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Cheap hot hatchback cars

By raccars Published

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The hot hatchback cars scene is alive and well in the UK, offering great performance at low cost.

The hot hatch sector has always been a favourite of UK buyers and remains an affordable way in which to access entertaining motoring. The following are a great way to spend your cash if you are looking for pure driving pleasure on a budget.

The hottest cheap hatchback cars

Ford Fiesta ST

The 2.0 litre Fiesta ST from 2004-2008 is a great example of just how good Ford is at hot hatches. This is definitely not your mother's Fiesta, with the sharpest chassis, neatest cornering and a tenacious grip on the road. This is a really hard working little car under its deceptively mild appearance. It's not the fastest or most brutal hot hatch out there, trading instead upon clever handling. You should be able to get change from £3,000 for a well-kept, low mileage example, for which you also get part leather upholstery, some neat ST branded trim elements and a practical every day driver.

Peugeot 207 Gti 1.6 THP

From 2007-2012, the 207 Gti made a good attempt at emulating the glory days of the Eighties 205 Gti. It's very capable, even if it doesn't quite reach the heady heights of its predecessor, with a nicely balanced chassis and a rear end well controlled when going into bends, although the less than intuitive power steering lets it down a bit. Peugeots aren't known for their reliability but this particular model is reasonably affordable to fix in times of trouble and is a bargain to buy. A low mileage 2007 model shouldn't cost you more than £3,000.

Fiat Abarth 500 1.4 T-Jet

The term 'pocket rocket' could have been designed expressly for this fiery little Italian. The standard 500 suffers from comparisons with its near rival the Mini and accusations of 'style over substance', but the Abarth treatment negates all those arguments. This 500 is a rowdy little beast with a pretty bad attitude - the rear is cramped and it's a pretty harsh ride, but the handling and steering are beautifully responsive. The 16 inch alloys, cocky rear spoilers and chunky bumpers add some much needed masculinity to the standard 500's somewhat fey appearance. Meanwhile the 1.4 litre engine produces a more than adequate 133bhp for zipping stylishly around town. The 2008-2015 model boasts strong residual values so you're looking at about £7,000 for a 2011 model with 49,000 miles on the clock.

Vauxhall Corsa VXR 1.6i Turbo

The last Corsa was a boringly competent performer in the supermini sector, but there's nothing staid or practical about the Corsa VXR variant. It's a Jack Russell which thinks it's a big, bad Doberman, dressed up with a big boy's body kit in the form of chunky alloys, a beefy rear spoiler and a very butch exhaust. The cabin is furnished to match, with Recaro seating, VXR badging to the trim and a sports steering wheel. The VXR has the performance to back it up too, taking just 6.8 seconds to reach 60mph. The Corsa VXR offers a deceptively sophisticated drive, with smooth, supple steering and a well-balanced power delivery which makes it as pleasant for more civilised driving situations as it is thrilling under pressure. A low mileage example from 2007 can be found for less than £5,000.

Renault Clio RS 200

The Renaultsport Clios have some serious sports pedigree behind them and the 2006-2012 Clio RS comes with a brutal 197bhp 2.0 litre engine under the bonnet. That'll take four adults to 60mph in 6.9 seconds and in some degree of style and comfort. The steering is sharp and there's plenty of grip to keep things under control, while the exterior is a triumph of Gallic chic. The cabin's hard plastics let it down a little but this is a lot of fast car for the money. A 65,000 miler will set you back just under £4,000.

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