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2015 VW Polo GTI Takes on Ford Fiesta ST Drag Race Is Too Close for Comfort

For 2015 Volkswagen updated the Polo GTI hot hatchling in a major way. They swapped out the 1.4-liter twin charger and installed a bigger 1.8 turbo with more power, torque and an available manual gearbox.
2015 VW Polo GTI Takes on Ford Fiesta ST Drag Race Is Too Close for Comfort 1 photo
Small performance cars might not be all that practical or comfortable, but there are a lot of worse ways to spend about €20,000.

Unfortunately for Volkswagen, the market is fully packed with competitors, which include the Clio RS, Ford Fiesta ST, Peugeot 208 GTi and even the MINI Cooper S. All of them cost almost the same and offer similar straight-line performance.

Today, we're going to focus on a drag race between a Ford Fiesta ST and the new Polo GTI. The Fiesta has a manual gearbox and a 1.6-liter turbo engine while the Polo has a 1.8 turbo and a seven-speed DSG gearbox.

Normally, a DSG gearbox makes a world of difference in a drag race because the next gear that you need is already engaged. But the one on the Polo is not as complex as those on a Golf R, lacking the bonkers launch control. The upside is that you don't need any skill to drive it fast, while the Fiesta ST offers ample opportunity to miss a gear.

To make things confusing, the Polo GTI wins the drag race but loses the track battle. With a race car driver behind the wheel, it's about a second slower per lap on this South African circuit. It's also more expensive because it comes with more premium interior and LED headlights.

So which should you buy? The one you like the most, of course, because there's very little between these cars in a straight line.

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