Best hot hatches 2024 – the most fun, and the one to avoid

A great hot hatch needs to combine driving fun with everyday usability. So, which models do it best – and which one is best avoided?...

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A great hot hatch needs to excel in several areas if it's to be 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 raise a smile then it’s fallen at the first hurdle. Here, handling prowess and power delivery are key. Equally, it must serve as excellent everyday transport, providing practicality, comfort and reasonable running costs.

We assess every hot hatchback on sale by driving thousands of miles on the road and on our test track. But because they also serve as everyday workhorses, we put their practicality to the test by filling them full of passengers and their luggage, and we assess their fuel economy, value for money and likely ownership experience. All the areas that matter to the hot hatch buyer, in other words. Here are the top 10, plus the hot hatch to avoid.

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