New Hyundai i20 N vs Ford Fiesta ST: verdict

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 vs Ford Fiesta ST sides

Our verdict

If you want the most exciting little pocket rocket you can buy for around £25,000, get the Fiesta ST. Its agility makes it so much fun in corners, and a potent engine flings it along willingly, with driveability at all revs. It’s not perfect, though. It could do with some steering tweaks to calm down the nervousness as you accelerate or go over uneven surfaces, but it’s still thrilling.

As is the i20 N. If you drive aggressively, it won’t bite, and if you’re precise, its calm dynamics work with you to generate pace. It’s as fast as the ST in most respects, but is it as invigorating? Not quite. Details like the engine’s unresponsiveness and the car’s unsteadiness under braking let it down. In a tight fight, they make all the difference.

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1st – Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST 2021 front

For Flexible in-gear performance; more agile handling; more stable under braking; great driving position; cheaper PCP nance
Against Inconsistent steering; tighter rear seats; important safety kit optional; more expensive to service; poor reliability record
Recommended options Full LED headlights (£700), Driver Assistance Pack (£600), spare wheel (£150)

What Car? rating 5 stars out of 5

Read our full Ford Fiesta ST review >>

Find Ford Fiesta ST deals >>

2nd – Hyundai i20 N

Hyundai i20 N 2021 front

For Easy to drive quickly; lots of grip; quicker outright acceleration; more comfortable; more safety kit; five doors as standard
Against Not quite as exciting to drive; gets squirrelly under hard braking; less responsive engine; awkward boot shape
Recommended options Bose stereo (£500)

What Car? rating 4 stars out of 5

Read our full Hyundai i20 N review >>

Find Hyundai i20 N deals >>

Specifications: Hyundai i20 N

Hyundai i20 N 2021 badge

Engine 4cyl, 1598cc, turbo, petrol
Peak power 201bhp at 5500-6000rpm
Peak torque 224Ib ft at 1750-4500rpm (in overboost)
Gearbox 6-spd manual
0-60mph 6.4sec
30-70mph 5.9sec
Top speed 142mph
30-0mph 8.4m
70-0mph 44.3m
Noise at 30mph 62.5dB
Noise at 70mph 68.2dB
Kerb weight 1190kg
Tyre size (std) 215/40 R18
Test fuel economy 40.0mpg
Official fuel economy 40.4mpg
Fuel tank 40 litres
CO2 emissions 158g/km

Specifications: Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST 2021 badge

Engine 3cyl, 1497cc, turbo, petrol
Peak power 197bhp at 6000rpm
Peak torque 214Ib ft at 1600-4000rpm (in overboost)
Gearbox 6-spd manual
0-60mph 6.6sec
30-70mph 5.4sec
Top speed 143mph
30-0mph 9.0m
70-0mph 48.5m
Noise At 30mph 64.2dB
Noise at 70mph 70.5dB
Kerb weight 1262kg
Tyre size (std) 205/40 R18
Test fuel economy 40.0mpg
Official fuel economy 42.8mpg
Fuel tank 42 litres
CO2 emissions 149g/km

Test weather conditions Dry and hot

Cars pictured

Hyundai i20 N 1.6 T-GDi 204 with Performance Blue metallic paint (£550), Bose sound system (£500) and two-tone roof (£500)

Ford Fiesta 1.5 Ecoboost ST Edition 3dr with Azura Blue paint

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