This is a showdown test between three mega hatchbacks, the VW Golf R, Ford Focus RS and Renault Megane 250.
The first thing that strikes you when you see the cars together is how different they look, notes Autocar's Steve Sutcliffe.
The Focus RS positively leaks bravado. It looks extraordinary on the public road, considering that it also wears number plates and a tax disc - and a price tag of £27k.
Yet, in its way, the Renault appears just as flamboyant, even if its overall personality is marginally less cartoonish and, therefore, slightly more elegant.
It's the Golf, however, that looks the most surprising to begin with because, for a while, it would seem to be a complete misfit beside the other two. You wonder, in fact, if it's even the right model.
That's what makes this group test so interesting. All three of the cars intend to achieve broadly similar results, but they go about attaining their goals in very different ways.
In basic showroom trim the Renault is the cheapest at £22,467, followed at a distance by the £27,280 Ford and the £28,930 VW. Line up the specs, though, and it's more like £25k (Renault), £29k (Ford and £31k (VW).
So how does the VW justify its higher price? One, it's four-wheel drive while the other two are front-wheel drive. Two, it's a VW, which is a much harder commodity to put a price on.
What have they got?
In terms of firepower, the Golf's 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder engine serves up 267bhp at 6000rpm and 258lb ft at 2500rpm, which sends it from 0-62mph in 5.7sec.
The Renault's 2.0-litre turbo engine produces 247bhp and 251lb ft. That's sufficient for 0-62mph in 6.1sec - although the lighter Renault is quicker to 100mph.