Hot hatches? This lot are thermonuclear. So should you stash one in your garage right now?
Four hot hatches are fast becoming classics
WHEN IT COMES to getting bangs for your buck, no genre does it better than the hot hatch. Affordable to buy and run, agile and powerful enough to make bigger-league cars sweat, and often practical enough to shrug off family duties too, few other performance cars are so accommodating.
We’re testing four favourites, each mixing its own special sauce into the pocket-rocket recipe. Take the Mk2 Golf GTI. It typically lags behind Mk1 values but it’s also the better car, and a far more usable proposition. That makes it our pick of the classic Golfs, with prices for good examples starting around £5k.
The EP3 Civic Type R represents similarly good value. The first hot Civic to come to the UK, today it remains a benchmark hot hatch, the fizz of its naturally-aspirated VTEC engine a welcome antidote to the more anodyne turbo motors of the present day.
Putting an altogether more hardcore twist on proceedings are the Mini GP and Renault Sport Megane R26R. Both sacrifice some of the versatility expected of a hot hatch, but more than atone with razor-sharp dynamics. Low teens bags a good Mini GP, around £20k a lower-mile Megane. That’s a significant chunk of extra outlay compared with the more rounded Volkswagen and Honda, but it’s these uncompromising limited-run specials that are most likely to enjoy the greatest appreciation, so, perversely, could be most sensible.
Which one’s best for you?