Thread of the Day: Ford Fiesta ST, Fiat 500 Abarth, or Chevrolet Sonic RS

There’s a battle brewing for king of the pint-sized hot hatch segment. For years the Mini Cooper S was the only entrant in the segment, but recently a slew of contenders have joined the fray looking for pint-sized hot hatch supremacy.  First came the Fiat 500 Abarth, then the sporty Chevrolet Sonic RS, and as of the L.A. auto show, the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST.

For today’s Thread of the Day (inspired by mconsbruck), we want to know which little hot hatch you’d most rather drive on a day-to-day basis. All four cars follow the same formula: front-wheel drive, a turbocharged I-4, and a manual transmission. It’s in the execution where they differ.

The Chevrolet Sonic RS, for example, is probably best described as a lukewarm hatch. Though it has a sportier suspension than the Sonic Turbo, its 1.4-liter four-pot produces the same 138 hp and 148 lf-ft of torque as its lesser sibling. The other three hatches bring their best stuff to the fight with more horsepower, more torque, sport seats, and suspensions. Check out the power breakdown:

Car Engine Transmission Horsepower Torque
Chevrolet Sonic RS 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4 Six-speed manual 138 hp 148 lb-ft
Fiat 500 Abarth 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4 Five-speed manual 160 hp 170 lb-ft
Ford Fiesta ST 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 Six-speed manual 197 hp 214 lb-ft
Mini Cooper S 1.6-liter turbocharged I-4 Six-speed manual 181 hp 177 lb-ft

Horsepower and torque figures are nice, but they don’t tell the whole story. Now that the Fiesta ST’s specs have been revealed and the car has been confirmed for U.S. sale, tell us: Which little hot hatch would you most rather drive? Sound off in the comments below.

By Christian Seabaugh

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