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Used Car of the Year Awards 2021: Hot hatches
With demand for used cars on the rise, you’ll want to know which are the best buys. That’s where our annual Used Car Awards come in. These are our favourite hot hatches...
BMW M140i (2016-2019)
The BMW M135i is a previous winner of this award, but we’ve now reached the point where the even faster M140i can be bought used for less than £18,000. And what made the M140i so great when it was new holds just as true today. The driving experience centres around the car’s brawny six-cylinder engine. That may sound like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, but it pulls like a locomotive and delivers a soundtrack that the four-cylinder Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R simply can’t get close to matching.
True, both of these rivals will corner at least as quickly, but the M140i is more fun. Its steering lets you place the front wheels exactly where you want, and you can feel the car moving around you when you get back on the power, which sounds scary but is actually thrilling. Being a BMW, it also has quality materials inside, plus there’s space for four and the ride is supple.
Ford Fiesta ST (2013-2017)
Best buy less than £12,000
The Fiesta ST won this category last year, and it’s still an outstanding used hot hatch at three years old. Rivals such as the Mini Cooper S, Renault Clio RS and Volkswagen Polo GTI are nowhere near as sharp or fun to drive, plus the ST’s engine pulls strongly right across its rev range and sounds wonderfully fruity.
Honda Civic Type R (2017-present)
Best buy less than £25,000
The Civic Type R beats the rival Ford Focus ST, Renault Mégane RS and Volkswagen Golf GTI as a new car, and the same is true as a used buy. It’s that bit more enjoyable to drive, thanks to precise, feelsome steering and a fluent ride, yet it’s also surprisingly practical and easy to live with.
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