Hot hatchbacks offer an attractive combination of practicality and performance. Based on family hatchbacks designed to be perfect for everyday driving, hot hatches are the default choice for performance car fans with family comitments and the cash for only one car.
The first-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI is often thought of as the first mainstream hot hatch, and the GTI name is still in use for VW's biggest-selling car in the UK.
BMW, Suzuki, SEAT and even Kia have produced their own hot hatchbacks too, and all of those manufacturers manage to find a spot on our top 10 list. Hot hatch buyers have a wide scope of choice, with the upmarket BMW M135i at the top of the scale offering a more serious performance option and the Suzuki Swift Sport providing cheap and cheerful thrills.
With their potent engines, beefed-up brakes and tweaked driving dynamics, hot hatches are great fun to drive on the road, and can be taken on track days as well. Best of all though, you can still take your mother out or go to the supermarket in them.
With these cars often being the top-spec models in their respective ranges, you get loads of standard equipment as well. Sat-nav, sports seats and larger alloy wheels are common extras you get as standard on hot hatchbacks.
Make sure you take a long test drive in your chosen hot hach before you buy - some can have a hard ride and it might not suit your needs, especially if you have lots of rough roads on your commute.
Click on the links below, or use the navigation panel on the top left of this page, to see our list of the top 10 best hot hatchbacks...
1. SEAT Leon SC Cupra
2. Ford Fiesta ST
3. Volkswagen Golf GTI
4. Suzuki Swift Sport
5. BMW M135i
6. Renault Megane RS 275
7. Skoda Octavia vRS
8. MINI Cooper S
9. Peugeot 208 GTi
10. Kia Pro_cee’d GT