Before you start tickling your Blackberry to tell us we paired these two just a few months ago [“Dirty Speed, Done Dirt Cheap,” January 2009], listen up: These aren’t quite the same as the top two in that seven-way all-skate. Both have undergone makeovers for 2010, so we are clearly obligated to explore what effect, if any, the revisions have had on their relative standing in the cheap-speed continuum.

That’s our official rationale. Unofficially, we figure no excuse is too trivial when there’s a chance to put these compact outlaws through their paces. (How’s that? They changed the GTI’s headlight bezels? And the Speed 3 has new exhaust tips? Okay! Let’s go!)

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