What alternatives should I consider to a used Peugeot 308 GTI hatchback?
The most obvious rival to the 308 GTi is the iconic Volkswagen Golf GTI, currently in Mk7 mode. It’s easier to drive in tricky conditions and more well-rounded than the Peugeot. That said, it doesn’t quite have the fluidity or the involvement of some of the truly hot hot hatches, but it gives the feeling it’ll last forever.
A more interesting option if you want four-wheel drive is the Ford Focus RS. Its rear-biased chassis makes it more exciting to drive than the Golf and the 308 and it’ll even allow you to set up lurid four-wheel drifts – obviously, that's best done away from the public road. It’s also devilishly quick, but it is spoiled by a high driving position and a plasticky interior.