It’s true the Renaultsport Mégane isn’t perfect; the steering could be a fraction quicker, as could the gearchange, the engine note’s a bit dull and it’s difficult to see out of the back. Countered against those criticisms is the fact that this car has a peppy 247bhp 2.0-litre turbo that achieves 0-60mph in 6.1sec, sticks to the road like lipstick to a guilty man’s shirt and has handling that would shame a track car. The Cup version is an absolute hoot, being rapid, agile and, above all, fun. And at this sort of money, it’s tremendous value.
There are few icons in the car world more enduring and endearing than the Golf GTI. The fifth generation was a welcome return to form and this sixth-generation model added a smidgeon of extra refinement to its considerable sporting talents. A lively 208bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit is enough to produce a 0-62mph time of just 6.7sec. It grips like a limpet and handles with a balance that’s the preserve of only the finest. If all that wasn’t enough, it’s extremely practical and quite efficient, too.
Dispense with any preconceived notions you might have of the workaday Honda Civic when you approach a Type R. This version has a 197bhp 2.0-litre VTEC engine that howls like a banshee and revs to 8000rpm and propels the Civic from 0-62mph in 6.8sec. It’s tremendous – fast, fun, reliable and roomy. Prices start from as low as £5000 and our £10k limit buys a late model car with a low mileage.
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