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Car of the Year Awards 2021: Best hot hatch for value
Hot hatches should make even the most mundane of drives feel magical. However, this ability to entertain shouldn't come at the expense of everyday usability...
Ford Fiesta ST 1.5 Ecoboost 200 ST-2 Performance Pack 3dr
Granted, with just a little 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine under the bonnet, the ST isn’t quite as quick as its main rival, the 2.0-litre Volkswagen Polo GTI, but that just means you can use every bit of its power without having to fear for your driving licence. And while the GTI comes only with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox, the ST’s tactile six-speed manual adds an extra layer of interaction to the mix.
And it’s on driver interaction that the ST excels. Chuck it into a bend and the rear end will pivot progressively around its front wheels so you can ﬁnd a perfect line, and with the optional Performance Pack, a limited-slip diff gives you huge traction to help put the power down on the exit.
Meanwhile, its sensible side comes through in the fact that the well-equipped ST-2 is cheaper to buy than the GTI, while also being usefully more economical.
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