In case you missed the hint, £31,000 is very reasonable for the sort of trick product Ford has delivered. When Audi re-engineered the A1 to take the S-badged car’s driven rear axle, it raised the price of the car by a fifth; here, the jump from top-spec Focus ST is far more reasonable, despite the RS being hugely more capable.
The cars most buyers would cite as rivals – Mercedes-AMG A45, Audi RS3 – are, at best, £10k more expensive, while the Volkswagen Golf R, which is the closest rival in many respects, starts at £31,125.
Mechanically, there are no options that make a notable difference the RS. But we would suggest opting for the sportiest seats and uprated stereo/nav in the interest of bolstering the resale value; otherwise, fill your boots.
The Golf R does possibly make more sense in associated running costs.
In our hands, the 2.3-litre Ecoboost proved to be, at times, colossally thirsty. We recorded an overall average (based on the trip computer) of just 19.1mpg, with a touring result of 27.4mpg.
The VW, tested in much the same way, managed 28.7mpg and 33.7mpg respectively.