus RS variants include 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M). For a full list of Focus RS models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2018 Ford Focus RS

Just when it seemed as though "pocket rockets" — small, powerful, comparatively inexpensive cars with a lot of power — couldn't get any better, here comes the 2018 Ford Focus RS. Though it resembles the standard Ford Focus on which it's based, the Focus RS is a serious performance car, the automotive personification of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

It isn't as though the Focus line didn't already have a performance model. The Focus ST, with 252 horsepower, has already won our acclaim as a fast, fun car with practical appeal. But the Focus RS is a different animal, much more dedicated to performance, to some extent at the expense of practicality.

The Focus RS sports 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that's been turbocharged to put out a muscle-car-worthy 350 horsepower. To make sure all that power can be put to use and kept under control, Ford has fitted the Focus RS with a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system that makes use of electrically controlled differentials. To counteract the blistering acceleration, stopping duty is down to high-performance brakes that resist fade even after prolonged abuse. Adjustable suspension dampers and fat Michelin tires make sure the car stays planted.

Fortunately, buyers don't have to sacrifice practicality or modern amenities for the sake of performance. Inside, the Focus RS comes standard with Ford's Sync 3 system — a marked improvement over Ford's older Sync systems — which allows for features including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, GPS, voice commands and other conveniences. There's a powerful 10-speaker sound system and racing-style seats with a lot of side bolstering. There are also the inherent Focus features such as a roomy hidden compartment beneath the floor of the trunk and a rear seat that can both accommodate adults and fold flat to make space for larger cargo.

That said, the Focus RS is not without drawbacks. It isn't cheap, for one. And this is a complex, moderately high-strung car that can be rough-riding on all but the smoothest roads. The only transmission offered is a six-speed manual; if you want an automatic, you'll have to look elsewhere. But the appeal of the Focus RS is undeniable. If you want the best in hot-hatch performance, let Edmunds help you find just the 2018 Ford Focus RS that you're looking for.

Used 2018 Ford Focus RS Overview

The Used 2018 Ford Focus RS is offered in the following submodels: Focus RS Hatchback. Available styles include 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6M).

What do people think of the 2018 Ford Focus RS?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Ford Focus RS and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Focus RS 4.3 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 Focus RS.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Ford Focus RS and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 Focus RS featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Ford Focus RS?

Which 2018 Ford Focus RSES are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Ford Focus RS for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Ford Focus RS.

Can't find a new 2018 Ford Focus RSs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Ford Focus RS for sale - 3 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $15,376.

Find a new Ford for sale - 2 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $12,516.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Ford Focus RS?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ford lease specials