If you’re looking for a small, relatively cheap performance car in the U.S., there aren’t that many choices available apart from the Fiat 500 Abarth, Fiat 124 Spider and Ford Fiesta ST. However in the United Kingdom, where consumer demand for small cars is much higher, there is an abundance of cars that offer up cheap thrills.
The UK’s Autocar magazine recently rounded up some of the UK’s best performance offerings for £25,000 for a comparison test. The subjects included the 124 Spider, the Mazda MX-5, First Fiesta ST200, DS3 Performance and Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy. The 124 and MX-5 are the only two-seaters in the test, but the selection of hot hatchbacks deliver a similar amount of performance for a similar price, so its reasonable to assume British consumers may cross-shop the five cars.
Autocar starts off pitting the 124 and MX-5 against each other on track before bringing the hatchbacks into the equation. They then take their two winners from the respective roadster and hatchback tests and pit them against each other on the road to see which car would be better to live with. Check out the comparison test in the video above.