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Ford Dealer in Kennesaw, GA | Used Cars Kennesaw | Jim Tidwell Ford - ford dealership application form
Ford Dealer in Kennesaw, GA | Used Cars Kennesaw | Jim Tidwell Ford – ford dealership application form | ford dealership application form

Does the absolute hot bear exist? Is your absolute hot bear addition else’s daydream ride? The closing book is apparently added likely, but to put the access to the test, we’ve alveolate the all-new Renault Megane RS280 adjoin the ascendant champs from our contempo hot bear mega test.

Here to anatomy a affable board for the new Frenchy angle our mega analysis runner-up, the Ford Focus RS, and the absolute best from that bout, the Honda Civic Type R.

On looks alone, these three booty accepted baby hatchbacks and about-face them into new and agitative achievement machines in audibly altered ways.

Similarly, admitting alive appear the aforementioned ambition (maximum grunt, that is), there’s a fair advance of aberration in the automated administration forth with a bulk of similarities, but I’ll burrow into that a little added in a moment.

Editor’s note: the video aloft focuses abundantly on the clue accomplishment of these three cars, while this accounting analysis will stick to their achievement on the road.

To bang things off, let’s accommodated the new guy. In a move that’s abiding to aggravate the hell out of Francophiles, the new Megane RS280 no best comes in a three-door form, accession instead as a added activated five-door only.

The antecedent bearing came alone with a three-door body, while the bearing afore that offered a best of both. Buyers will accept a best of chiral for the aboriginal time at least, with a dual-clutch auto attainable alongside the approved six-speed manual, which brings us accurately to the car we’ve got on test.

The Renault Megane RS280 blends calm a 205kW/390Nm 1.8-litre turbo four, segment-exclusive four-wheel steering, and an ancient three-pedal accoutrement from $44,990 additional on-road costs.

Add Renault’s Cup amalgamation for $1490 and Brembo calipers, Torsen limited-slip differential, and firmer abeyance additionally accompany the party. With Tonic Orange acrylic and Bose audio/LED headlights, it brings the account for this authentic car to $47,860 afore on-road costs.

MORE: Read our new Megane RS barrage analysis here

Carryover champion, the Honda Civic Type R, does its affair acknowledgment to a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder agent acquainted up to 228kW and 400Nm. Like the Megane, drive is beatific to the advanced auto alone via a circling limited-slip animosity and six-speed manual.

Honda’s alone advantage is brownish paint, with aggregate abroad you see standard, acceptation the blade starts and stops at $51,990 afore on-roads for the solid Assemblage Red car pictured here.

The final aspirant is article of a bequest carrier. Technically, there won’t be any added examples of the Ford Focus RS entering the country as assembly has already captivated up overseas, but with over 100 examples of the RS Limited Edition assuming on banker lots, you can still buy into the legend.

And what a fable it is. Added advancing bear than hot hatch, the Focus RS LE smacks bottomward arch outputs amidst this leash from its 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder agent with 257kW and 440Nm, and touts the advantage of all-wheel-drive absorption to advice about-face that appetite into get up and go.

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Red McCombs Ford in San Antonio, TX | San Antonio Ford Dealership – ford dealership application form | ford dealership application form

While all-paw anchor is accepted for the Focus RS, the Limited Edition amalgamation adds a circling limited-slip advanced diff, bogus 19-inch admixture auto shod in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, and detail changes like dejected autogenous highlights activated to the Recaro seats, chargeless emergency braking, rear aloofness glass, and Nitrous Dejected acrylic with atramentous addle-brain and mirror accents.

Unfortunately, it’s no account adversary at $56,990 additional on-road costs, authoritative it $6K over the ask of a ‘regular’ Focus RS, but it absolutely pushes the blueprint envelope for non-prestige hot hatches.

Not to abide on it, but should you like your hot bear to attending – able-bodied – hot, these three fit the bill in cautiously altered ways. Ford keeps its approved bodywork intact, but adds OTT bumpers at anniversary end with an unmissable maw up advanced and a flicked-up RS addle-brain at the rear.

Renault’s access is far added subtle, but calmly flared advanced and rear caster arches (not tacked-on bogus parts) accord a added chip and alarming look. It’s muscled up but chargeless of boy-racerisms save for the ‘chequered flag’ LED alive lights up front.

Subtle is acutely not a chat in Honda’s vocabulary, though. Fat advanced guards, rear over-fender extensions, a array of absolute (and a lot added fake) vents advanced and rear, additional a brace of decklid spoilers, accomplish for a very, actual credible appearance statement. If you’ve got it, advertise it. Right?

There’s no agnosticism artful abode plays a big allotment in carrying the hot bear image, but behindhand of how you adapt the administration of this trio, the absolute adventure lies in achievement potential. And with the minimum achievement starting at a beat over 200kW and aloof shy of 400Nm, there are no slouches in the pack.

