Best hot hatchbacks

Best hot hatchbacks 2013 top 10
25 Sep, 2014 11:30am Sam Naylor

Our top 10 list of the best hot hatches on the market today

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

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No Astra VXR? What?

This car mag hates Vauxhall so much that it's starting to become ridiculous :D

The Focus is the most dynamic and attractive of all.

On the whole I pretty much agree with this Autoexpress line-up of the best hot hatches.
After all hot hatch is all about affordable fun but albeit Seat Leon is a good car yet its appearance with the diesel engine at #2 seems a bit sassy.
Suzuki is at best a warm hatch and the omissions of the A45 AMG and Astra VXR may upset a few.

Abarth 500 595? Not the obvious choice, but a real pocket rocket.

Skoda Fabia vRS
Bargain bucket performance!

Swift Sport? come on... Octavia not even a hatchback... Clio RS? RS3? A1 AMG? CZT? Polo GTi? Astra VXR? is it a joke?

propaganda for ever....

The Focus is the best here... by miles!!

It is a hatchback...

How is the Astra VXR not on this list?! Its a stonking car that wipes the floor with 90% of the cars on that list.

Also Leon FR diesel...? Sorry but hatches cannot be hot with a dirty diesel under the bonnet.

I thought the Talbot Sunbeam was the first hot hatch?

Vauxhall isn't a class leader... Its even been proven that its slower to 60 than the Focus.

Is it necessary to be faster to 60 than the Focus to get on the list?

Don't like the Focus myself, it's too chav.

Focu´s better...by far!

I'm sorry to correct you, but the Suzuki Swift Sport is a great little car.

Yes, the focus is better if you wear a Burberry cap, thick gold chaps and live in Essex. You may find that the rest of us disagree.

Regardless of how you want to percieve the image behind the Focus, it is a brilliant hot hatch. Arguably the best in class. It could be argued the Golf would be better if you wear a trilby and smoke a pipe though!

First hot hatch probably the Alfasud. Renault 5 and Golf came after. I think Suzuki is a "warm hatch" (even check wikipedia and they agree!).

These are not the best 10 available today, but all offer something good in their niche.

Top 10 trend setters would be good.... e.g. Skoda Fabia VRs.... first diesel only hot hatch??

A45AMG should be here too. Mainly as the most powerful hot hatch ever??

"Swift Sport remains the best ‘warm’ hatchback on sale." - Autoexpress...... say no more

From that list, probably Cooper S - a car you can actually use 100% of it's power easily without breaking the law. Torquey turbo and flat cornering great. But torque steer could make it a potential handful on twisty roads.

This crowd have been driving Audi A3s and the BMW 1 Series for years.

Is there a hot hatch that isn't chav?

Simca 1100ti from 1973/4? No slouch for a small-mid size car from 40 years ago and worthy of the hot hatch label by the standards of the time.

It's funny how some people ruin cars for others. I like the 1 Series, but couldn't drive one because of the idiots who give it a bad image, same with the A3.

The association with Gordon Brown has ruined Volvo for me.

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