Best hot hatches 2020

What's the best hot hatch money can buy? Here we count down our current top 10 – and reveal the models that are best avoided...

Best hot hatches
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What Car? team
17 Jan 2020 11:40

A great hot hatch needs to excel in several areas if it's to be the crowned the cream of the crop.

First, it must be able to get your pulse racing on a twisty back road; if it can’t get you from corner to corner without the edges of your mouth turning up, it has fallen at the first hurdle. So, handling prowess and power delivery are key.

However, hot hatches are likely to be used every day of the week, so also they need to possess a practical, comfortable interior, have reasonable running costs and not be so firm that you quickly tire of them.

Below, we count down our current top 10 – and reveal the models to avoid. And don't forget, if any of them take your fancy, our New Car Buying service could potentially save you thousands.


10. Audi RS3

Save money on a new Audi RS3 with What Car? >>

Audi RS3 front

The RS3 isn't the sharpest hot hatch to drive, but it is still incredibly fast, thanks to a 394bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine that's also used in the TT RS sports car. Four-wheel drive ensures it has incredible all-weather pace, and its interior is the most opulent of any hot hatch. 

2018 Volkswagen Polo GTI

Few manufacturers have as much hot hatch pedigree as Volkswagen, but the hot Polo might not be the first model to spring to mind. It should be on your wish list if you're after a compact hot hatch, though, because it's an accomplished all-rounder that's comfortable and has a good driving position. 

Read our full Volkswagen Polo GTI review >>


8. Mercedes-AMG A35

Save money on a new Mercedes-AMG A35 with What Car? >>

Used Volkswagen Golf R 2016-present

If the bonkers A45 is too much for you, AMG's entry-level hot hatch, the A35, is a pretty tasty choice that provides a lot of performance for much less cash. A grippy chassis and classy interior add to its appeal. 

Read our full Mercedes-AMG A35 review >>


Next: more of our favourite hot hatches >>

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