What's the most fun hatchback for £10,000?

As I will buy one last non-EV as a runabout before most probably switching to battery power within a couple of years, what would you recommend as a used buy under £10,000, as a ‘last hurrah car’ with a petrol engine and manual gearbox to give the most enjoyable drive? It can be any age as long as it is reasonably reliable, doesn’t have to be especially fast, just brisk with the right steering, ride and handling quality to give a lovely driving experience.

Asked on 5 June 2023 by David Hackett

Answered by Andrew Brady
A BMW 1 Series would tick the box nicely. Look for a facelifted example of the last-gen model (from 2015 onwards) - even the BMW 118i is fun to drive, with a punchy 1.5-litre petrol engine and eager, rear-wheel-drive handling. Otherwise, you might be surprised how well a SEAT Leon or Ford Focus drives - and you'll get for your money compared to the BMW, too.
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