Best hot hatches
The definitive ranking of the best and worst hot hatches on sale in the UK
This is the definitive ranking of the best and worst new hot hatches on sale in the UK.
How can we make such a bold claim? Because this list isn’t just based on our opinion. We’ve compiled and analysed more than 15,000 new car reviews from 35 of the UK’s top motoring titles to produce our Expert Rating Index.
Why rely on one person’s opinion when you can have all of the top reviews gathered together in one place?
Hot hatches are a UK and European institution. From the pioneering early Golf GTI and Peugeot 205 GTi through to the latest 400hp all-wheel drive monsters, hot hatches have always delivered enormous performance from humble origins.
Nearly all hot hatches are petrol powered, although this will change over the next few years as the car industry makes the switch to electric power. Often they are bigger engines, taken from larger cars and shoehorned into a smaller one, and usually accompanied by upgraded by suspension and styling tweaks. Occasionally, however, you get a car like the Toyota GR Yaris that’s so substantially modified from the original that you wonder why they bothered to keep the name that associates it with an economicial-yet-boring hyrid model.
The hot hatch has evolved over the last 40 years or so since the original Peugeot 205 GTi and Volkswagen Golf GTI models. Today, it takes more than just a bigger engine and better brakes to produce a decent hot hatch – the cars on offer are comprehensively upgraded from their humble siblings in every possible way.
That, of course, includes price. There are several models here that can quickly add up to more than £50K with only a few optional extras, which puts them in the same price bracket as some serious sports cars.
The current generation of hot hatches represent the last of their breed. With the UK car market shifting towards an electric future in just a few years, you won’t see the likes of a screaming petrol-powered hot hatchback in new car showrooms for much longer. So if you’ve always been pining after a hot hatch and are looking for a new car, this could be your last chance…
Best car rankings
The Car Expert has the ultimate ranking of the best and worst new cars on sale, based on car reviews from 30 of the top UK motoring websites.