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Ford Focus RS vs Ford Focus ST: How do these Ford Focus models compare?

The Ford Focus RS and Focus ST are both high-performance hatchback Ford Focus models, but they have a number of differences. One is a performance while the other is more of an everyday car designed to combine sport with commuting.

When choosing between the two models, the best car for you will depend on your needs and the features and benefits you’re looking to get out of the car. Both of these cars are different so this guide will compare both Ford Focus models.

In this guide:

This section discusses the differences between the Ford Focus RS and Ford Focus ST.

Learn more about the exterior specifications of both car models.

Find out more about the performance of both the Ford Focus RS and Ford Focus ST.

This section discusses the available options available when buying a Ford Focus RS or Ford Focus ST.

Learn more about the interior features you can expect when buying a Ford Focus RS or Ford Focus ST.

Ford Focus RS vs Ford Focus ST: A comparison

Currently the Ford Focus RS is only available as a used model, with the latest model being the 2018 hyper-hatch. A new Focus RS is currently scheduled for launch in 2022. The Ford Focus ST launched in 2009 with its latest incarnation being the 2020 version which is available as new.

The Ford Focus RS was designed to offer a high-performance car to regular road users with more aggressive sports styling than other models. While the design of the car is similar to others in the Ford Focus range but provides four-wheel drive and much higher performance than any other Focus on the market.

The Ford Focus ST is another car within the Ford Focus range that was designed to offer higher performance and a fast Ford with the same standard design as other Ford Focus models. ST stands for sports technologies and is something that has also been added to the Ford Fiesta ST and Ford Mondeo ST too.

Exterior specifications

Let’s compare the exterior features on both cars to see the differences and similarities between the two:

Alloy wheels

The Ford Focus and Focus RS have subtle differences in the exterior appearance. They both have the same foot print but the Focus RS rises a little higher than the Focus ST due to its 19” alloy wheel additions in comparison to the 18” alloys that can be found on the Ford Focus ST.

Front grille

Once you move to the front end of the car, you can really start to see the differences between the two models.

The Focus ST has a larger, honeycomb grille than a standard Ford Focus model. However, the Ford Focus RS sports a more aggressive grille.


The headlight on these cars match up as the same but the Focus RS features vertical front fog lights as opposed to the levelled up ones on the Focus ST.


The Ford Focus ST has a smaller spoiler to match its tamer body kit. That compares to a big rear wing on the Focus RS which adorns its angular, standout rear end. The Focus RS body kit presents a more obvious speedster style all-round than the Focus ST’s more rounded lines and offers performance parts to suit the speed of the car.


As can be expected, both the Focus ST and the Focus RS feature more powerful Ford performance engines than the other models in the Ford Focus range.


Ford Focus ST

Ford Focus RS


2.3L EcoBoost engine

2.3L EcoBoost Turbo




Top speed




5.9 seconds

4.5 seconds

Engine options

The Ford Focus ST is available in both petrol and diesel variants. The diesel engine provides 187hp (horsepower) while the petrol version offers 276hp.

The 2020 Ford Focus ST model added the biggest engine to feature in the range. New Ford Focus ST models are now available with a 2.3-litre EcoBoost, all-aluminium engine with advanced turbo technology. This gives the car a power output of 280 PS and delivers 0-60mph in less than six seconds.

On the other hand, the Ford Focus RS provides 350hp and a 2.3-litre engine. This eclipses the likes of the Golf GTI and Megane RS models.


In terms of mpg (miles per gallon) the Ford Focus ST offers 35.8mpg in comparison to the Ford Focus RS which provides 36.7mpg.

Interior features

When looking inside both models, you will find that they look very similar.

Both are available with branded, body-hugging Recaro seats. If you opt for a Ford Focus RS2, Miko Ultrasuede inserts are included for a premium appearance and feel.

Both the Focus RS and Focus ST offer highly usable cabins and two adults can sit in the back with sufficient comfort. The rear 60/40 seats fold completely flat.

Most of the latest Focus RS and Focus ST models feature a 4.2-inch central display screen which provides access to the infotainment system, a rearview camera, Sync voice controls, with Bluetooth and Apple/Android compatibility.


An all-new 2020 Ford Focus ST retails at £28,450. For used models, you can expect to pay around £23,000 for very low mileage examples.

To find out more about our range of new Ford Focus ST models costs, and available deals or finance please click here.

Ford Options representative example

Ford Focus ST Offer

Please contact your local dealership today to find out more about new and used Fodd Focus ST models.

Older Ford Focus RS models start at around £12,000 for a 2009 model, nearing £25,000 for the very best examples on the used car market.

Click here to find out more about our range of used Ford Focus RS models or, contact your local dealership to find out more.

The Verdict

When it comes to the Ford Focus RS vs ST, there is no winner. These two are a pair which appear comparable at a glance but delve a little deeper and they're intended to be very different. The Focus RS haunches itself down at the performance end of the hot hatch spectrum while the ST is a sports cruiser meant for the commuter who seeks a weekend thrill.

The car you choose will depend on your own needs and budget so the above comparison should help you to see the key similarities and differences between the two models.

If you’d like to find out more about either of these models, please get in touch with your local TC Harrison Ford dealership today.