New Hyundai i20 N vs Ford Fiesta ST: costs

Which pocket rocket’s got the right stuff? Join us on the launch pad as we fire up the new Hyundai i20 N and its Fiesta ST rival...

Hyundai i20 N 2021 side

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

There isn’t much here to help you make up your mind. The Hyundai i20 N costs £415 more (but remember it has five doors as standard), and that difference becomes just £218 when you take Target Price discounts into account.

The two cars sit in the same insurance group, so there’s price parity there, and they both averaged the same 40mpg in our real-world fuel economy test.

Servicing costs show up the biggest difference, with the Ford Fiesta ST’s pit stops working out £664 more expensive than the i20 N’s over three years. Depreciation is predicted to be near-enough identical over three years.

Ford Fiesta ST 2021 side

Monthly payments if you’re buying on PCP finance are roughly the same for each car. Let’s say you put down a £2500 deposit and decide to spread the payments over 36 months, covering up to 9000 miles each year: the ST will set you back £311 per month, while the i20 N will cost £327.

Even company car drivers will need to look at factors other than cost, because it’s unlikely the ST’s £532 saving in benefit-in-kind tax (between now and April 2024 for a 40% taxpayer) is going to swing most people’s vote.

What about equipment, then? Again, they’re even-stevens, by and large. Each car comes with a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, 18in alloy wheels, automatic climate control, keyless entry and power-folding door mirrors. The ST adds a heated windscreen and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

Hyundai i20 N vs Ford Fiesta ST costs

The latest i20 hasn’t been appraised for safety by Euro NCAP. The standard Fiesta has, and there was room for improvement in adult and child chest protection, but that result doesn’t cover this ST variant, because – unlike the rest of the Fiesta range – it doesn’t get automatic emergency braking (AEB) as standard. That’s part of a £600 option pack that also adds blindspot monitoring. The i20 N has AEB as standard and both cars include lane-keeping assistance.

The Fiesta needs to improve its reliability score, too; it’s bottom of the small car class in our 2021 Reliability Survey. Hyundai as a brand came joint third, while Ford was a lowly 27th out of 30 car makers. The South Korean manufacturer also offers a better standard warranty: five years with unlimited mileage, against Ford’s three-year/60,000-mile cover.