Following the aggressive pricing of the Focus ST, Ford has fixed the Fiesta’s starting price at a suitably low point, making it cheaper than most of its rivals.

What’s more, with 40mpg-plus a genuine prospect and just 138g/km of CO2 emerging from the tailpipes, the Fiesta can justifiably claim to compete at the most efficient end of what’s an impressively frugal class these days.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
The Ford Fiesta ST is a well packaged supermini

It is perhaps not peerlessly well equipped but most of the essentials – Bluetooth, sports seats, category 1 alarm, DAB tuner, air-con – are all present, even on the basic ST trim level.

What is a black mark in the Fiesta's book, however, is the lack of cruise control, even as an option. That may particularly grate with those looking to take advantage of its touring economy on a motorway.

ST-2 models get a Sony stereo, a colour multimedia screen, privacy glass and heated seats, but most of these options could easily be jettisoned by bargain hunters.

Which, to our eyes, makes the Fiesta not only the class leader but also extraordinarily high in the running for best-value performance car currently on sale in any segment.

Find an Autocar car review

Find an Autocar car review