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 details||Ford Fiesta ST||Toyota GR Yaris||Mercedes-AMG A45 S|
|Engine||1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol||1.6-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol|
|Power||147kW @ 6000rpm||200kW @ 6500rpm||310kW @ 6750rpm|
|Torque||290Nm @ 4000rpm||370Nm @ 3000-4600rpm||500Nm @ 5000-5250rpm|
|Transmission||Six-speed manual||Six-speed manual||EIght-speed DCT automatic|
|Power to weight ratio||123.4kW/t||155kW/t||190.3kW/t|
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.
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.