Time to trade in the family wagon?
Ford Focus RS: Greeted with more enthusiasm than the much-delayed Second Coming, the Focus RS goes four- wheel drive for better traction with rally fantasists. First RS with Ecoboost power, but don’t tell anyone.
Honda Civic Type R GT: Soon to die a glorious death but going out fighting. First Type R turbocharged VTEC wrapped in a Boeing factory’s annual output, with underlying sensible Civic core intact. Sort of.
Cheap as chips or sell the kids?
Ford Focus RS: Expensive for a Ford but cheap for a 165mph hot hatch. £31k will get your bum on the standard seats but £1145 delivers Recaro chairs that acquaint your head with the ceiling.
Honda Civic Type R GT: Strong on bang for buck in GT form with only mildly-tarting options available. You can’t buy four-wheel drive or an auto ‘box at any price, but yoof respect comes free of charge.
Everything in its place or waste of space?
Ford Focus RS: You can fit a family in here without recourse to a shoehorn. Adults won’t enjoy sitting behind the mighty shelled buckets unless they’re big into Ninja Turtle fantasies.
Honda Civic Type R GT: Big front seats suck up space but Type R will still swallow hard. Weirdly, rear seat only has two belts so place least-favourite child in the middle.
Luxury palace or Crystal Palace?
Ford Focus RS: Mid-table for the RS. A decent haul of kit but it smacks of S-Max in here, with sturdy rather than lovely materials. Handy if you’re planning on Loebing it around.
Honda Civic Type R GT: Plastics now feeling a bit London rather than Rio although no shortage of tech. Sat-nav one to hide from your mates. Red seats very much a matter of taste, or lack thereof.
Nuclear powerstation or lacking motivation?
Ford Focus RS: Mustang-derived 2.3 Ecoboost gets Cosworth intervention to give a strong and vocal 345bhp, forum bragging rights and 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds. Expect to have your sexuality challenged at every red light.
Honda Civic Type R GT: Turbo and VTEC like a match made on Blind Date; you wouldn’t naturally put them together but somehow it works out a week later. Grunty, spikey, likely to live on.
Handles on rails or railing on the handles?
Ford Focus RS: No Ed Balls mode but the Focus RS can tango as well as rhumba. Hates understeer, grips like a rejected adoptee in Track mode and will even engage Drift. Serious.
Honda Civic Type R GT: Front wheels rarely short of something to do while rears always keen to get involved. R+ mode needs the right conditions. Never dull, not for the soft of behind.
Ford Focus RS
Engine: 2261cc turbo 4-cyl
Power: 345bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque: 347lb ft @ 2000rpm
Transmission: six-speed automatic with manual, four-wheel drive
Top speed: 165mph
On sale: Now
Honda Civic Type R GT
Engine: 1996cc turbo 4-cyl
Power: 306bhp @ 6500rpm
Torque: 295lb ft @ 2500rpm
Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Top speed: 168mph
On sale: Now