Best used hot hatches for less than £5000 (and the ones to avoid)

Excitement and practicality all wrapped up in one perfect package – and these hot hatches can be yours for less than £5000, too...

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Alex Robbins
10 August 2017

No wonder used hot hatches are so popular. They combine a hatchback body that’s functional enough to use every day with a powerful engine and invigorating handling that allows you to have a bit of fun when you fancy it. They’re also compact, making them easy to drive, and, crucially, cheap to buy and run.

Indeed, look how much used hot hatch you can buy yourself for £5000. For this price, tidy examples of some of our favourite hot hatches ever made are easily within reach. All of these cars are modern enough to be reliable, exciting enough to be desirable, and practical enough to be usable. So, which is the best used hot hatch you can buy for £5000? Read on to find out.

Best used hot hatches for less than £5000

10. Renault Twingo Renault Sport 133

Best used hot hatches for less than £5000 (and the ones to avoid)

Some people don’t think of the Renault Twingo Renault Sport as a hot hatch, because it isn’t actually very fast. 0-62mph takes 8.7sec, for example. However, that belies the engine’s free-revving nature, and the way it comes alive over 6000rpm. Matched to a sparkling chassis, it makes the Twingo one of the most interesting small hot hatches going. Prices are low, toom so you can pick up a relatively new example for our budget. Check everything works, though, because electrical glitches are not unknown.

We found: 2010 Renault Sport Gordini, 43,000 miles, £4500

Find a used Renault Twingo in the PistonHeads Classifieds

9. Vauxhall Corsa VXR

Best used hot hatches for less than £5000 (and the ones to avoid)

The Vauxhall Corsa VXR can’t quite boast the finesse or involvement of its rivals, but what it does offer today is potent performance and great value. You also get an attractive interior built from solid materials, a comfortable ride, and a beautifully balanced chassis, all of which makes it a great everyday hot hatch. Check the air conditioning works, because pipes can split, and listen out for grumbling wheel bearings, another common fault.

We found: 2008 VXR, 61,000 miles, £4993

Read the used Vauxhall Corsa review

Find a used Vauxhall Corsa VXR in the What Car? Classifieds

8. Renault Megane Renault Sport 225

Best used hot hatches for less than £5000 (and the ones to avoid)

It's a little on the soft side, but the first ever Renault Megane Renault Sport was arresting to look at and wonderfully fast. And if you wanted sharper dynamics, you could always tighten things up with the taut Cup chassis option, which firmed up the ride no end, but added an extra layer of sharpness and involvement. Avoid tuned (or 'chipped') examples, and make sure the cambelt’s been recently changed – it’s an expensive job.

We found: 2007 Renault Sport 225 Cup, 62,000 miles, £4990

Read the used Renault Megane review

Find a used Renault Megane in the What Car? Classifieds

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Best used hot hatches for less than £5000 (and the ones to avoid)