Top 10 best hot hatches for 2020
Hot hatchbacks: they arrived boldly in the late
1970s and fully established the genre in the ‘80s with cars like the Golf GTI,
Peugeot 205 GTi and Renault 5 GT Turbo. Light in weight, slightly more powerful
engines than their humble siblings and a practical body style gave them
Forty years on, many mainstream models can
out-perform these early hot hatches (the Mk1 Golf GTI sprints from 0 to 62mph
in an almost leisurely 9.2 seconds) but they are still engaging and fun to
drive even today.
Four decades later and the world is a very
different place with tougher legislation for safety and emissions. But we’re
not ready to let go of fun just yet. Here is our top 10 hot hatches as we
prepare to jump into 2020.
No debates around front- vs. rear-wheel-drive here: the hottest version of BMW’s new 1 Series puts its power down through all four wheels.
Power 306 PS | 0-62mph 4.8s | Max speed 155mph
Mercedes-AMG A45 4MATIC
Also all-wheel-drive, this is the fastest on our list with an unruly exhaust note to match.
Power 421 PS | 0-62mph 3.9s | Max speed 168mph
Renault Megane RS 280
Fast, fun and French, it’s the sleek Megane RS.
Power 284 PS | 0-62mph 5.8s | Max speed 158mph
MINI John Cooper Works Clubman
It might be more bread van than hatch in shape,
but the JCW Clubman is certainly hot.
Power 306 PS | 0-62mph 4.7s | Max speed 155mph
Honda Civic Type R GT
The enjoyable Type R receives extra kit in the
form of the GT.
Power 320 PS | 0-62mph 5,8s | Max speed 169mph
Audi RS 3
Audi’s quick RS 3 is available as a standard
hatch, larger Sportback or even saloon.
Power 400 PS | 0-62mph 4.1s | Max speed 155mph
Ford Fiesta ST
Ford’s pocket rocket has matured rather well.
Power 200 PS | 0-62mph 6.5s | Max speed 144mph
Hyundai i30N Performance
Hyundai joins the hot hatch brigade for the
first time with its i30 N. Now available in the slightly quicker Performance
version (shown) or Fastback.
Power 275 PS | 0-62mph 6.1s | Max speed 155mph
Volkswagen up! GTI
The up! GTI proves fun can be had in small
Power 115 PS | 0-62mph 8.8s | Max speed 122mph
Suzuki Swift Sport
Perhaps considered a ‘warm’ hatch by some, it
remains a favourite for its all-round engagement and ability.
Power 140 PS | 0-62mph 8.1s | Max speed 130mph
About the Author
Andrew is a freelance motoring journalist with a background in IT and the vehicle leasing industry. With a lifetime’s passion for all things automotive, he can be found behind the wheel of everything from vans to supercars. In addition to reviewing the latest vehicles and technology, Andrew also runs a couple of classic British motors. He lives at the edge of the Peak District with his son and cat.
Andrew Wright @theMotorWriter