Straddling the line between performance hot hatches and more flamboyant coupes and city-car designs, the C30 makes a lot of compromises--all in the name of fashion and style.
The Hyundai Veloster also makes some compromises for a fashionable roofline, although its trick third door aids usability; the Hyundai isn't as much fun to drive in base form, but a Turbo is on the way.
The MINI Cooper remains the C30's most direct rival; in Cooper S trim, the MINI offers more satisfying performance and a sprightlier driving feel, while its interior is also more useful and real-world spacious.
At the more refined end of the group is the Volkswagen GTI; while the GTI is satisfying to drive, its fault is that it looks almost exactly like the affordable Golf.
Such is also the case with the MazdaSpeed3, which looks similar to the Mazda3 but offers a rorty turbocharged engine and friskier driving—yet with just enough daily-driver comfort.
The Audi A3 is a design that's been around just as long as the C30; it's a different sort of body style--more like a station wagon--but it's especially spacious and versatile, with an available diesel engine or all-wheel drive.
The BMW 1-Series is also one more rival; it's dynamically superior to the C30, but it's priced beyond the budget of most C30 shoppers.
And we can't forget the Ford Focus ST that will be headed to dealerships later in the year.
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|21 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy|
|Turbocharged Gas I5||Turbocharged Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Turbocharged Gas I4|
|Compact Car||Small Station Wagons||Compact Cars||Compact||Minicompact|
|2dr Coupe Man||4dr HB Man FrontTrak 2.0T Premium||3dr Coupe Man w/Black Int||4dr Sedan Man i SV||2dr Coupe|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Coupe||Hatchback||Coupe||4 Door Sedan||Coupe|