Not Convinced?

Ryan Borroff

VW Polo GTI 1.4 TSI DSG, £19,570
If you feel nostalgic about the first Golf GTIs, perhaps this Polo GTI is a better option. It’s only got a 1.4-litre engine that delivers just 177bhp, but it still gets up to 142mph and can hit 62mph in 6.9 seconds. It’s a good-looking car that steers clear of the usual GTI detailing and comes with three or five doors. It’s got the same emissions and CO2 emissions as the 208 GTI.

Ford Fiesta ST, £16,995
You’ll pay a whole two grand less for the Ford Fiesta ST, but is it £2K less exciting? Not at all. It may lag behind the 208 GTI with a top speed of 137mph and reach 62mph 0.1 second slower but there’s more drama involved. It gets the same score when it comes to fuel economy and it’s slightly less polluting with 138g/km emissions. Overall it’s more fun.

Renault Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo EDC, £18,995
This classic pocket rocket now comes with five doors and it’s the nearest to its French rival in terms of stats, with a similar price and the same top speed of 143mph. Its turbocharged 1.6-litre engine has the same power output of the 208 GTI but it’s fractionally faster with a 0-62mph of 6.7 seconds. The new automatic twin-clutch gearbox which has alarmed purists.