New Vauxhall Corsa VXR priced from £17,995

Here’s an interesting dilemma: Ford Fiesta ST or the new Vauxhall Corsa VXR? It used to be a no-brainer. The Vauxhall was a lot more expensive and not nearly as sharp to drive, so the Ford was the only choice.

But now, the new Vauxhall Corsa VXR makes a much more convincing case for itself. It’s still more powerful than the Festa with 203bhp, with delivers a 0-60mph time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 143mph. It looks like a proper hot hatch with big vents, skirts, spoilers and wheels and it should handle properly thanks to adaptive Koni dampers.

The main points of intrigue, though, is the price. Priced from £17,995 it will set you back a £600 over the ST’s RRP.

So, which to buy? At this end of the hot hatch market, nothing can beat the Fiesta’s real-world fun factor. It doesn’t matter what sort of road you’re on, it’s an absolute hoot to drive. But it’s a bit too softly sprung to excel on track.

The Corsa might not have the same do-it-all ability, but it should be much sharper on track, especially with the optional Performance Pack. For £2,400 it adds a limited-slip differential, 330mm Brembo brakes and 18-inch wheels with sticky Michelin Pilot Supersport tyres. That makes it quite a lot cheaper than the similarly-equipped Renaultsport Clio 220.

You can make your mind up when the new Corsa VXR goes on sale in May. For more information click here

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