You voted. We tested. Three finalists, lots of laughs, but only one winner!
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Forget ISOFIX points, boot volumes and soft-touch plastics, as we're about to focus on one thing, and one thing only... fun! This is the Drive 2021 BP Ultimate Driver's Car of the Year

In a world where there is daily discussion about technology that lessens (or even removes) your involvement from piloting a car, you could be forgiven for thinking that the role of the driver is becoming less and less relevant to actually driving.

However, while you would be forgiven, you’d also be wrong.

As yes, there are many welcome advances in safety and long-distance touring convenience technology, but we are also seeing many manufacturers investing in features that are really only there for one key reason… fun!

Launch control. Drift mode. Rev-matching. Data logging. None of these helps you get the family to the shops, but they do make your ownership experience a bit more entertaining.

Key detailsFord Fiesta STToyota GR YarisMercedes-AMG A45 S
Engine1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol1.6-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power147kW @ 6000rpm200kW @ 6500rpm310kW @ 6750rpm
Torque290Nm @ 4000rpm370Nm @ 3000-4600rpm500Nm @ 5000-5250rpm
Weight (tare)1191kg1290kg1629kg
Drive typeFront-wheel-driveAll-wheel-driveAll-wheel-drive
TransmissionSix-speed manualSix-speed manualEIght-speed DCT automatic
Power to weight ratio123.4kW/t155kW/t190.3kW/t
Price (MSRP)$32,290$49,500$94,100

This is why, as part of the 2021 Drive Car of the Year program, we want to celebrate the car that best engages and rewards the sheer thrill of driving, with the Drive 2021 BP Ultimate Driver’s Car of the Year award!

It’s an award where we ignore the shape, boot size and infotainment features of a car, and look only at what the machine can do in terms of its ability to entertain whoever is behind the wheel.

To get things moving, we started with six finalists and asked you to vote for your favourite so we could put the top-three to the test.

While the voting results indicated a bit of a runaway favourite, the numbers were pretty close for the other five contenders. However, the Mini Cooper JCW GP, Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR, and Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 just missed out on our final selection.

This leaves the Ford Fiesta ST, Toyota GR Yaris and Mercedes-AMG A45 S as our finalists in the Drive 2021 BP Ultimate Driver’s Car of the Year challenge.

Read the full comparison at Drive.com.au


Winner: Toyota GR Yaris

The 2021 Toyota GR Yaris was the clear leader in our reader voting, and on the day in wet or dry, with Scott or any of the Drive team behind the wheel, it was a blast.

The GR Yaris manages to be quick out of the box for a first-time driver, but even quicker as you begin to understand the behaviour and nuances of its drive modes and handling characteristics.

On our open-range skid pan, the car was a constant entertainer, with as much punch and performance as you need. It communicates and responds well, and the sheer fact that Toyota has added the rear-bias drive mode and power-cut handbrake means the little GR Yaris was designed to be a hoot from the very beginning.A future cult classic, and a worthy winner of the Drive 2021 BP Ultimate Driver’s Car of the Year.