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.