Cars

Ford Fiesta ST vs. Hyundai i20N in comparison test

Who hasn’t yet, who wants again? Two absolute fun guarantors are starting the new round. The Hyundai i20 N, which has often played its way up in the class of small hooligans, and the Ford Fiesta ST. Still inferior in the last comparison, a fundamental facelift and more torque now give the Cologne a broad cross. In order to be able to leave the duelists on a sufficient leash, we are moving from the fairground directly to the Contidrom near Hanover to clarify the most pressing question there: Who is the fastest midget in the whole country?

Even on the outside, both make it clear where the journey is going. Expansive aprons at the front and rear, sills and spoilers mix with the beefy 18-inch aluminum to create a self-confident sports outfit that nips any confusion with the slides of the local maintenance service in the bud. They just want to play. However, not with the cute clumsiness of little kittens, but rather with the wild determination of adolescent tigers. Let’s go!

Ford Fiesta ST

For the first time since the facelift, the Fiesta is also available with LED matrix headlights, as shown here.


The new Ford Performance seats inspire right away. Compared to the old – by no means bad – Recaros, they are a hammer. Good grip, grip in every position and so comfortable that you don’t curse them after the first 200 kilometers. The i20 chairs are a little less exciting, if anything but bad.

Hyundai with more generous space

A little weaker in support, a little less contoured – suffering at a high level. In addition, the Fiesta now comes with the new Sync 3 operating system with significantly improved voice control and digital instruments. A big step forward, even if the menu navigation still requires some getting used to. The workmanship is decent here and there, the space available for this four-meter class is more than sufficient, even if the Koreans are always a bit more generous. Especially in the trunk.

Ford Fiesta ST

The three pots, each with a displacement of half a liter, make the ST very easy to turn. In normal operation, it remains cultivated and economical.


But we didn’t go to Ikea, we went to the race track. So enough with the theory. Chip, sorry, key in and go. They both have powerful voices and storm off, hissing hoarsely. The three-cylinder in the Fiesta can now keep up surprisingly well with the four-cylinder in the i20 thanks to a torque booster of 20 Nm.

Like bumper cars, they are actually always the same speed. The Ford counters the somewhat better start of the Hyundai with more revving ability at the top, which slowly but surely lets it pull away from 160 km/h. Here the N at the speed limit seems a bit tighter. At the top of 230 km / h there is agreement again, but the Ford looks a little more lively overall.
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6.4 l/100 km • 151 g/km

6.7 l/100 km • 158 g/km


But before victory come the curves. And they are Hyundai territory. Despite the somewhat synthetically responsive steering from the middle position, the i20 is the benchmark in its class. It bites into tight corners and then, thanks to the cleanly gripping differential lock from the performance equipment for 2000 euros, brutally builds up grip at the exit.

ST raises his leg

Despite the fact that ESP can be switched off, it is always easy to control in long curves and understeers only slightly at the limit. It doesn’t get any better than that. But more fun. The Ford is a case for experienced drivers. In curves, the front end buckles and the ST sometimes lifts its leg. By carefully removing the gas, you can play with the rear and put the whole car in a completely new track. What is the greatest fun for pros quickly ends in the gravel bed for beginners.

Hyundai i20 N Performance

The performance equipment of the i20 N for 2000 euros also includes the differential lock.


Only in racetrack mode, of course. To be fair, it should be mentioned that both competitors with the ESP switched on don’t let anything burn. The Fiesta is also equipped with a differential lock thanks to the obligatory performance package for 1100 euros. However, there is not much to remember about it. In tight bends, the ST scrapes helplessly with both wheels in the direction of the outer edge, giving away valuable time and points. In the end, he is 1.15 seconds behind the i20. In racing, that’s an eternity.

i20 N significantly coarser

Off-piste, the Ford shows the better footwork. Especially on bumpy surfaces, its chassis with clearly defined rebound and compression levels and sensitive tuning is superior to the dry i20. With less spring travel on rough bumps, the Korean is faster at the end and rides much rougher and less polished.

Hyundai i20 N Performance

Good, but very tidy i20 cockpit. Most striking are the blue “N” buttons on the steering wheel.


Last but not least, the ST is then slowed down again by the N. And in the literal sense. While the i20 with fat 320 mm brake discs at the front and 262 mm at the rear with a warm system is already after 32.9 meters, the Fiesta sails a smooth two meters further with standard 278/253 mm discs, and also unsettles with a muddy pedal feel.

The two demonstrate again at the checkout that they are very close to the people. In the test trim, the i20 N costs 28,970 euros, the Fiesta ST is a smooth 30,000 euros. The Hyundai uses its advantage of the five-year guarantee with expensive insurance classes and an almost cheeky maintenance interval of 10,000 kilometers.

Ford Fiesta ST, Hyundai i20 N

The price difference between i20 and ST is just over 1000 euros. The muscle tots differ in character.


Even if a ride in a bumper car is certainly much cheaper in the end – when it comes to the price-driving fun ratio, these two are way ahead.

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