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New Ford Fiesta ST vs used Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy

The Fiesta ST is a great hot hatch. But for the same sort of money as a new one, you could have a two-year-old Megane RS with almost 100bhp more. So, which is the better buy?...

New Ford Fiesta ST vs used Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy montage

The contenders

New Ford Fiesta ST-3

List Price: £24,580 Target price: £23,609 Official fuel economy: 47.1mpg (WLTP) Emissions: 136g/km CO2 Power: 197bhp 0-62mph: 6.5sec Top speed: 144mph 

Used Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy

Price new: £38,035 Price today: £26,000* Official fuel economy: 34.5mpg (WLTP) Emissions: 183g/km CO2 Power: 296bhp 0-62mph: 5.7sec Top speed: 161mph 

*Price today is based on a 2019 model with average mileage and a full service history and is correct at the time of writing

We Brits adore hot hatches, and why wouldn’t we? From fast, fun performance to everyday, practical usability, they often tick boxes in a variety of areas and are extremely capable. For a prime example, look at the Ford Fiesta ST.

Like its predecessor, the current ST is a blast to drive, with strong acceleration and incredibly fun handling. What’s more, it still gets five seats, a reasonably sized boot and good fuel economy. Few cars can match this class-leader at its asking price from new.

Ford Fiesta ST - interior

So, what if we enter a used rival? The used Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy is one of our favourite hot hatches. It’s a cracking car with a lot of performance and practicality. Plus, a two-year-old one can be bought used for around the same price as the Fiesta ST is new, which only goes to spice up the competition.  

Is a used RS 300 Trophy too hot for a new Fiesta ST to handle? Let’s find out…

New Ford Fiesta ST vs used Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy – interior & equipment

Build quality, equipment, ease of use

Both cars feature soft-touch plastics throughout their interiors, and build quality is good for their class and price points. Sure, the Megane RS and Fiesta ST have some cheaper areas, but they're generally in places you rarely touch. For classier interiors, look to hot hatches such as the BMW M135i and Audi S3

Renault Megane RS interior

The Megane RS’s interior feels special and sporty, though not too OTT. There’s red stitching and RS badging on the seats and steering wheel, a set of aluminium pedals and some dubious rubberised trim around the door armrests that’s supposed to look like carbon fibre. As our test car is the Trophy, it also has Alcantara suede trim on the wheel and seats.

Looking inside the Fiesta ST, you’ll see it’s a bit more grown-up, but thankfully you still get some hot-hatch goodies. The Recaro sports seats are supportive (very figure-hugging, too) and, like the leather flat-bottomed steering wheel, feature the ‘ST’ logo. It also gets carbon fibre-effect trim inserts.

Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system is standard and comes with an 8.0in touchscreen. It's not as good as the Volkswagen Polo GTI's system but it's pretty decent, with sharp graphics, relatively simple menus and lots of features, including built-in sat-nav, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring, a DAB radio and Bluetooth. 

2018 Ford Fiesta ST rear seats

The Megane RS’s infotainment system features a big 9.3in touchscreen that’s pretty responsive to your commands and has sharp graphics, although its menus are a bit more confusing than the best systems (the ones in the M135i and S3, for example). Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are included as standard, allowing you to bypass many of Renault’s own infotainment features and use apps on your smartphone through the screen.

New Ford Fiesta ST vs used Renault Megane RS 300 Trophy – space & practicality

Driving position, practicality, visibility

It shouldn’t take long to feel at home in the driver’s seat of the Fiesta ST. It has excellent adjustment, and the steering wheel moves up, down, forwards and back by a useful amount. The pedals are perfectly aligned with the seat and steering wheel, so you'll almost instantly feel in control.

As with the standard Ford Fiesta, the Fiesta ST's visibility suffers because of the chunky front pillars and relatively small rear side windows that obstruct your vision when you're looking over your shoulder. The back window is pretty small, too, although you do get rear parking sensors to help with reversing. A rear-view camera comes as standard with the ST-3 trim. 

Renault Megane RS rear seats

The driving position in the Megane RS is fundamentally sound, with pedals that line up neatly with the seat and steering wheel. The pedals themselves are thoughtfully laid out, and even the standard seats grip you reasonably well around the shoulders during vigorous driving. 

You might think the regular Megane RS's front seats are angled too aggressively, but the Trophy’s Recaros solve that, and are 20mm lower. They look great and hold you in place superbly while also proving surprisingly comfortable. Over-the-shoulder visibility isn’t great due to the Megane’s hefty rear pillars, but front and rear parking sensors, along with a rear-view camera, help offset that. 

For families, the Megane RS will prove much more practical than the Ford Fiesta ST. As it's a larger car, the interior is roomier and the boot – at 434 litres – is bigger than the ST’s 292-litre one. The ST makes good use of its available space, though, and there's the option of a three or five-door bodystyle.

Next: What are they like to drive? >>

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