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Best used hot hatches for less than £10,000

If you want to inject some fun into your everyday motoring, take a look at our top 10 list of used hot hatchbacks for less than £10,000...

Used hot hatches

The hot hatch is the superhero of the fast car world. Rather than forcing buyers to sacrifice space, practicality and affordability – as sports and performance cars do – hot hatches give you all the qualities of a small or family car, plus bucket loads of driver enjoyment. That means fewer compromises, but just as much fun. 

Used hot hatches

Here, we’ve gathered 10 of the very best, and they're all available for less than £10,000 on the used market.

And, if you can't wait to find out what our number one choice is, we can tell you it's the wonderful Ford Fiesta ST. This previous-generation version of Ford's hot small car has enthralled us for years. It's a delight to drive and great value used. 

Best used hot hatches for less than £10,000

1. Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

If the main aim of a hot hatch is unparalleled driver enjoyment, the Ford Fiesta ST reigns supreme. Under the bonnet is a 179bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine of immense liveliness, allied to a slick six-speed manual gearbox that’s a delight to use. Its steering is quick and its handling is grippy yet playful. It's also fun, theatrical and amazing value. The car has great sports seats and a suitably sporty ride too. Put simply, the Fiesta ST isn't just the best car on this list, it's also one of the greats, full stop. 


We found: 2017 Ford Fiesta ST-2, 53,000 miles, £8990

Read our used Ford Fiesta ST review

Find a used Ford Fiesta ST for sale

2. Volkswagen Golf GTI

2013 VW Golf GTI review

There are few icons in the car world more enduring and endearing than the Golf GTI. In the excellent seventh-generation version, a lively 208bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit is used to achieve a 0-62mph time of just 6.7sec. It grips fantastically and handles with an astute balance. If all that wasn’t enough, it’s practical and efficient too. The Golf GTI offers an expert mix of head and heart, making it a go-to choice. 

We found: 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0 TSI, 88,000 miles, £9495

Read our used VW Golf GTI review

Find a used Volkswagen Golf GTI for sale

3. Seat Leon Cupra  

Deal of the day: Seat Leon Cupra

It might look understated but it's quite a hot hatch, this Leon Cupra. For starters, it was more powerful than the contemporary (and closely related) Volkswagen Golf GTI. It can see off 0 to 62mph in just 5.6sec, a remarkable time. The variable-ratio steering is quick and there's plenty of grip. Inside is suitably sporty and stitched and leathery. It's great fun and all yours for less than £10,000. 

We found: 2016 Seat Leon Cupra, 50,000 miles, £9995

Read our used Seat Leon Cupra review 

Find a used Seat Leon Cupra for sale

4. Suzuki Swift Sport

Suzuki Swift Sport

This latest version of the Suzuki Swift Sport may have lost a little of the charisma of the first version, but it can still thrill like few other small hot hatches. Why? Because its low weight, rev-happy nature and engaging driving experience help it feel nippy and exciting to drive. Value is also very much on its side. For our budget, you can easily acquire a 2018 Swift Sport with very reasonable mileage.

We found: 2018 Suzuki Swift Sport, 40,500 miles, £10,000

Read our used Suzuki Swift Sport review

Find a used Suzuki Swift Sport for sale

5. Volkswagen Up GTI

Volkswagen Up GTi 2020 RHD front tracking

It's hard not to be seduced by this little pocket rocket. It's got a gutsy 113bhp 1.0-litre engine that spins easily to the red line. Its steering is precise and well-weighted and wonderfully keen. The gearbox is a slick, six-speed delight too. It's small, lightweight and decently agile, this Up GTI. All told, it has few rivals so small and nifty, and few that are so likeable and such good value to buy used. 

We found: 2018 Volkswagen Up GTI, 58,000 miles, £10,000

Read our used Volkswagen Up GTI review 

Find a used Volkswagen Up GTI for sale

6. Mini Cooper S

Used test: Ford Fiesta ST vs Mini Cooper S

Though the Mini has grown and matured a significant amount since the 1959 original, the latest generation still has plenty of charm, as well as driver appeal. By going for a Cooper S model, you'll get a pocket rocket that can do 0-60mph in just 6.8sec and go on to a top speed of 142mph. Combine that with the go-kart-like handling the Mini Hatchback is known for, and you've got yourself a very fun car indeed – and one that comes with a delightfully plush interior too. Overall, it's a cracking package. 

We found: 2017 Mini Cooper S, 70,000 miles, £9990

Read our used Mini Cooper S review

Find a used Mini Cooper S for sale

7. Ford Focus ST

Used test – hot hatches: Ford Focus ST vs Volkswagen Golf GTI

Ford is fantastic at turning everyday cars into lairy, engaging performance machines, and the previous-generation Focus ST is a prime example. It's a real driver's car, with a wonderful six-speed manual gearbox and a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder coming as part of the package. Its power output of 247bhp delivers a 0-60mph time of 6.5sec, and its loveably angry personality invites you to use that performance and enjoy its agile handling. 

We found: 2016 Ford Focus ST ST-2, 72,000 miles, £9995

Read our used Ford Focus ST review

Find a used Ford Focus ST for sale

8. Audi S1

Audi S1 front

An oldie but a goodie. Based on the first-generation Audi A1, this pumped-up S1 had a magnificent 228bhp 2.0-litre engine under its tiny bonnet, and that was enough to push it in a heady rush from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.0sec. There's a menacing growl from its four exhaust pipes, and its ride, on adaptive suspension, is firm with a capital F. It's four-wheel drive, so there's plenty of bite coming out of corners too. It's a rare car, but if you can find a good one at this price it's a bit of a bargain. 

We found: 2015 Audi S1, 65,000 miles, £9995

Read our used Audi S1 review 

Find a used Audi S1 for sale

9. Volkswagen Polo GTI

Volkswagen Polo GTI

For a hot hatch, the Polo GTI might seem rather tame. It won't thrill you like more engaging rivals, nor can it provide truly exhilarating performance. However, it is fun to drive, plus it earns bonus points for respectable fuel economy, reasonable used prices and praiseworthy comfort. Our money should put you in a 2017 car, too. 

We found: 2017 Volkswagen Polo GTI, 50,000 miles, £9500

Read our used Volkswagen Polo GTI review

Find a used Volkswagen Polo GTI for sale

10. Peugeot 208 GTi

Peugeot 208 GTi

The 208 GTi offers great value. Our money buys an example featuring the 205bhp 1.6-litre engine –  early, 2013 cars made do with a mere 197bhp. The 0-60mph sprint takes 6.5sec, and it feels very quick, as well as sharp and eager to change direction. Sure, some alternatives feel even sportier, but the 208 GTi is a hoot to drive nonetheless. 

We found: 2016 Peugeot 208 GTi Prestige, 65,000 miles, £9000

Read our used Peugeot 208 GTi review 

Find a used Peugeot 208 GTi for sale 

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