Wolves in Sheep Clothing

Ever since Volkswagen and Peugeot started sprinkling performance gold dust on their shopping basket hatchbacks in the mid-1980s the “hot hatch” segment has become one of the most fun. These two mid-2000s examples, available now at Turners, are thrilling pint-sized bargains. 

The success of hot hatches is their combination of fun, involving chassis, useable horsepower, and affordability. Obviously, there are faster cars out there with bigger engines and more technology but that doesn’t make them necessarily more fun. Often it’s the opposite, and really just plain scary.

The Mitsubishi Colt is a dreary little shopping trolley with few redeeming qualities. That is unless it has been given a Ralliart makeover. The Colt Version R is a sort of mini EVO without the complication and the extra weight of all-wheel-drive. The engine is a turbocharged 1.5L unit, in this case, it’s married to a Getrag 5 Speed manual transmission, and it produces 152hp. It’ll sprint from zero to 100kph in 7.1 seconds and keep going until it hits 210kph (on a track, obviously). It has Recaro sports seats in the front and room for two more passengers in the back. Trips to the Supermarket will be more fun but careful when you open the fizzy drinks after you get home. This 2006 example can be yours for $5990 drive away. More here.  

The standard Ford Fiesta is a favorite of retirees that think the Honda Jazz is a bit common. It does what it says on the tin and is perfectly acceptable. However, the ST has a 2L Mondeo Zetec lump wedged into the engine bay giving the wee Fiesta 150hp and a 0-100 time of 7.9 seconds. The chassis and suspension have been stiffened significantly giving it go-cart handling. The extra power, noise and less than luxurious ride won’t impress your grandma but you’ll love it. This 2005 example is available now at $7995 drive away. More here.

There you have it, two cars that are fast enough to have fun, especially at a track day, but not so fast that they’ll exceed your driving talents and get you into strife. Perfect.

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