The best hot hatchbacks

  • Our pick of the very best hot hatches available
  • Which hot hatch should you choose? 
  • Quick off the line: sub-6.0 second 0-62mph times
  • Our pick of the very best hot hatches available
  • Which hot hatch should you choose? 
  • Quick off the line: sub-6.0 second 0-62mph times

If you’re a keen driver looking for your next hot hatchback, there’s quite a list of cars to pick from.  

To help you decide which one is right for you, we’ve chosen six top-rated performance hatchbacks which cost less than £32,000 to buy and will sprint from 0-62mph in under six seconds.

Which is the best hot hatch?

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Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS - the best hot hatchbacks

Ferocious straight-line speed and superb handling make the Ford Focus RS one of the best hot hatches around. And that 0-62mph time of just 4.7 seconds means it's the quickest in our list too.

Under the bonnet is the same 2.3-litre engine found in the new Mustang while the all-wheel drive system makes ‘drift mode’ possible for even greater fun in the corners.

Considering the bonkers headline figures on offer, the price tag of £31,680 seems equally astonishing.

Starting price: £31,680
0-62mph: 4.7 seconds
Top speed: 165mph
Power: 345bhp
Torque: 440Nm
Engine type: 2-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol
Driven wheels: All
Star rating: 5 stars

View the latest Ford Focus cars for sale

BMW M135i

BMW M135i - the best hot hatchbacks

On the road the BMW M135i proves why it’s one of the best hot hatches around, thanks to its 3-litre turbocharged six-cylinder engine achieving 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds, while the rear-wheel drive and sharp handling offer one of the most rewarding drives in the segment.  

Revised in 2015 with subtle design touches, the M135i was also given more power and enhanced standard kit.

New price: £21,420 - £34,480
Used price: £5,880 - £27,720
0-62mph: 4.9 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Power: 322bhp
Torque: 450Nm
Engine type: 3-litre, six-cylinder, turbocharged petrol
Driven wheels: Rear
Star rating: 5 stars

View the latest BMW M135i cars for sale

SEAT Leon Cupra 290

SEAT Leon Cupra 290 - the best hot hatchbacks

Sharing many of its underpinnings with the Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3, the SEAT Leon Cupra is also the cheapest of the trio.

Fitted under the bonnet is a 2-litre turbocharged petrol engine which, late in 2015, was upgraded to offer a touch more power at 286bhp and a greater spread of torque.

Impressively nimble in the corners and fast in a straight line, the Cupra 290 is also one of the most stylish-looking hot hatchbacks you can buy.

New price: £26,480 - £34,090
Used price: £13,015 - £24,835
0-62mph: 5.7 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Power: 286bhp
Torque: 350Nm
Engine type: 2-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Driven wheels: Front
Star rating: 4.5 stars

View the latest SEAT Leon Cupra 290 cars for sale

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R - the best hot hatchbacks

It was one of the most hotly anticipated cars of 2015 and the new Honda Civic Type R continues to divide opinion when it comes to those eye-catching looks.

Under the bonnet is a 2-litre, four-cylinder petrol which uses a turbo to produce 306bhp and 400Nm of torque. The end result? A car which can sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.7 seconds.

It’s not just pace which the Type R has on its side either, sharp handling and excellently-weighted steering make it great fun to drive.

New price: £30,200 - £32,500
Used price: £18,790 - £27,960
0-62mph: 5.7 seconds
Top speed: 167mph
Power: 306bhp
Torque: 400Nm
Engine type: 2-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol
Driven wheels: Front
Star rating: 4 stars

View the latest Honda Civic Type R cars for sale 

Audi S3 Sportback

Audi S3 Sportback - the best hot hatchbacks

If you’re in the market for a sporty car that can be used in all conditions, the Audi S3 is a stellar bet. Thanks to Quattro four-wheel drive it’ll work well even in rain or snow, while its 2-litre engine provides loads of power and you also get that famous Audi build quality as standard.

Design cues may be very subtle over the standard A3 Sportback, but the S3’s sharp handling and enormous amount of grip make it great fun to drive.  

New price: £30,800 - £39,315
Used price: £17,840 - £31,725
0-62mph: 4.8 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Power: 296bhp
Torque: 380Nm
Engine type: 2-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol
Driven wheels: All
Star rating: 4 stars

View the latest Audi S3 cars for sale

Volkswagen Golf R (2014-2016)

VW Golf R - the best hot hatchbacks

Its versatility is one of the Volkswagen Golf R’s strongest suits, proving comfortable on the motorway yet rewarding in the corners and serious quick on a straight bit of road.

The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine is the same as found in the Golf GTI, but VW’s engineers have reworked it up to 296bhp and torque of 380Nm which enables a super-quick 0-62mph time of below five seconds.

New price: £31,000 - £33,775
Used price: £14,260 - £27,850
0-62mph: 4.9 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Power: 296bhp
Torque: 380Nm
Engine type: 2-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol
Driven wheels: All
Star rating: 4 stars

View the latest Volkswagen Golf R cars for sale

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