Our review of the Ford Focus RS is top of the charts on autocar.co.uk for the second week in a row
29 January 2016

The long-awaited third-generation Ford Focus RS has taken top spot for the second time in a row for the most-viewed reviews on Autocar for the week ending 29 January. Read below to find out what joined it in the top five.

1 – Ford Focus RS

Taking top spot for the second week in a row is the highly anticipated Ford Focus RS, which we finally got behind the wheel of after numerous teasers and passenger rides. Out at Ford’s test facility in Lommel, Belgium, we got the chance to test the new Focus RS’s much-hyped credentials and, without spoiling the review, it didn’t disappoint.

Equipped with the same turbocharged 2.3-litre Ecoboost engine found in the Mustang, the new hot Focus has 345bhp at its disposal and 325lb ft, which can be increased to 347lb ft on overboost. So power in Ford’s latest hot hatch isn't an issue, but does it have the handling to match?

The new performance Ford creation gives the driver four driving modes to choose from, with Sport and Normal adjusting the ride and handling characteristics, while Track mode gets a bit more serious. But when Drift mode is selected it turns this four-wheel-drive car tail-happy, with 80% of the power being sent to the rear wheels.

Enough spouting on about the headlines, find out how we got on trying to tame this new Focus RS on the track.

2 – Jaguar F-Pace

Another highly anticipated car maintains its place in second on our most read reviews for this week, and it's a change of pace as we get behind the wheel of Jaguar’s first SUV, the F-Pace.

This was no grand tour or jaunt on twisting and winding roads, however. Instead, our first taste of the new F-Pace was on a frozen lake in Sweden, equipped with winter tyres, an all-wheel-drive system and Jaguar’s supercharged V6 3.0-litre petrol engine. This was going to be an experience not to forget.

Jaguar has placed the bar very high with the F-Pace by targeting the interior quality of the Audi Q5 and the handling characteristics of the Porsche Macan, the arrival of which pushed the F-Pace’s development progress back, and all while holding onto some of that Jaguar magic.

Read our first thoughts on the Jaguar F-Pace as we tackle the snow and ice in Scandinavia.

3 – Genesis G90

Third in the list is the first vehicle to be produced under Hyundai’s new flagship Genesis brand – the full-sized limousine G90.

This luxury saloon has been designed to take on the German powerhouses that dominate this sector in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series, but for the time being the G90 is primarily aimed at the American, Middle Eastern and Korean markets, with plans to spread into Europe in due course.

Equipped with a V8, the Hyundai’s Prestige Design Division acquired the help of ex-Audi man Peter Schreyer to design the G90, with the Genesis range soon to populated with G80 and G70 variants, a mid-sized coupé and two SUVs.

Find out how the £68,000, 420bhp V8-engined limo G90 measures up to the stiff competition in this luxury sector.

4 – Audi Q7 3.0 TDI 218

The largest SUV in Audi’s range has added a new engine to its line-up, which we are testing here.

The entry-level 268bhp 3.0-litre V6 diesel can still pull this two-tonne-plus behemoth to 130mph, but it doesn’t mean it misses out on any of the technological advancements, refinement and comfort that its more powerful sibling enjoys.

Although it isn’t as sprightly and can seem a little breathless when stretched, Audi has compensated by engineering the auto ’box to select the correct ratios to ensure the Q7 has peak torque when overtaking.

Enough wittering on, find out if this entry-level Audi Q7 has enough grunt and ability to be considered a worthy addition to the range.

5 – Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Last on the list this week is the facelifted fourth-generation Toyota RAV4, and its new hybrid addition, with this version sharing the same powertrain set-up as its plusher cousin, the Lexus NX300h.

This means the Toyota benefits from the 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, with the two-wheel-drive entry-level version coming with an electric motor at the front, while four-wheel-drive version features a seond electric motor, this one mounted at the rear. 

Despite the addition of the hybrid technology and the additional 105kg weight penalty with which it comes (an added 170kg in four-wheel-drive form), it doesn’t affect its 0-62mph time, which stands at 8.4sec, making it quicker than the revised 2.0-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel versions of the RAV4.

We test the hybrid Toyota RAV4 to see if it's a viable addition to the facelifted fourth generation’s range.

Read more Autocar reviews here.

Our Verdict

Ford Focus RS

Is Ford’s new AWD mega-hatch Focus RS as special as we first thought? And can it beat off stiff competition from the Volkswagen Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A45?

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