On the twelfth day of Christmas

On this the final day of our 12 rides of Christmas, my choice for the overall best ride of 2016 was easy. In part, it’s because this is most likely the perfect vehicle for Santa to use as he jets around the world in 24 hours delivering presents to all the good boys and girls. It offers room for both Mr. and Mrs. Claus, so she can actually go along for a change, plus being a hatchback; it holds a ton of cargo.

But the main reason it just might be the best sleigh upgrade money can buy is the way it performs. Fast on its feet and nimble in the corners, the only thing my test vehicle needed is bright red paint (not currently available) instead of the brighter than Rudolf’s nose, Nitrous Blue. Of course I am talking about the 2016 Ford Focus RS.

The long awaited RS has finally come to North America and it doesn’t disappoint. Power comes in the form of a 2.3L EcoBoost I4 turbocharged engine. It delivers 350 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 350 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 rpm when using 93 octane fuel. Matched to a 6-speed manual transmission, 0-100 km/h takes just 4.7 seconds. This puts the RS ahead of its main rivals the Volkswagen Golf R and Subaru WRS STi by .4 and .2 seconds respectively. Combined fuel economy is rated at 10.9 L/100 km, which given the power is more than respectable.

Outside, the Focus RS looks menacing and yet somehow inviting. The rear spoiler is stamped with the RS logo, a nice touch that adds to its racy appearance. The blacked out front grille, lower front and rear air diffusers, front fog light surrounds and multi-spoke wheels finish off the look. Inside, suede and leather Recaro seats highlight colour matched stitching and enough support to keep any jolly old elf coddled during hard cornering. In fact, after a few hours it is a good idea to get out and stretch as the seats are stiff, but the overall design is a perfect match for the power and performance.

Topping things off, the 2016 Focus RS is all-wheel drive, so getting anywhere in a hurry is pretty much a given. Switching to winter tires, as soon as the snow flies, should make the RS more fun that herd of feisty reindeer. Dear Santa, my earlier recommendation of the Subaru WRX still stands as a great choice, but if you want to take if over-the-top, the 2017 Ford Focus RS is the car for you!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Related links:

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