As with all hot hatches, the RS’s interior is a tweak of the standard model’s.
Which means that while it’s inferior to the plush cabins of the facelifted Audi RS3, Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A 45, it’s better kitted out and more modern than, say, the defunct Renault Mégane RS 275 or the Subaru WRX STi.
The regular Focus underpinnings – and the five doors that come with it – guarantee a respectable level of practicality.
The encumbrance of an all-wheel drive system underneath hasn’t reduced the car’s ability to carry adults, although the boot volume is slightly reduced by the more sophisticated rear axle.
The RS gets a new, nicely proportioned flat-bottomed steering wheel, alloy pedals, slightly different instrument graphics and a lot of blue stitching. It also wears the same bank of gauges atop the dash as the ST.
The most notable additions are the front seats, either in the shape of the standard, part-leather sports seats or (as with our test car) the optional Signature RS Recaro ‘shell’ versions. These are fairly splendid, although they commit a familiar Focus sin by not descending nearly low enough towards the floor. Given the amount of criticism levelled at the previous generation for not offering a likeable driving position, the mistake’s repetition irks somewhat.