XCAR Awards 2013 - Best Affordable Car
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XCAR Awards 2013 - Best Affordable Car

Auto Tech
Contrary to popular belief, we don't only drive fast, expensive cars at XCAR. We also enjoy some affordable fun as much as the next guy. In fact, the cheap are the better, as far as we're concerned. Here, we're looking for the cars that don't cost the Earth, but had keys that we simply refused to relinquish. The VW Up SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo are related. They have their own differences, but for the sake of this award, they all go in one big VW group. But the Citigo Mii Up handles incredibly well and has a perky little 1-liter engine that makes a happy little revving noise that we rather like. Taking the Mii auto [unk] prove just how sorted the handling is, too. They all look good, though the Mii portion of the group is the coolest to look at. The cheap, fun and worthy contenders to the crown. Next up, another VW Group product, the VW Golf GTI. The iconic GTI was updated this year and given a whole 220 brake horsepower. We had it for a week, and each of us love the fact that it does do everything. I mean, it does everything you can need a car to do. It's little on the highest side of affordable, well over 20 grand. But you probably keep it forever, so the cost is surely offset. Hot on the Golf's heels is the Ford Focus ST. The standard Focus' party piece is its wicked handling. But adding 250 brake horsepower with a decent noise into the mix makes the Focus one of the most entertaining cars we've had in to date. It's our current benchmark hot-hatch. One that will take a fad bit of beating-- unless, of course, you take its little brother, the Fiesta ST, out for a spin. It may have less power with 180 brake horsepower, but that doesn't matter. It's fun, shockable, and can't fail to put a smile on your face. It also looks the absolute bolt. Peugeot's 208 GTI makes our shortlist as its blend of power and luxury really impressed this year. Peugeot has a sort of [unk] cleats hanging over its head in the form of the 205 GT-- a car that makes grown men pine for the days when the 205 was new and they still couldn't afford one. The 208 is a grown-up hot-hatch. It's a fast but comfortable, a rare thing in 2013. The final nominee is the Caterham Supersport. Before you start, I know it's an odd choice. But it's around 20 grand, it's fast. And if you don't have any friends or family, there's plenty of room for all the stuff you could possibly want. Oh, and did we mention it's really, really, really, really, really good fun? Well, it is. And the winner is the Citigo- Mii Up. The three cars offer good looks, good fun, and running cars comparable to running a gerbil. And you can't say fairer than that. Do you agree with our affordable car choice? If you do, or even if you don't, leave us a comment in the box below.

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