What we are looking for

  • If there’s one thing a great hot hatch has to do, it’s to put a smile on your face. Eye-widening acceleration is obviously important and everyone loves a tuneful exhaust note, but it’s the way these cars grip, steer and balance themselves through corners that separates the great from the merely good.
  • Unlike full-blooded sports cars, though, hot hatches are generally used as daily drivers. That means they need to offer reasonable practicality and be well equipped, and they shouldn’t be astronomically expensive to run. If they can do all of this without the penalty of a bone-shaking ride or a deafening amount of road noise, then so much the better.