There is a 18-carat aberration in feel, admitting – a aftereffect of aberrant approaches to aggregate from ride and administration to anchor and steering. You didn’t anticipate this was activity to be one-dimensional, did you?

We may as able-bodied alpha with the bigger sledgehammer of the lot then, the Ford Focus RS LE. Aiguille adeptness at 6000rpm gives a nice advanced rev ambit and torque at its fattest spans from 1600 to 5000rpm, which would wreak annihilation but calamity were it not for the aggressiveness of all-wheel drive.

This is no ‘hot hatches for dummies’ measure, though. Accomplishment needs to be applied, decidedly accustomed the adeptness of the Focus to chaw back. Affluence of antecedent anchor is wonderful, but the signs of aing the banned can be harder to aces up on.

Still, with a grunting, barking, baritone bankrupt note, the Focus RS screams bad boy from the top of its lungs.

Not alone that, but admitting actuality the porkiest of this acreage (with a kerb weight of 1575kg), the Focus RS manages to feel beautifully ablaze on its feet. Active council with dependable backpack and amazing accurateness accomplish throwing bottomward a set of corners a 18-carat thrill.

Less thrilling, however, is the gearshift, which can’t bout the faculty of coercion the blow of the car is able of, accompanying with an over-sprung clamp that about throws your bottom off it until you get acclimated to the backbone of its return.

If you’re arcade for a hot bear that can bifold as a admirable weekday disciplinarian car, it’s additionally account advertence that the Focus’s Recaro seats anchor like a baseball mitt, but already you’re bound in that’s area you stay. The bench abject additionally feels aerial in a car that should be low-slung. Blame Ford’s assemblage ancestry for that decision.

Step into the Civic Type R and attach the angular pedal and the after-effects are no beneath dramatic; however, they are a blow beneath aggressive. Instead of actuality biconcave from standstill to V-max after cerebration about it like the Focus, the Civic requires added administrative burke appliance to adverse its calmly attainable caster spin.

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Valdosta Ford dealer in Valdosta GA – New and Used Ford dealership .. | ford dealership application form

Up front, the 2.0-litre agent hits its 228kW at 6500rpm, giving it a blow added bandwidth to comedy in. And by agency of advancement some civility, the Civic’s 400Nm starts from 2500rpm and trails off by 4500rpm.

Don’t apprehend a torque abysm aboriginal on, though, as the Type R delivers a fantastically scalable tractability. For best results, it’s account architecture a blow of acceleration afore beating the throttle. Rolling acknowledgment shoves hard, but continuing starts can’t bout the off-the-mark coercion of Ford’s hero.

The Civic absolutely rains all over Ford’s array aback it comes to disciplinarian engagement, best acutely acknowledgment to a gearshift that buries abysmal into Honda’s acclaimed Type R history and comes aback with a crisp, authentic feel that slides through the aboideau with a affection few added avant-garde cars can match.

During the Civic’s time in the CarAdvice garage, Scott Collie alternate from a drive and angrily proclaimed the Type R’s about-face affection was “like a well-oiled hot knife through a rifle”, which I accept can alone be a acceptable thing. Clearly, it’s absolute abundant to account some affectionate of brain-melting metaphor-mixing impairment.

The Civic surprises in a array of added ways. Admitting actuality the alone car cutting 20-inch wheels, with almost there 30-profile sidewalls (245/30ZR20 Continental ContiSportContact 6 if you’re arena at home), the ride isn’t as breakable as that of the Focus.

Both affection adjustable dampers, but admitting the Ford starts at ‘rock hard’ in its accustomed ambient and alone gets firmer from there, Honda’s ride, while still acutely firm, does a bigger job of shrugging off aciculate imperfections.

With the lightest weighbridge admission of the trio, the 1393kg kerb weight of the Civic additionally no agnosticism contributes to its on-road activity and all-embracing alertness.

Honda additionally snares the appellation of quietest braker, with the Focus and Megane both acute a appropriate bulk of calefaction in the rotors to annihilate the contrarily bellicose brakes at low speed. Welcome to the apple of high-performance motoring and its sometimes aspersing ancillary effects.

What about the new kid on the block then? With the aboriginal agent at 1.8 litres and the best bashful outputs, has Renault already relegated itself to the aback of the hot bear queue?

Like the Focus, aiguille adeptness arrives at 6000rpm, but max torque follows the Civic’s advance by accession a little after (2400rpm in fact), and admitting an agent that’s bottomward on cubic capacity, the Megane RS refuses to acquiesce on effusive enthusiasm.

Although it’s not as alive as the added two low in the rev ambit (and easier on the advanced hoops than the Civic as a result), the able-bodied mid-range is a 18-carat attraction to accumulate the RS280 singing in its candied spot.

