It’s the old Ford verses Holden battle again.
Not the Falcon & Commodore battle, but now Focus vs Astra.
New versions of the Ford Focus ST and the Holden Astra VXR are here. They are a pair of strong performance hatchbacks with a number of things in common. Both have a 2.0L turbocharged engine, 6-speed manual gearbox and front wheel drive. There is no doubt these two will fight it out for market share against others in this category.
Both these hatchbacks come with a long list of standard equipment, including sporty bucket seats, sat-nav, multimedia systems, digital radio, USB/Bluetooth compatibility, auto sensing headlights, dual-zone climate control and daytime running lights, the list goes on.
The Focus has the Ford Sync 2 infotainment system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen and keyless start. The Astra’s 7.0-inch unit has the Holden’s latest MyLink system but not touchscreen. On the safety front, both vehicles have six airbags and 5 star ANCAP safety rating.
With the direct injected, turbocharged engine driving the front wheels through the manual gearbox the Astra produces 206kW and the Focus comes in at 184kW, however the Focus is 85Kg’s lighter which brings it closer in performance to the Astra. The Astra VXR’s 0-100km/h time is 6.5 seconds compared to the Focus at 6.8, not really that much difference.
The fuel efficiency factor based on smooth daily type driving comes in at 7.3L per 100km for the Focus and 8.0L per 100km for the Astra. Both these vehicles have tested with impressive handling although we know that the Focus is lighter and more nimble.
In summary these are two cool cars, the Astra VXR with fancy tyres and brakes, clever front struts, LSD and its adjustable dampers make it a drivers car. But the Focus is nimble and a little more playful which maybe makes it more fun. The great news is that both of these cars are exceptional. The Astra is a testament to some fine design with heaps of power and grip. But it’s the Focus ST that may win your vote. It seems the recent update has made a good Focus even better. Both are great, but we are hearing that the Focus ST is a little greater.