already a firm favourite among car buyers, the crossover has become increasingly popular in the last decade
After the arrival of the archetype VW Golf GTI in the 80s, hot hatches became a staple in the auto world with many manufacturers beginning to pursue a powerful engine in a small body. If you’re after a performance car for relatively reasonable costs, then a hot hatch is for you.
The best of them boast performance to rival some sports cars, but in a tweaked hatchback body. Hot hatches usually have a lot of styling extras too, such as large rear wings and alloy wheels. This much power and style may come at a reasonable price relative to performance, but certainly less so when compared to other car types. If you were to buy a brand new Mercedes-AMG A45 or Audi RS3 Sportback, for example, you can expect a price tag of around £40,000.
he most stand-out of hot hatches are something of a household name these days, with models like Honda’s Civic Type R and Ford’s Focus RS being a regular feature on British roads. These models are known for providing an enjoyable drive, with plenty of power and handling prowess, but are also renowned for flashiness. Versions like the aforementioned Golf GTI, on the other hand, go about their business in a much more subtle way.
A hot hatch might not look or drive like your typical family car, but part of its charm is that there’s nothing stopping you from using it as one. The very nature of a hatchback means there’s a fair amount of room in the boot – still with folding rear seats – plus there’s usually lots of added tech and safety features too. A legitimate candidate for transporting your little ones.
With bags of charm and performance, the Abarth 500 is in a deserved top spot.
The Ford Fiesta is the most popular selling new car, and the ST is its hot hatch variant.
The Audi RS3 brings huge amounts to the hot hatch arena.
The Ford Focus ST is probably the most recognisable of all hot hatches.
The Renault Megane RS brings years of hot hatch learnings to bear.