Best used hot hatches (and the ones to avoid)

With scintillating pace, sensational handling, sensible prices and space for the whole family, used hot hatches have it all. Here are the best on the market today

Words ByAlex Robbins

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Best used hot hatches

The recipe for creating the perfect hot hatch is simple: take a practical hatchback body. Add in a thumping great engine with lots of power. Garnish with a sweet suspension setup that makes it great fun to drive. And… well, that’s about it, actually.

Hot hatches are immensely popular here in the UK because they manage to provide all things to all people. And that popularity has two huge benefits for buyers: firstly, there’s a wealth of different models to choose from, and secondly, there are plenty of examples around on the used market, which makes it easy to find a bargain buy.

But which used hot hatch is best for you? Well, to help you work it out, we’ve put together our top 10 list.

Best used hot hatches

10. Volkswagen Golf R

The Volkswagen Golf R is one of the most desirable hot hatches going – which perhaps explains why it’s so expensive. But if you’re prepared to stump up the price, you get fantastic all-weather ability, thanks to its four-wheel-drive grip, and vast reserves of power, plus all of the great traits of the Golf that we’ve come to know and love, including a practical, spacious interior finished in fine materials.

We found: 2015 R, 18,000 miles, full service history, Β£22,995

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9. BMW 1 Series M135i

It’s one of the most exciting hot hatches going, with a fabulous engine and an exhilarating rear-wheel-drive setup, but the BMW M135i has other strings to its bow. Thanks to high-quality materials, its interior is a cut above, and compared with many of its rivals, it's actually pretty decent value for money. In terms of practicality it loses out slightly, with a small boot, slightly cramped rear seats and tight rear door access, but if driving fun is the main consideration, the M135i is right up there.

We found: 2014 1 Series M135i, 32,000 miles, full service history, Β£17,489

Read the used BMW 1 Series review

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8. Mini Cooper S

If fast, fun and fashionable are your three top priorities, look no further. The Mini Cooper S combines all three, with its great looks, fantastic turbocharged engine, funky interior and involving chassis. Space is at a premium, especially in the boot, and you only get three doors, so it isn’t the most practical hot hatch. But if feel-good factor is the be-all and end-all for you, this car should be high on your list.

We found: 2012 Cooper S, 25,000 miles, full service history, Β£9790

Read the used Mini Hatchback review

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