Hot hatches have come a long way since their rise to popularity was instigated by VW’s 1975 introduction of the Golf GTI, today they are the must have option for the self proclaimed ‘petrol head’ youth, but why?
The success of the hot hatch is a combination of many factors such as practicality and reasonable fuel economy. Meanwhile the number one draw is the ability for those of us with Lamborghini ambitions to experience some get up and go performance whilst sticking to the constraints of our modest budgets.
Of course I’m not talking about new just rolled of the forecourt hot hatches, with the price range for such cars sitting around the £25k plus mark, they too often fall outside our reach. Instead, I’m talking about the vast array of reasonably priced hot hatches available on the used car market.
In order to demonstrate the sheer abundance of talented hot hatches that fall within a modest £5k budget, I spent some time trawling through the used car classifieds over at AA Cars, and here’s my top five.
Ford Fiesta ST – (2005 – 2008)
Sometimes labelled as a ‘Chavved up’ Fiesta, Ford’s Fiesta ST is a 2-Litre, 150 horse, four wheeled rocket. Given its small size and lightweight construction, the ST is capable of 0-60 in just 7.9 seconds and undoubtedly Looks its best in Frozen White with ST Blue, go faster stripes.
Renault Sport Megane – (2006 – 2009)
Number two in my lineup will demand your willing disposal of the full £5k budget, in return you get the advantage of a turbo which enables the Sport Megane to hit 60 from standstill in an impressive 6.3 seconds, making it the quicker of the five. The 2-litre engine kicks out an impressive 222 horses.
The only downside is the Megane’s rather uninspiring interior, although you could argue that its enhanced exterior features and increased performance make up for this.
Mini Cooper S – (2002 – 2006)
Endlessly oozing a sense of fun and adventure, the supercharged Mini Cooper S is a bit of looker, but perhaps a little too ‘cute’ for some buyers. The Cooper S comes equipped with a 1.6-litre engine, six-speed manual gearbox and provided you opt for a John Cooper ‘Works’ edition there are 200 petrol powered horses at your disposal.
Suzuki Swift Sport – (2006 – 2011)
Perhaps lacking a killer party piece, the Suzuki Swift Sport is still a pretty decent all round hot hatch. Although it might not be the quickest, it’s reasonably quick around the corners and on the straights thanks to a 1.6-litre VVT engine, there’s decent running costs too.
Peugeot 206 GTI 180 – (2003 – 2006)
Well known for their ability to throw a pretty decent hot hatch in to production, Peugeot hit the nail on the head when they conceived this beauty. The 206 GTI gives you some pretty serious bucket seat thrills for very little money, it’s not a bad looker either.
Under the hood there’s a meaty 2.0-litre engine which throws no fewer than 180 petrol powered horses and comfortably makes a 0-60 dash in just 7.4 seconds.