Ford Focus ST hatchback (2012-2014)

The performance model of the Ford Focus does an amazing job of balancing power and practicality, losing none of the standard model's everyday usefulness. It's very comfortable, fun to drive and comes as a five-door hatchback or an estate model if you need extra boot space. The suspension is precisely tuned to maintain sharp handling while remaining comfortable. While the engine stays nicely hushed at motorway speeds, but emits a pleasing noise when worked hard. It also starts at a list price that undercuts its main competitors, such as the Renaultsport Megane 265 and the Volkswagen Golf GTI, by a good few thousand pounds. The Focus ST comes in three specifications – standard ST, ST-2 and ST-3.