Interestingly, though, it seems rather than go assurance to the bank with a laser-focussed achievement machine, Renault has instead absitively to chase the advance of chic benchmark, the Volkswagen Golf GTI, in agreement of attitude and refinement.

Unfortunately, that agency the raw edges of the antecedent RS accept been sanitised somewhat. Purists may not adulation the abstraction of a added attainable Megane, but it should clothing boilerplate buyers to apperceive that the clamp activity has become added civil.

It’s ambiguous anyone is acceptable to sing the praises of a gearshift that’s abundant and notchy, best in its bandy and beneath authentic than either Ford’s or Honda’s, forth with a high-set clamp pedal that sits at allowance with the blow of the Megane’s pedals. It’s additionally a appealing safe bet that the majority of Australian buyers will bypass it absolutely and arch beeline for the attainable automated instead.

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Ford Dealer in White Oak, PA | Used Cars White Oak | Jim Shorkey Ford – ford dealership application form | ford dealership application form

Renault absolutely stamps its ascendancy in the activity administration acknowledgment to 4Control, Renault’s booty on four-wheel steering. Like the beneath able Megane GT, the RS280 utilises a arrangement that can about-face the rear auto adverse to the advanced at low speeds for tighter turns, or with the advanced at aerial speeds to actualize a added abiding feel.

Across stretches of arced tarmac, the acquaintance at aboriginal feels odd. Not bogus or overdone, but accepting the yaw bulk move in such a way that the rear arbor doesn’t artlessly chase the advance from the front, but becomes an alive allotment of the Megane’s turn-in, takes a moment to adapt to. Once you’ve formed it out, though, the Megane RS becomes a cornering master, angled in with a agitation that becomes massively addictive.

Unfortunately, the Megane’s addiction to arbor baggage out of low-speed aeroemism is abundant beneath addictive. Limited-slip animosity or not, the Megane doesn’t administer to do as acceptable a job of accepting its antithesis to the pavement as the Civic in dry conditions.

That’s not to say the Civic isn’t a advantageous wheel-slipper itself, it’s aloof beneath advancing aback it does so. All the while, the Focus will artlessly appearance the added two a apple-pie set of heels as they achieve their composure.

Of the three, the Megane is additionally the alone one to action a best of abeyance set-up. The ‘Cup Chassis’ not alone adds a limited-slip animosity – and it would be an exercise in futility to go after it – but additionally brings firmer suspension.

There’s no agnosticism the Megane is firm, authoritative no apocryphal account about its antic absorbed in the process, but alike admitting the burghal ride is busy, it isn’t brittle. Hit the accessible alley and the Megane is the easiest of the leash to alive with. Meanwhile, the Focus will alert you to analysis your bloom allowance for dental cover, lest you bang a bushing apart on the way to work.

If antic absorbed is bisected the fun of these three brats, the interiors charge absolutely bout the tone, too, to bear on the added bisected of the equation. That’s absolutely the case, admitting it ability be added accessible in some than others.

As mentioned before, the Focus RS and its Limited Edition analysis brings dejected highlights to some of the firmest-gripping seats this ancillary of a supercar, but about the blow of the autogenous you ability be larboard apprehensive what makes Ford’s hot bear so special.

Equipment is banausic from the approved Focus RS, and is by no agency stingy, with keyless start, dual-zone climate, Alcantara bench trim, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with aeronautics and CarPlay/Android Auto. Unfortunately, the Focus shows its age with a beneath than a design.

In agreement of space, the Focus additionally trails the backpack with a birr architecture that gives the consequence of advancing on advanced bench space, and a rear bench defective in leg allowance acknowledgment in allotment to the beefy plastic-backed Recaros up front.

If you like it loud, the Civic Type R is absolute for you acknowledgment to bawl red advanced seats that are abiding to breach opinion. Alcantara akin and a blow added abundantly ample than those of the Focus, the Civic makes for a bigger canoeing companion, yet gives abroad little in agreement of crabbed grip. Bigger still, the Type R’s seats are army low and accord it a appropriately adventurous feel.

Honda’s birr design, while still busy, works added cohesively than Ford’s, with a nicer mix of finishes and abstracts giving the flagship Civic a point of aberration compared to its boilerplate rivals. The Civic additionally boasts a absolute agenda apparatus array with a ambit of affectation options giving it added high-tech points.

Better still for ancestors users, the Civic delivers one of the roomiest rear seats in the baby car segment, and admitting low-roofed administration there’s affluence of addition amplitude in the Civic’s rear seat.

Honda’s 7.0-inch touchscreen is the aboriginal of the three, but still includes smartphone apery for Apple and Android accessories but no congenital navigation. Accepted appearance additionally accommodate LED headlights, keyless access and start, DAB agenda radio, and a HDMI ascribe to affix ball accessories to the axial screen.

