Comparison of the Ford Focus ST vs Skoda Octavia RS. Who said routine?
With a lot of power and driving fun, the truth is that the Ford Focus ST and the Skoda Octavia RS are not very rational cars in these times. They are bought with the heart, rather than the head.
And it is that powerful sedans, race sports and large and heavy SUV somehow do not quite fit with the times. The same happens if a compactIn principle, a car more in line with what is fashionable today, you put a powerful engine into it and inject it with high doses of sportiness.
But sometimes, being politically correct is very addictive.
In daily use, the Skoda scores a lot
In its fourth generation, this Skoda is based on a two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 245 hp. The Focus gives it another twist with 280 hp from a 2.3-liter.
Still, despite its brutal horsepower, the Ford looks pretty understated with its classic compact trim. Something similar happens with the Skoda, more accentuated if possible by its third volume, which gives it the appearance of a bourgeois saloon. It’s no wonder the Czech is a bigger segment on the inside.
Above all, because Skoda engineers are the great masters of optimal use of space and get a few more millimeters everywhere. With between 600 and 1,555 liters, the boot is a marvel for those who like to travel with a lot of luggage on their shoulders.
By getting to steering wheel, we have to admit that we have been somewhat disappointed in both cases. Aside from the sports seats and some lettering that betrays what we’re up to, there’s a somewhat gray, mass-production atmosphere here.
Ford’s sound is extremely promising
Especially on Skoda, acronyms RS they have degenerated into an equipment line, while this extremely “sharp” Focus ST is allowed to be the successor to the earlier, much more agile RS (not to be confused with Skoda!).
The confidence that the ST worthily represents the great legacy of the RS is evident immediately after hitting the contact and driving the first few meters. The Focus acoustically marks its territory with a loud roar and a lot of sizzle.
And it’s honestly a sound generated by a big engine and a real sports exhaust system, without artifice. All of this encourages you to drive sporty.
The Octavia is completely different. Your TSI runs quiet, and uses the loudspeaker trick, from which comes a noise that sounds, somehow, like a vacuum cleaner with bearing damage. That is an insult to any driver with gasoline in his veins.
This can be permanently configured in the driving mode individualized, but it must be activated over and over again, which further redounds to that feeling of artifice.
And it’s a shame, because the Skoda’s engine runs excellent. It hangs very well on the throttle in combination with the optional 7-speed DSG, and drives the Octavia RS fiercely.
The steering is precise and linear response, not too nervous. The chassis responds to corners taken too fast with predictable and controllable understeer at all times.
The standard adaptive dampers respond well in all areas, whether you want relaxed cruising or determined driving through curvy sections. They offer a wide variety between smooth and firm, but they never go rough. An aspect that is difficult to beat in terms of Balance.
If we talk about sportsmanship, the Focus is ahead
When we put the pedal to the metal, in terms of sheer acceleration, it quickly leaves its rival behind. Anchored to the seat Recaro bucket type, the car and the driver become a single unit.
Stretchy and pointed, it goes with overwhelming agility through any type of curve, and allows deft play to the limit with the rear: the ESP leaves plenty of room for fun.
The steering, which once seemed a bit nervous to us, now offers that little more precision that ultimately decides fast lap times. The six-speed manual gearbox It may seem old-fashioned, but for us it is perfect in touch, travel and precision. The gradation is correct, the gear lever searches for the next gear almost by itself.
Can there be more fun than driving the Ford Focus ST? Just in this category. The fact that you bounce off cobblestone streets, consume more and offer less space thatEu the Skoda will probably only bring a condescending smile to those who prioritize pure driving.
And on the other hand, the Focus ST turns out to be a real bargain compared to the Octavia RS: In the end, the Czech test car is over 6,000 euros more expensive than its rival. Disappointing in both cases – only a two-year warranty.
The Skoda Octavia RS wins if we stick to the cold points. Plenty of room, superbly motorized, huge boot, chassis very versatile and balanced. But a disappointing sound for sporty drivers, and more expensive.
The Ford Focus ST It has a much wilder spirit, it allows you to roll at a high speed in a controlled way, it has an outstanding engine with overflowing power, seats with superb grip and, in short, a captivating behavior for those seeking strong emotions.
Louis meyer April 3, 2021 – 09: 55h