New Ford Fiesta ST vs new Volkswagen Polo GTI

Is the Ford Fiesta ST still the affordable hot hatch to beat? This new one is here to prove that it is – but first it has to see off Volkswagen’s latest Polo GTI...

2018 Ford Fiesta ST vs Volkswagen Polo GTI

Our verdict

There’s only one way you’ll be disappointed with the new Fiesta ST: if you’ve been lucky enough to drive its predecessor. The old car was more agile, more fun and, surprisingly, rode British roads with a bit more fluidity. We know this because we’ve driven both cars back to back. But the margins are small and the new ST is still an absolute cracker. It’s by far the best sub-£25k hot hatch you can buy and in some respects – namely interior quality and infotainment – actually betters its predecessor.

The Polo GTI? Well, it’s comfier, but it’s neither as fun nor as capable through the bends. It simply isn’t as good a hot hatch.

1st Ford Fiesta ST

For Sweet chassis balance; fruity engine note; punchy motor; slick gearchange

Against Inconsistent steering weight; agitated ride; no auto emergency braking

Read our full Ford Fiesta ST review

Find a great Ford Fiesta ST deal

2nd Volkswagen Polo GTI

For Stronger performance; comfier ride; quieter at speed; better infotainment

Against Uninspiring handling; less evocative engine sound; smaller boot

Read our full Volkswagen Polo GTI review

Find a great Volkswagen Polo GTI deal

Specifications: Ford Fiesta ST 1.5T ST-3 Performance Pack 3dr

Engine 3cyl, 1497cc, turbo, petrol

List price £22,345

Target price £21,242

Power 197bhp @ 6000rpm

Torque 214lb ft @ 1600-4000rpm

Gearbox 6-spd manual

0-60mph 6.8sec

Top speed 144mph

Gov't fuel economy 47.1mpg

Test mpg 41.1mpg

CO2 emissions 136g/km

Specifications: Volkswagen Polo GTI

Engine 4cyl, 1984cc, turbo, petrol

List price £23,020

Target price £21,358

Power 197bhp @ 4400-6000rpm

Torque 236lb ft @ 1500-4350rpm

Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic

0-60mph 6.4sec

Top speed 147mph

Gov't fuel economy 47.9mpg

Test mpg 39.3mpg

CO2 emissions 134g/km

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