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Best hot hatches 2022
If you want big performance and big smiles on a (reasonably) small budget, then go for a hot hatchback. Not only will the best cars in this category provide a heap of driving fun, they’ll be practical enough for you to use them every day. Here are our top picks…
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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. It’s 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.