You can’t help loving a pocket rocket, can you?
In fact, a well-executed one is often just about the best way to have as much fun on the public road as possible without being in and danger of upsetting the local constabulary.
While the ability to travel reasonably briskly in a straight line is of some importance here, it’s keen handling and an easily exploitable chassis that really marks out the best pocket rocket; as well as its ability to provide the most amount of laughs for the smallest amount of money.
When it comes to giving a supercar a bit of a bloody nose on a winding Welsh B-road, the pocket rockets included in this list would be the ones we’d go for.
With the release of this latest Fiesta ST, Ford shoots back to the peak of our pocket rocket top 10. True to previous form, the Blue Oval has excelled itself with its new fast supermini, which now offers an even more compelling mix of affordable handling thrills and everyday usability.
Not only did it take the crown at the 2018 Britain’s Best Affordable Driver’s Car shootout, it also only narrowly missed out on a full five-star road test rating. It’s been a pretty good innings for the Fiesta ST so far, then.
But it isn’t without its faults. The new three-pot motor, for instance, is plenty punchy enough and commendably smooth, but lacks some of that feisty character you’d expect from a hot-hatch engine. The cabin is also a bit ho-hum, while the ride on harsh B-roads is still a touch too busy.
On the right roads, in the right conditions, though, there aren’t many other cars that offer such compelling pace and handling zest for as little money as the Fiesta ST. It’s a brilliant driver’s car.
Tuned by Toyota’s motorsport division, Gazoo Racing, the Yaris GRMN is a unique proposition among its peers, namely because of what sits beneath that rather gaudily decaled bonnet.
The supercharged 1.8-litre four-pot is a thing of effervescent magnificence; eager to be revved out and absolutely brimming with character. That it lends the little Yaris a pretty serious amount of punch is an added bonus.
But for a handful of dynamic flaws, the Yaris GRMN could have grasped the top spot. Of the cars here, it’s arguably one of the most engaging to steer down a challenging road, but its tall stature and lack of front end grip can make it a bit of a handful at times.