It has been a banner year for compact performance cars. With the exception of the lamentable regression suffered by the redesigned Honda Civic (which has been addressed with an emergency refresh for the 2013 model year), the past twelve months have seen the introduction of a host of exciting small hatchbacks and coupes onto the market. Automakers as diverse as Scion, Ford, Subaru, Hyundai, and even Chevrolet have made new efforts to appeal to those seeking affordable, fun-to-drive cars that can deliver startling levels of acceleration and handling.
We decided to pit two of the most distinctive sporty compact cars head to head - the 2013 Hyundai Veloster Turbo and the 2013 Subaru BRZ - to compare and contrast the very different approaches taken by their respective manufacturers when it comes to delivering cheap thrills to automotive enthusiasts. It's a battle of turbo versus boxer, rear-wheel drive versus front-wheel drive, and practicality versus sleek styling. In short, it's a fight for the dollars of compact car fans who are faced with a difficult choice between two cars that, on paper, appear to be within spitting distance of each other. From behind the wheel, however, the driving experience offered by each of these vehicles tells its own unique story.