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Mini Cooper

We recommend: Cooper Hatch
Price: £15,300
Specs: 134bhp, 170lb ft, 0-62mph 7.9secs, 130mph top speed, 62.8mpg, CO2 105g/km

The name’s the same, it looks the same, but underneath nothing is the same. It’s bigger. More mature. And contrary to our expectations, we think Mini mk3 is a big improvement.

Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the Mini Cooper

Ford Fiesta

We recommend: 1.0T Titanium
Price: £14,945
Specs: 99bhp, 125lb ft, 0-62mph 11.2secs, 112mph top speed, 65.7mpg, CO2 99g/km

The most complete everyday supermini of all. Which is why only the fun-centric Mini is rated more highly. Though this is a right little charmer to drive, too, with a sweet, efficient engine and real poise.

Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the Ford Fiesta

Citroen DS3

We recommend: 1.6 E-HDI 90
Price: £15,570
Specs: 90bhp, 169lb ft, 0-62mph 12.5secs, 113mph top speed, 78.5mpg, CO2 90g/km

Forget the DS4 and DS5, Citroen did it best first time round. The DS3 looks the business and drives with more panache than a packet of Polos. The VW flavour ones.

Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the Citroen DS3

Peugeot 208

We recommend: 1.6 E-HDI 92
Price: £16,045
Specs: 90bhp, 169lb ft, 0-62mph 10.9secs, 115mph top speed, 74.3mpg, CO2 95g/km

It seems Peugeot might not be the basket case we all feared. The 208 is a neat and tidy piece of design throughout, and it has a good grasp of how a small car should drive. A return to form.

Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the Peugeot 208

Renault Clio

We recommend: 0.9 TCE 90
Price: £14,195
Specs: 89bhp, 99lb ft, 0-62mph 12.2secs, 113mph top speed, 62.8mpg, CO2 104g/km

For the most part, see above. The fourth-gen Renault Clio runs the Peugeot 208 and Citroen DS3 close, but doesn’t quite have the Papa-Nicole thing going on anymore. No three-door version, see.

Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the Renault Clio

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