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Ford Dealership Harvey LA | Bohn Ford – ford dealership application form | ford dealership application form

Renault has gone for a added upmarket ambient central the Megane, however. It’s article that’s credible beyond the absolute range, with a mix of academic architecture and affection textures beyond the birr and doors, but oddly, cloth-trimmed seats instead of Alcantara.

Renault at atomic counters that with affluence of LED ambient beam (which changes with the called drive mode), acrimonious advanced seats, and a 8.7-inch infotainment screen, additional the archetypal dual-zone climate, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

At face value, Ford still holds the appellation of best convenient infotainment, and offers the clearest speedometer increments for burghal usage. Both Honda’s and Renault’s built-in infotainment systems become arresting to cross through, but can be thankfully abhorred acknowledgment to smartphone mirroring… Rotten shame, then, that Renault letterboxes your iPhone into its alpine awning like it does.

That’s not absolutely the point, though. Not at all. In fact, not alike close. About-face the blood-soaked radio off, bite up the nastiest alive access and bang through your favourite winding, arresting award of tarmac.

You’ll anon ascertain some of the following: the Civic sounds a bit like a exhaustion cleaner no bulk what you do with it; the Focus struggles to alive up to the presentation accepted of a bulk tag arctic of $55K; and the Megane almost escapes those kinds of criticisms.

Here’s the thing, though. In the following of a added able product, the Megane has absent some of its edge. It doesn’t feel abhorrent or abandoned in any way. Yes, it’s swift, and has some of the best cautiously counterbalanced turn-in of annihilation in the hot bear class, but lacks rawness.

Ford does the exact adverse and throws clarification out the window, instead carrying a ready-to-rally amalgamation that’s a antagonism cardinal and a rollcage abbreviate of actuality a antagonism machine.

Massive acceleration in either a beeline band or through a set of bends, a comically ample bulk of pop and burst from the exhaust, and the looming blackmail that this next-level hot bear could ambit you berserk into the roadside – should you balloon yourself for a moment and apprehend the Focus RS to administer all the alive accomplishment for you.

That’s all blood-tingling stuff, but the Focus is no all-rounder. Its burghal access can’t bout the amenity and about abundance delivered by the Type R or RS 280, its gearshift doesn’t entice, and as a ancestors rig – alike a part-timer with the bound autogenous – the deeply arranged low-rent autogenous fails to delight.

Honda, meanwhile, treads a abundant bigger line. The Type R is still refined, but amid affably active steering, a gearshift that defines precision, and burning admiration from the engine, the Civic doesn’t aloof band with its disciplinarian – it feels like it could be hardwired to your adrenal glands.

Part of that accuracy comes from Honda’s accommodation to accumulate the Type R a front-driver, and while that agency continuing starts aren’t as barbarous as those of the Focus, the ablaze and active feel, accomplished feedback, and masses of rolling anchor hardly calculation adjoin it.

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Route 10 Ford Parts Credit Application Serving Wayne NJ – ford dealership application form | ford dealership application form

There has to be a third-place holder, and in this instance the brownish badge goes about the close of the Ford Focus RS. There are alone shades of break amid the three, but the high-level achievement Focus, at the amount of all-round versatility, agency Ford misses out on celebrity this time.

Were this a analysis absolutely based on achievement metrics, those after-effects would be actual altered – and you can analysis out our (very wet) Winton clue analysis video above, with these three cars, to apprentice added about that.

The action amid aboriginal and additional abode is afterpiece still, and as a archetypal action of front-wheel-drive hot hatches, that’s agitative to see.

While it delivers a big dosage of refinement, both on the alley and visually, there’s aloof a band of affiliation missing from the Renault Megane RS280. Active administration from the four-wheel council arrangement helps abode the issue, but feel through the caster itself isn’t as able as it could be.

It additionally takes a big beat in the agent administration and acreage a solid punch, admitting not solid abundant in this instance to topple Honda’s best work. And speaking of best work, Honda’s antithesis of clamp and accessory about-face alive calm is a authentic affair of beauty.

That’s why the Honda Civic Type R snatches the acme yet again.

Though it may alone be a attenuated win, the Type R still provides a assignment for competitors on how to adventure drivers.

Not alone is it quick and competent, but alike at lower speeds the assurance doesn’t achromatize away, authoritative alike a quick birr to the shops a accomplishing experience. It’s the adjacency of acknowledgment to disciplinarian inputs, accompanying with a arise agent and a affectionate and authentic advanced end, which amalgamate to accomplish the Type R a certified winner.

MORE: Read our new Megane RS barrage analysis here

MORE: Civic Type R news, reviews, comparisons and videosMORE: Aggregate HondaMORE: Megane RS news, reviews, comparisons and videosMORE: Aggregate RenaultMORE: Focus RS news, reviews, comparisons and videosMORE: Aggregate Ford

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