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Compare the best hot hatches

High quality hot hatchbacks from rated and reviewed dealers

Rated 4.6/5 from 51,178 reviews

Best hot hatches of 2024

Hot hatches have been a favourite of the UK car buying public for decades. The combination of performance, practicality and (relative) affordability make them an enticing option. Typically based on a small family car, then souped up with a more powerful engine, sporty styling upgrades and mechanical trickery that make them handle as well as any sports car, they really can appeal to both the heart and the head. Here are our top picks...

Honda Civic Type R
Driving Pleasure Award
Highly Commended

1. Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R review
Toyota GR Yaris

2. Toyota GR Yaris

Toyota GR Yaris review
Audi RS3

3. Audi RS3 Sportback

Spring Sale
Audi RS3 review
Mercedes-Benz AMG A45

4. Mercedes-AMG A45 S

Mercedes-Benz AMG A45 review
Hyundai i20 N

5. Hyundai i20 N

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Hyundai i20 N review
Volkswagen Golf R

6. Volkswagen Golf R

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Volkswagen Golf R review
Ford Fiesta ST

7. Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST review
BMW M135i

8. BMW M135i

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BMW M135i review
Hyundai i30 N

9. Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 N review
Cupra Leon

10. Cupra Leon

Cupra Leon review
Battery range up to 429 miles

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Advice about hot hatches

Hot hatchback FAQs

A hot hatch is essentially a sporty hatchback. What’s a hatchback? A small run-around car, with a big boot opening and an almost vertical rear-end. Here's our list of the best hatchbacks you can buy. Nearly every one out there has a sporty variant on offer. Typically they have more aggressive looks to complement their sporty and desirable nature - hence the term hot hatch.

If we’re talking about straight line acceleration, the Mercedes-AMG A45 S has been the king in recent years. However, it’s just been dethroned by the new Audi RS3. Audi claims it can do 0-60mph in just 3.8 seconds - 0.1 seconds quicker than the A45 S. Not much, although our very own Mat Watson could go even quicker in the RS3, managing 3.6 seconds. Either way, that’s mighty impressive for two cars that are also practical, with decent space in the rear seats and a well-sized boot. 

Technically, a sports car has been designed from the ground up to focus on handling and acceleration. A hot hatch starts off as an everyday, practical hatchback. So, not really. That being said, many hot hatches out-perform some sports cars. But what if you couldn’t care less about practicality and really want something sporty? Well, the Mazda MX-5 is a good bet. Its lightweight nature means it’s seriously fun to drive, and it’s good value for a sports car, too.

With performance characteristics that are comparable to an all-out sports car, hot hatches offer much more practicality and are a whole lot cheaper to buy and run. Sports car performance for the masses? Of course they’re popular. With more speed restrictions on the public roads, many would argue that they’re more fun to drive day-to-day. The Honda Civic Type R handles brilliantly and with plenty of punch, is one of the best cars for driving on country roads.