From £18,1907

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.

The VXR’s 37.7mpg combined economy (worsened to 29.9mpg during True MPG testing) belongs, frankly, in the decade prior to this one

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.

Nevertheless, the Ford can claim a huge running cost advantage. In fact, every single rival mentioned at the start of this section wipes the floor with the Corsa when it comes to efficiency.

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.

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