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The best of the Euro Boxes [Part 3]

So far then, we have looked at the best Japanse Imports and the best American Muscle. My choices are not very unique to be fair, because the cars I have chosen are widely loved throughout the whole community. But now, it is time to peer into the murky depths of Europe. And this won't be easy; Europe is full of countries with very different ways of doing things, so naturally the cars vary massively too. You can get 0.9L thrummy little Fiats, to 6.2L rip-roaring AMG Mercedes. Let's try and find a winner...

So, yeah. This will be the most difficult one to decide by a massive margin. Preferably, I want a really good all-rounder. It's all well having a Lotus Elise - they're very exciting cars - but they only work about one day every 100 years, especially here in cold, wet Britain.

The Elise is fantastic, but way too specific
What I need here is something that will do the school run, achieve 40+ MPG and yet put such a smile on your face, you can't help to love it. I need it to be the sort of car you can name, something cheeky and forgiving.

Luckily, Europe doesn't fail because you have the Hot Hatches. If you live outside Europe, these are regular small hatchbacks that have been amped up for maximum entertainment. They are cheese pizzas with huge ghost chillies added on top.

And my winner is... a Ford. There goes my American audience. It's a Fiesta... now all the elderly people are listening eagerly. But don't worry, I haven't gone insane. My best European car is the Ford Fiesta ST.

The looks are so bang on; the picture doesn't do it justice.
The Fiesta has previously worn the ST badge before, previously coming with a 2.0L engine, which was a peach. No pressure for the newer, heavier model with a smaller 1.6L engine then. However, nobody needed to worry, because this has turned out to be one of the most sorted cars on the road right now.

Yes, the 0-60 time is only 6.9 seconds. Yes, it only has 179bhp. But when you live in a European country with twisty roads, that is completely missing the point. What matters here is the chassis and the Fiesta really doesn't fail at all. This thing eats up corners with such a cheeky manor, you just can't understand the fun until you drive it. You can be as mad as you want and it will just hang on! Here's an example: switch into sport mode, lift off the throttle through the corner and you've got a perfectly controllable slide. In front wheel drive!

Just any other Fiesta. That's the great thing about the ST.
A lot of hot hatches suffer from screeching tyres and tremendous understeer around corners. The ST really doesn't; the tyres claw into the tarmac and off you go. Mind you, you need to make sure you're in the right revs to get it going, but it's just an excuse to rev the nuts off it...

And just look at it. It's the perfect blend of sportiness and yet it's not too in-yer-face.

To be honest, I could've gone down a completely different route here. I could've quite easily chosen Audi's spectacular free-revving RS4 or Mercedes' innovative new S-Class. Or even the excellent Ferrari. But I wanted to chose something everyone has a chance to own. This is the drivers car for the masses.
The best of the Euro Boxes [Part 3] The best of the Euro Boxes [Part 3] Reviewed by Jack Cooper on 16:00 Rating: 5

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