There’s something delightful about a well-executed hot hatch. Mainly because you don’t really have to buy another car to cope with real life. Think about it: practical enough for the school and supermarket runs, fun enough to make you happy when you find a decent bit of road with a distinct lack of kids or shopping to rattle about inside and spoil the corner weighting. But there’s a lot of choice. How about…
You are here
New vs Used: Fiesta ST vs Focus RS
You want an affordable hot hatch from Ford. New-school or old-school?
New Ford Fiesta ST – £19,500–£22,245
Good: Fun, engaging, frugal, forgiving. Subtle. Comes with a warranty
Bad: Not the fastest hatch in the world, some find the seats uncomfortable
The immediate thought for buying a new hot hatch probably heads towards a Ford Fiesta ST. It’s yet another Top Gear award winner, and with plenty of justification: this feisty little three-pot 1.5-litre supermini is a real head and heart purchase, and no one with any nous will ever judge you harshly. So let’s work through the basic figures. A 198bhp base ST1 is about £19,500 without anything on it, but the one you want (an ST2 with the performance pack – diff and change-up lights – and a non-standard colour), comes in at £22,015. And for that kind of cash, there are options…
Pre-loved Ford Focus RS – £15,000–£25,000
Good: Hardcore dynamics, sheer speed, 300bhp
Bad: As subtle as a punch in the face, fuel economy, insurance, tendency to have been enthusiastically played with
Focus RS for Fiesta ST money? Yep, perfectly possible. And keeping it in the Blue Oval family comes with a raft of possibilities. One of which might be a semi-iconic Focus RS MkI like – ahem – the lightly modified show-winner we found for £15,000. Spend the rest on keeping it in top fettle. Or how about a MkII – of which there are a few more, complete with 300bhp and under 35,000 miles (£22,990)? It might drink fuel at an alarming rate compared to the little Fester, but there’s no doubt they leave an impression, and you’ll be getting a much more aggressive driving experience.