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Car and Driver Comparison: Focus RS vs STI vs Golf R

4894 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Grimlock
I found this comparison on another board and figured I would share. Car and Driver just published a comparison between the Focus RS, the Golf R and the Subaru STI.

They tested all of them in France and all of them were manuals (no DSG for the VW).

C&D's rankings:

1. Focus RS
2. Golf R
3. STI

Cliff notes:

-Focus RS isn't quite as quick as some were speculating for having a claimed 350hp... as a matter of fact, the manual Golf R tied it for the highest 1/4 mile trap speed at 105mph despite being rated at only 292hp. The Golf R is lighter than the FoRS by about ~150 lbs, but the extra 58hp should have translated into a higher trap speed in my book. The FoRS only trapped 1mph higher than the STI (104mph) despite having a nearly identical curb weight and extra claimed 45hp. It'll be interesting to see what kind of numbers the FoRS is actually putting down on a dyno.

-As per C&D: STI was the most raw car. Golf R was the nicest and easiest to live with. Focus RS was rated somewhere between the 2 and seemed to be the most fun/exciting.

-Golf R is the lightest car here by a decent margin (150+ lbs).

-Judging by the rolling start (5-60mph) test and the top gear acceleration tests, the Focus RS and Golf R seem to have motors that are much more flexible that the STI's old EJ25 (read: less turbo lag).


Focus RS:
0-30mph= 1.5
0-60mph= 4.6
0-100mph= 12.2
0-110= 14.4
¼ mile= [email protected]
5-60= 5.7
Top Gear 30-50= 7.6
Top Gear 50-70= 6.0
Top Speed= 165
Braking 70-0= 158 ft
Skidpad= 0.98g
Slalom= 43.6mph
Curb Weight= 3459 lbs


0-30mph= 1.4
0-60mph= 4.7
0-100mph= 12.0
0-110= 16.0
¼ mile= [email protected]
5-60= 6.7
Top Gear 30-50= 10.8
Top Gear 50-70= 7.8
Top Speed= 159
Braking 70-0= 159 ft
Skidpad= 0.90g
Slalom= 42.4mph
Curb Weight= 3456 lbs

Golf R:

0-30mph= 1.5
0-60mph= 5.1
0-100mph= 11.8
0-110= 15.3
¼ mile= [email protected]
5-60= 6.1
Top Gear 30-50= 7.3
Top Gear 50-70= 5.9
Top Speed= 153mph
Braking 70-0= 153
Skidpad= 0.95g
Slalom= 43.5mph
Curb Weight= 3292 lbs

Just figured I would share.



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The STI may be faster accelerating from a dead stop but the Focus RS performs better once you've got it going. I guess it largely depends on your driving style and where you're more heavy footed.

Great review!
Great review, thanks for posting it.

The R type with the DSG is not rewarding from a drivers point of view. I tested one last year and came away thing the car had no soul. I owned an RS 4x4 Cosworth for nine years and that had soul, put your foot down going in to a corner and it was just as if it was on rails.

The R type is a nice car but lacks driver feedback.
Sounds like the Focus RS is the way to go for those really into the least annoying of the three, the smoothest you can go. The rest are shaping up to be more for the enthusiast or those that have a burning need to go Subaru or VW. Will be interesting to see how that view holds up with the more reviews that get their hands on these.
so the Gold R is basically a soul crushing ride that'll get you from point a to point b while the STI makes you feel every bump on the road.
A somewhat disappointing review based on the numbers. It's looking to me that if you want the quickest car, you buy a Golf R with the DSG. Not to mention the Golf R has the best interior. So if you use normal logic, the Golf R with DSG is the one to buy, hands down. That being said, I think the RS looks WAY better, and will be much more fun to drive. So, I'll be making the passionate decision and going with the RS.
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