The hatchback represents everything that’s respectable about motoring – they’re practical, economical and sensible – perfect for a family drive. When you add some sporty trim and a high-performance engine, it should be a hideous mismatch, but somehow it’s the perfect blend. When the sensible hatchback breaks bad, it’s some of the best fun you can have in a car (plus you still have plenty of room for the shopping). Owning a hot hatch doesn’t have to cost the world though. Here are some of the best hot hatches on the market for just £15,000.
For years, the Golf GTI was the most desirable hot hatch around, turning heads and driving like a dream. Although its rivals may have made up plenty of ground in the intervening years, the Golf GTI remains a force to be reckoned with. These future classics keep their value so you’ll have to go back a few years to find one in this price range, but these are cars for car enthusiasts, so the chances are you’ll find one that’s in pretty good nick. Enjoy all the great build quality that comes with a Volkswagen, along with a powerful engine.
We found: 61 plate 2.0 TSI GTI Edition 35 3dr Price: £14,998
With its vivid range of colours and sporty bodywork, the Focus ST always stands out from the crowd. They may have a reputation as cars for boy racers but they tend to be driven on the city streets, which means you can find plenty of used models with low mileage. The Focus has always been a stylish and practical car and with the ST edition you also get racing seats, a body coloured rear spoiler, front fog lights and a twin exhaust tailpipe. There are also loads of great equipment options, including DAB radio, heated door mirrors, air conditioning and keyless start.
We found: 15 plate Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi 185 ST-2 5dr Price: £14,998
Precision German engineering, four-wheel drive and a powerful engine make this hot hatch the complete package. Although you’ll be getting an older model in this price range, these cars were built to last. And because Audi are ahead of the curve, you’ll find all the great features that you would expect to find on new cars, like climate control, immobiliser, heated door mirrors and multi-function steering wheel. You’ll also find some classic hot hatch touches like aluminium pedals, front fog lights and chrome-trimmed exhaust tailpipes.
We found: 10 plate Audi S3 Quattro 5dr Price: £13,498
If you’re looking for a bargain with loads of tech then look no further than Kia’s compact pro_cee'd. While its name may have more punctuation than seems strictly necessary, Korea’s first ever hot hatch looks great, drives quickly and offers Kia’s trademark reliability. On board you’ll find plenty of great kit including cruise control, parking sensors, touchscreen infotainment system and sat nav along with stylish touches like 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome surrounds, stitched upholstery highlights and metal scuff plates.
We found: 14 plate Kia pro-ceed 1.6T GDi GT Tech 3dr Price: £9998
The Clio may be a sedate city car but add a powerful 1.6-litre engine to its light body and you get a whole different animal. It also gets a sportier look with imposing alloys propping up the stiffened suspension. You get loads of car for your money, too with a 7-inch touchscreen multimedia system, sat nav, automatic headlights and wiper blades and cruise control.
We found: 15 plate Renault Clio 1.6T 16V RenaultSport Lux 200 5dr EDC Price: £12,998