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Ford Fiesta ST Takes On Clio 220 Trophy and MINI JCW, Wins by Being Honest

What makes a good hot hatchback - the power, the bang/buck ratio or the track records? The automotive industry has never been more divided on this subject than it is now.
Ford Fiesta ST Takes On Clio 220 Trophy and MINI JCW, Wins By Being Honest 1 photo
Just to give you an example, I wanted to buy a Fiesta ST back in 2006. At that time, it came with a naturally aspirated 2-liter engine and a manual gearbox, just like the Clio RS. A decade later, both have switched to 1.6-liter turbo units, but everything else is different.

Since 2013, Renault has been making Clio RS models that are easier to live with every day, thanks to the standard 6-speed EDC automatic. However, Ford refuses to follow the trend and has been rewarded with plenty of sales from enthusiastic drivers. But calling it the kind of hot hatchbacks is a stretch of the imagination, right?

Well, no. The guys at Carfection have a good point to make. While the Fiesta is the least powerful model in this segment, it's also the most fun. You already know that it's also the cheapest, but not many realize this translates into the second-hand market. You can buy a used ST with relatively few miles at €12,000, while the equivalent Clio is around €4,000 more.

The only people who consider the MINI JCW a rival for the two small rockets mentioned above are the ones who haven't gone on a test drive. With options, the John Cooper Works model stretches way beyond the €40,000 mark, so it's more like a shrunken Golf GTI rival. It's also much more expensive to insure and run because of the bigger 2-liter engine.

In our opinion, no hot hatch should have an automatic gearbox as standard, especially not a small one that will never handle GT-like. The auto is optional on the MINI, as well as GTI models and ones from Abarth. Renault has sold its soul to the performance devil, as the twin-clutch not only dulls the experience but also makes the car slightly heavier. The only upside is that you are getting a complex bit of technology for not that much money.

So without further ado, we give you a video of two blokes getting their Top Gear on in the middle of a field without looking like wannabes. Also, it's nice to see the little rockets bunched up together as a 600 hp bundle of joy.

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