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.
The latest Polo GTI is no longer just a spicier trim level for VW’s ever-popular supermini, there’s now a very credible performance car on offer here.
It shares its engine with the legendary Golf GTI - albeit here in a slightly lower state of tune - lending it a fairly potent level of performance, while the sophistication of its chassis allows for excellent composure and impressive dynamism on even the most battered British roads.
It is a car that handles with supreme confidence in its abilities but, for all of its strengths, does leave you wanting just a little bit more in terms of character. And that’s arguably what cars of this type are all about, isn’t it?