2016 Volkswagen Golf R vs 2016 Ford Focus RS

Performance junkies are always looking for the latest when it comes to hot hatches offering up some serious performance specs. There’s no denying the competition is getting fierce for VW, and while there are many rumors about future performance models form the German automaker, but we have to look at what’s on the market today. This year Ford has created a model that could prove itself appealing, but comparing the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R vs 2016 Ford Focus RS, you may still find it’s a matter of preference. Stylistically, the 2016 Ford Focus RS comes with distinct angles in the front end, which may look more aggressive to some, while those accustomed to the subtlety of the Golf may prefer the understated design of the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R. Either way, design is just one factor.

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2016 Volkswagen Golf R vs 2016 Ford Focus RS
292-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four Engine Specs 350-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo four
4.9 seconds 0-60 4.7 seconds
22.8 cu. ft. seats upright / 52.7 cu. ft. seats folded Cargo Capacity 19.9 cu. ft. seats upright / 43.8 cu. ft. seats folded
93.5 cu. ft. Passenger Volume 90 cu. ft.

Choosing between the 2016 VW Golf R vs 2016 Ford Focus RS

For power junkies, the answer may be obvious, and it’s not immediately looking like VW will earn favoritism. Volkswagen fans shouldn’t be too concerned, however, as numbers on a screen may not equate strong differences when it comes to actual test drives. There can be no doubt performance hatchbacks center on their specs, but for all its extra horsepower, the Golf R still manages to compete. When it comes to acceleration times, the Focus RS naturally noses ahead, but for all it has under its hood, its acceleration is only .2 seconds faster than the Golf R when equipped with the DSG transmission. It’s true they both come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but the 2016 Ford Focus RS doesn’t include an automatic as an option. Perhaps everyone should know how to drive a manual, but that doesn’t mean they do.

We won’t pretend you’re comparing these models for purely practical reasons, but there are still some benefits the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R offers over the 2016 Ford Focus RS. Mainly, the interior quality far surpasses what Ford is offering. For the price, the Focus RS is nice, there’s no denying that, but reviews already suggest its economy heritage is still a bit obvious. The Golf R has shed this for a feeling of complete luxury, from its leather-trimmed, heated front seats and the premium fit of soft-touch materials. For the cost, which dips below the MSRP of the Ford, it feels like you’re getting much more for your money. It also doesn’t help that the Recaro seats in the Ford Focus RS are notoriously uncomfortable, making it a fun drive to zip around a track, but not for your daily commute.

When it comes to the practical aspects of long term ownership, the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R has many benefits. It’s roomier for both passengers and cargo, which may be especially noted by taller drivers. It also has the MIB II infotainment system, which is far more impressive than the SYNC 3, which still does not include Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration. Finally, the corrosion warranty is for 12 years / 120,000 miles, so you’ll be driving in style for far longer compared to the five-year warranty offered from Ford.

2016 VW Golf R MIB II Infotainment
2016 VW Golf R Interior
2016 Volkswagen Golf R Logo Leather Seats
2016 VW Golf R Hatchback body style

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