Like hot hatches? You’ll love these 10 cars
British car buyers love hot hatches. They are practical and sensible everyday cars… that happen to be combined with a punchy, powerful engine, tuned suspension and bucketloads of fun that guarantee they’re a blast to drive.
Because they’re so popular, it’s great news for secondhand car buyers. There are loads of cars on the market to pick and choose from, and many of them are available at a bargain price. It’s child’s play to get a good deal on a hot hatch great – so, to get you thinking, here’s 10 cars you may like to pick and choose from.
10: Volkswagen Golf R
The Golf R isn’t the cheapest of hot hatches, but it’s one of the best, so it makes our top 10. It has a huge amount of power and four-wheel drive to cope with it all, and it’s become a bit of a modern-day legend amongst hot hatch enthusiasts.
Buy this: 2015 R, 40,000 miles, £17,695
9: BMW 1 Series M135i
The M135i is another car with a rich price tag but plenty of justification for it. The six-cylinder turbo engine is a gem and the rear-drive chassis is sportscar-grade. It’s not the roomiest inside though, particularly in the back, which chips away at its hot hatch credentials.
Buy this: 2018 M135i, 38,000 miles, £17,692
8: Mini Cooper S
The little Mini Cooper S has a cracking turbocharged engine and a gem of a chassis that helps it live up to every claim of being kart-like. It also looks the business and is a thrill to drive – although, like the BMW, it’s not particularly spacious inside…
Buy this: 2014 Cooper S, 29,000 miles, £11,790
7: Suzuki Swift Sport
Looking for a hot hatch bargain that’s also great behind the wheel? Look no further. The Swift Sport may only have 134bhp, but what it lacks in on-paper firepower, it makes up for with pure high-revving thrills. Bulletproof reliability and ample practicality are other bonuses.
Buy this: 2015 Sport, 33,000 miles, £8000
6: Volkswagen Golf GTI
The daddy of them all, the Golf GTI is actually a better secondhand hot hatch buy than its more powerful Golf R sibling. It has less power, which means no need for four-wheel drive, and a purer driving expensive is the result. It’s also exceptionally practical.
Buy this: 2013 GTI 5dr, 39,000 miles, £14,895
5: Ford Focus ST
The Focus ST is a direct competitor to the Golf GTI. It has even more power and offers exceptional value for money, while the drive is pin-sharp and poised. Let-downs are a busy interior and cheap plastics, and you’ll want to avoid the base ST-1 as it lacks kit. You can even get an estate version, if you so wish.
Buy this: 2013 ST-2, 31,000 miles, £12,495
4: Seat Leon Cupra 280
Looking for something punchier than a Golf GTI, but without the Golf R’s price tag? Welcome to the Seat Leon Cupra 280, a Golf-derived hot hatch that boasts 276bhp and a polished suspension setup including a limited-slip differential. It’s a superb-value hot hatch.
Buy this: 2014 Cupra 280, 61,000 miles, £14,447
3: Renault Megane Renault Sport
One of the best driver’s hot hatches around, this Megane is a modern-day classic. The chassis is incredible, and the powerful engine is the perfect match for it. You may have issue with the firm ride and low-rent interior, but just a few minutes behind the wheel will convince you it’s a legend…
Buy this: 2015 Renault Sport 265, 31,000 miles, £14,895
2: Skoda Octavia vRS
We said at the start that hot hatches need to be practical, and there’s no more practical choice out there than the Octavia vRS, either in hatch or estate guise. You can even get it as a diesel, although we’d prefer the petrol – it has a Golf GTI engine, after all. Fun to drive and, at this price, a real bargain.
Buy this: 2014 vRS TSI hatch, 32,500 miles, £12,980
1: Ford Fiesta ST
The Fiesta is a hugely popular car in Britain, and the ST version is one of the best hot hatches you can buy at any price. It’s thus our top pick, with a winning combination of practicality and fun. The ride is a bit firm and the interior cheap, but you’ll soon overlook this, particularly if you pick up a well-stocked ST-2 or ST-3.
Buy this: 2013 ST-r, 37,000 miles, £9491