Maximising the apparent bang-for-buck ratio is no bad way of selling a hot hatch.
At £18,895, the entry-level VXR undercuts the Mini Cooper S, Volkswagen Polo GTI, Peugeot 208 GTi, Renault Clio RS 200 and mid-spec Ford Fiesta ST2 though all are within the same £1000 net, while (even if by only a small margin) developing more power than any of them.
A crude equation, perhaps – and one ruined by the addition of the Performance Pack – but that won’t make it sound any less persuasive coming from a dealer. Our advice would be to avoid the Performance Pack, but do stump up £500 on its 18in alloy wheels separately. Also, the £150 Carbon Pack is a wise buy with resale in mind.
Expect the decent kit list to get a plug from the dealer, too. The bodykit and Remus exhaust are both standard, as are bi-xenon headlights, a heated windscreen, manual air conditioning, cruise control and the infotainment system, which includes Bluetooth and a DAB tuner. All of which makes the model better equipped than the Fiesta ST1, a cheaper prospect by about £1000.
The VXR’s 37.7mpg combined economy (worsened to 29.9mpg during True MPG testing) belongs, frankly, in the decade prior to this one. The same is true of its 174g/km CO2 emissions, which, incredibly, are 9g/km higher than those of a Volkswagen Golf R.