Top Gear – 208 GTI vs Clio 200 vs Fiesta ST

This has to be one of my favourite tests from recent episodes of Top Gear. This three-way shootout that opened series 20 (June 2013) features three of the most significant hot hatches of recent years, namely the all-new Peugeot 208 GTI, Renaultsport Clio 200 and Ford Fiesta ST.

It’s almost what you could call a serious piece of motoring journalism. Richard Hammond puts each of the three contenders through their paces on the Dunsfold track, avoiding the silliness that usually takes over the reviews on Top Gear.

We have some heel-and-toe action from The Hamster, rear wheels being cocked in the air, and some good old lift-off oversteer from these front-wheel driven hatchbacks.

As for the winner, it’s good to see that Richard Hammond agrees with my own conclusions. Both the 208 GTI and Clio 200 are good but neither are as good as the Fiesta ST.

Want to know the all-important stats? Here they are:

 Ford Fiesta STPeugeot 208 GTIRenaultsport Clio 200
Engine1,596cc turbo1,598cc turbo1,618cc turbo
Transmission6-speed manual, front-wheel drive6-speed manual, front-wheel drive6-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic, front-wheel drive
Power (bhp)179197197
Torque (lb-ft)213*203177
0-62 mph (s)6.96.86.7
Top Speed (mph)139143143
Kerb Weight (kg)1,1631,1601,204

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Author: Chris Auty

Voted the Breakthrough Blogger of 2013 by SEAT and the Guild of Motoring Writers , Chris has lived and breathed cars since he was old enough to say 'faster'. With a penchant for hot hatches and an allergy to public transport, he would much prefer to drive a bad car than never drive at all. Fortunately his family has learned to put up with this obsession and the internet has provided a channel for his ramblings.

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