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French hot hatchback battles are nothing new, but they're rarely this controversial. The new Renaultsport Clio 200 Turbo EDC has a hard act to follow in its RS Clio 200 father. Not least because Renault has hobbled it with a five-door body and chosen to ditch the screaming naturally aspirated engine and six-speed manual for a turbocharged engine and mandatory seven-speed paddle-shifter.

Peugeot’s new 208 GTi, meanwhile, is shackled to a ball and chain comprised of rose-tinted 205-GTi-shaped memories which inconveniently don’t include the times it refused to idle in traffic, where its steering weighted up horribly a quarter turn away from centre, water streamed in through its sunroof and its lift-off oversteer tried to kill you at every opportunity. Yep, Peugeot is fighting Renault and its own past.

Hoping to sock it to both Renault and Peugeot is the new Ford Fiesta ST. There has never been a truly great top-rung hatch sold under the Fiesta banner. Beloved of the Burger King set, the last Fiesta ST was a fun, if underpowered steer, but pitched a rung further down the performance ladder from the fast Clio. The new one wants to lock horns head-on. This should be interesting.


Read more: carmagazine.co.uk/First-drives/Ford-Fiesta-ST-vs-Renaultsport-Clio-200-vs-Peugeot-208-GTi-Giant-Test/





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Top Gear just did a segment on these three. Even though the Fiesta ST wasn't first in any of there tests they gave it the nod as the best all around.
 
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