3. 2014 Ford Fiesta ST
In 2009, the Fiesta ranked third in units sold out of all Ford models in the history of the company, with exactly zero units having ever been sold in North America. After nearly 25 years of exporting its hot hatchback, Ford finally gave the American market a taste, and in trying to make up for lost time, is bringing the snappy ST version to market in 2014. Under the hood will be the same turbocharged 1.6-liter engine found in the Fusion, but tuned to produce 197 horsepower and 214 lb-ft of torque. There will be plenty of tweaks to the handling, with a tighter steering ratio for more precision and a stiffer suspension for better control, with a bit of a loss of ride quality. Larger front brakes as well as disc brakes in the rear create a modified version of torque vectoring for tighter cornering. Folks who don’t like using their left foot are in for a disappointment, as the Fiesta ST will only be available with a six-speed manual transmission. With power and performance, the Fiesta ST could finally convince the American public that hot hatchbacks are worth their while. The icing on the cake is that it is also affordable, with a list price right around $25,000 and gas mileage in the low 30s. If it sounds too good to be true, just check in your local Ford showroom in late 2013 and be prepared to be proven wrong.