Top 10: Hot hatches

Those old enough to remember the hot hatchbacks of the 1980s will have fond memories of cars like the original Golf GTI and Ford Escort XR3i. The cars have changed a lot since then, but hot hatches are still hugely popular with buyers in the UK. So here are the top 10 most popular hot hatch reviews on the site, as decided by you - our audience.

Can't decide what to buy? Let our unique Car Chooser help you


Ford Fiesta ST

The ST name may have replaced the XR2i badge - more's the pity - but Ford's small hot hatch is as popular as ever. Despite its latest model going down the downsized, turbocharged engine route with a 1.5-litre petrol engine producing 200PS, it remains one of our favourite hot hatches.

Read the full Ford Fiesta ST review


Hyundai i30N

Hyundai launched its first hot hatch in 2018. Based on the rather drab i30, no one had particularly high hopes for the i30N. But it's brilliant. And that's not 'brilliant for a first attempt', it's genuinely a competitor to the Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

Read the full Hyundai i30N review


Volkswagen Golf R

With a price tag of nearly £35k, the Golf R is not a cheap hot hatch by any means. There is of course the already impressive (and cheaper) Golf GTI but the R really ups the ante with 310PS from a 2.0-litre engine and four-wheel drive. Unlike the GTI however, the Golf R is also available as an estate. So you can go very fast on the way home from Ikea.

Read the full Volkswagen Golf R review

List Price from £39,270
Buy new from £33,680

Skoda Octavia vRS

The fact the Octavia is available as a hatch or estate - and with both petrol and diesel engines - shows how much hot hatches have had to adapt over the years. The vRS badge has built up a strong reputation and while it may not have huge amounts of power compared to some, the vRS is still a quick yet comfortable hot hatch.

Read the full Skoda Octavia vRS review

List Price from £30,605
Buy new from £25,330

Honda Civic Type R

Possibly the wildest hot hatch on the market, the Civic Type R packs 320PS and a hefty 400Nm of torque, taking it to 62mph in 5.7 seconds. It's not a car for shy and retiring types, thanks to its huge wing and aggressive appearance, but it's one of the fastest A to B cars money can buy.

Read the full Honda Civic Type R review


Volkswagen Golf GTI

While the current GTI may not be a 'hardcore' hot hatch, it's still one of our favourites. Like the Octavia vRS, it's a great all rounder that's comfortable yet quick. Plus if you want a slightly more special GTI there's the 245PS Performance model.

Read the full Volkswagen Golf GTI review

List Price from £33,510
Buy new from £28,555

MINI John Cooper Works

The most powerful MINI ever, the JCW is a riot to drive. With 231PS, it will hit 62mph in 6.3 seconds and is good for a top speed of 153mph. Outright speed isn't what the MINI's all about, however, and it's making progress on a twisty B-road that the JCW's at its best.

Read the MINI John Cooper Works review


Volkswagen Polo GTI

A Volkswagen Polo with a 200PS 2.0-litre petrol engine. Sounds fun, right? It's a shame it falls so short of the Fiesta ST in terms of driving excitement. It's fairly quick and it handles well, but it just lacks the spark of the Fiesta. Still, as a junior Golf GTI the Polo's not a bad car. The interior feels premium and we like its subtle appearance.

Read the full Volkswagen Polo GTI review


Suzuki Swift Sport

Since its launch in 2006, the Suzuki Swift Sport has proved that a modest amount of power can be an awful lot of fun. The latest model, launched in 2018, has lost some of its charm thanks to a turbocharged petrol engine and expensive list price. But it's still a lot of fun, even if it is only slightly cheaper than a Ford Fiesta ST.

Read the full Suzuki Swift Sport review


Audi S3

The Audi S3's getting old and the more powerful RS3 with its 2.5-litre engine may steal the limelight, but there's still plenty of appeal to the humble S3. Like the Golf R, it's powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 310PS and uses the same four-wheel drive system - although Audi calls it quattro of course.

Read the full Audi S3 review

List Price from £37,900
Buy new from £34,255