With charm in spades and thrills aplenty, the ST200 builds on the standard hot hatch’s class-leading status. Ageing, but still the segment’s best.
The hottest (although subtly styled) Polo may boast a larger engine, but it doesn’t offer nearly as engaging a driving experience as the Ford.
All grown up with five doors and no option of a manual gearbox, the RSbadged Clio has lost some of its sparkle. Still dynamically adept, though.