New Ford Focus ST vs Honda Civic Type R

Ford and Honda are both experts at making entertaining hot hatchbacks. But does the latest Focus ST have what it takes to topple the brilliant Civic Type R?...

Ford Focus ST rear seats

Space and practicality

Front space, rear space, seating flexibility, boot

Next to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Hyundai i30N and Renault Mégane RS, these two are among the most practical hot hatches on sale. Front leg and head room are generous in both, and they have plenty of storage space for cups, keys and phones.

They’re both roomy in the rear seats, too, although 6ft-plus adults will be slightly happier in the ST (there’s a little more head and leg room). If you’re carrying three rear passengers, there’s no contest: the Type R has only two rear seatbelts, so by default the ST is better; three abreast will fit relatively easily.

Honda Civic Type R rear seats

The Type R pulls it back on boot space, though. Because the ST comes with a subwoofer for the sound system that lives under its boot floor, the luggage bay is smaller than that of the regular Focus. It can hold just five suitcases, while the Type R can swallow seven. You only get a flimsy tonneau cover on the Type R, though, whereas the ST provides a solid parcel shelf.

Ford Focus ST boot

Front leg room is generous in both cars. With a panoramic glass roof (£995) fitted, the ST has less head room, but six-footers will still be fine. There’s loads of rear seat space, but the boot is hampered by a space-zapping subwoofer.

Boot 273-1250 litres  Suitcases 5

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R boot

Both cars offer plenty of storage in the front for cups, bottles and odds and ends. The Type R isn’t as good in the rear, with less head room and only two rear seatbelts (so it’s a four-seater only). Boot is much bigger, though.

Boot 420-1209 litres Suitcases 7

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