Hot hatch cars

Hot hatch icon
Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

The Fiesta ST sounds great, handles brilliantly, and will put a smile on your face for a very reasonable cost.

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Our top ten hot hatch cars

NameStarting fromTarget priceWhat Car? rating

Ford Fiesta ST

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 5 out of 5
Ford Fiesta

BMW 1 Series M140i

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 5 out of 5
BMW 1 Series

Ford Focus RS

Β£31,765Β£31,250 Rated 5 out of 5
Ford Focus RS

Renault Megane Renault Sport 275

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 5 out of 5
Renault Megane

Suzuki Swift Sport

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 4 out of 5
Suzuki Swift

Volkswagen Golf R

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 4 out of 5
Volkswagen Golf

Audi S3

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 4 out of 5
Audi A3

Volkswagen Golf GTI

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 4 out of 5
Volkswagen Golf

Mercedes-Benz A 45 AMG

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 3 out of 5
Mercedes-Benz A Class

Ford Focus ST

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 4 out of 5
Ford Focus

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Also in this category

NameStarting fromTarget priceWhat Car? rating

Renault CLIO RS

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 4 out of 5
Renault CLIO RS

Audi S1

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 4 out of 5
Audi S1

Skoda Octavia

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 3 out of 5
Skoda Octavia

Seat Leon

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 3 out of 5
Seat Leon

Honda Civic

Β£tbcΒ£tbc Rated 4 out of 5
Honda Civic

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GB

How we define hot hatch cars

A popular choice with UK buyers since the days of the original Golf GTI, the hot hatchback mixes everyday practicality with higher performance and the sort of handling and agility that’s ideally suited to British roads. A good hot hatch should be fun and, since it’s likely to be your daily drive, it should also deliver respectable running costs.

The Golf GTI remains one of the best hot hatches on the market, along with the Ford Focus ST. But there are some terrific options for less money than both of these cars. We're big fans of the no-frills but fun-focused Suzuki Swift Sport – an absolute steal at its price – although of you can find another couple of grand the Ford Fiesta ST is one of the best hot hatches ever.

If you’ve got even more money to spare, there are even faster models available, such as the Audi RS3. We find it hard to justify this sort of money, though, so if you want a seriously fast and premium hot hatch, we’d go for cheaper but even more entertaining BMW M140i.