The debate will probably never stop raging on in regards to which is the best option: buying a new car for a set budget, or looking for different second-hand model that was more expensive when new yet is now in the exact same price bracket and usually better performing.
Matt Farah of TheSmokingTire recently put two of these apparently mismatched contenders to the test, in order to find out which side of the argument would win based on the important criteria of fun and usable performance; he chose a brand new 2014 Ford Fiesta ST and pitted it against an all-time favorite, the E46 M3 from BMW.
[ed. Note: Spoiler Alert] Surprisingly, it’s the smaller car that wins out in the end, helped by the easier access to its turbocharged performance, as well as the multitude of newfangled gizmos and options that allow you to connect your gadgets to it. The M3 needs to be revved much harder to access its performance, plus it’s more difficult to drive fast. Granted, when you do manage to get into a rhythm with it on a moderately twisty road, it will still outpace the Fiesta…
However, Farah says that with better steering feel than the M3, more supportive seats and the aforementioned ease of access to the performance of the 1.6-liter turbo engine make it the better all-rounder, even with the extra-stiff suspension that it comes with and the less supple ride compared to the BMW.
The latter would still make for an excellent choice for those who do visit the track regularly, though.
Check out the video below.
By Andrei Nedelea