The world of hot hatchbacks inspires fierce debate and competition. These are the high performance hatchbacks that take a lot of power and put it in a small machine. They are some of the most fun and exciting cars on the road. There are plenty to choose from, but the competition at the top sits squarely between two cars. That’s the Volkswagen Golf GTi and The Ford Fiesta ST. They are the undisputed champions. But, which is better? We put them both to the test.

Let’s see which came out on top.

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Price

When it comes to the cost, the Ford Fiesta is the clear winner. Starting at only £17,400 brand new, it is thousands cheaper than the entry level GTi. It sits in a lower insurance bracket and will save you money in monthly running costs. It also holds its value better on the secondhand market. Take a look at TC Harrison for a full idea on the price range.

Mileage

So many hatchback manufacturers have tweaked the engine performance to unlock fuel economy. It has become one of the most important measures of a car’s success. It’s particularly important in the hatchback range due to their city driving. While the Golf GTi has undergone no such tweaking, the Fiesta has. With that in mind, the Fiesta does deliver a slightly better mileage figure. But only just! If you want great mileage around town, your next car should be a Ford. However, you will compromise on power for this low mileage too. We’ll take a look at that in more detail next.

Performance

When it comes to the hot hatchback, this is what we’re all interested in. The Golf GTi is the clear winner. It unlocks more power and speed from the engine than the Fiesta. It transfers this power to a fantastic 0-60mph time of only 6.5 seconds. It produces 50 more brake horsepower than the Fiesta and will hit a higher top speed. That’s not to say the Fiesta is a slow coach. Far from it. It will do 0-60mph in a fraction less than 7 seconds and reach up to 139mph. It’s good, but not quite as good as the GTi.

Luxury features

This is another win for the Golf. But at around £6,000 more expensive, you’d expect it. The Golf has a sophisticated and luxury interior and styling. Its touch screen infotainment system is superior and the standard features are fantastic. Having said that, you can kit the Fiesta out with the same features without paying the full difference.

Fun

In the world of hot hatchbacks, the key word is ‘fun’. A hot hatch should be exhilerating. It should be exciting. They are driver’s cars after all. They should put you at the heart and allow you to feel every twist and turn. When you take it out onto the country roads, we have to say the Fiesta is the most fun. It’s lighter, more responsive and has more of a personality. Sure, the GTi has all the power, but the Fiesta uses what it has better.

You can’t really go wrong with either one of these vehicles. They are beautiful, powerful and exhilerating. Which is your favourite?