Best Used Hot Hatchbacks 2022

You could argue that a hot hatchback is the perfect vehicle for the enthusiast – and a used hatchback is certainly better, with the value-for-money factor jumping a few more degrees.

Hot hatchbacks are based on regular family cars with a hatchback body, but with their powerful engines and tuned suspension, they’re often better to drive than similarly priced sports cars — and faster, too.

There are more four-cylinder hatchbacks out there than other types, but you can find a lot of variety. Turbochargers are becoming popular, and while some of the greatest hot hatches of the past have run without them, the modern crop uses turbo power to achieve some amazing performance.

Each car you will find below will delight drivers, but has enough practicality to use as a family car. Read on to find our favorite used hot hatchbacks of 2022.

Best used hot hatchbacks

  1. Ford Fiesta ST
  2. Seat Leon Cupra
  3. Honda Civic Type R (FN2)
  4. Peugeot 308 GTi
  5. Honda Civic Type R (FK8)
  6. Volkswagen Golf R.
  7. Hyundai i30 N
  8. BMW M135i / M140i
  9. Peugeot 208 GTi
  10. Ford Focus ST

Ford Fiesta ST (Mk6) – Best Hot Hatchback of the Year

  • Our pick: ST-3 3dr (2015/65, 49,000 miles, £9999)

A decade after its debut, the Fiesta ST is as cool as ever. Not only do they offer an exciting blend of speed and agility, but they’re as cost-effective to operate and easy to live with as the more mundane versions of the Baby Blue Oval.

When it was revealed in 2012, Ford engineers claimed the ST was the most exciting car they’ve worked on since the legendary Escort RS Cosworth, and it’s not hard to see why. Its 179-horsepower engine can develop up to 197 hp in overboost, sprinting from 0-62 mph in 6.9 seconds, while its adjustable, adjustable control encourages you to look out for twisty back roads. There are hot slots that cost a lot and struggle to match the Fiesta for speed and poise.

Like all fast Fords, the Fiesta looks the part, and the purposeful body bag, tailgate spoiler and low ride height give it an aggressive stance. Inside, shape-hugging Recaro seats, metal pedals and red stitching add to the allure of the faster Pocket Rocket. However, as with the standard car, the cabin is surprisingly functional and aggressively designed, while the ST-2 and ST-3 versions get plenty of standard equipment. And while the infotainment system is dated by today’s standards, it’s still easy to plug in your phone to make calls and stream music.

As with all of the best hot hatches, the ST doesn’t cost the earth to buy and run. Just £4,500 will secure a long-distance example, while you can spend up to £18,000 on the limited, 197 hp ST200. All versions can manage over 45 mpg if you take it easy while putting the tires and brakes aside, it won’t cost more to maintain than the 1.0-liter EcoBoost Zetec. Provided it is well looked after, the Fiesta should be durable and dependable as well. However, many examples have been aggressively directed, so you’ll need to watch out for accident damage. Also, any performance upgrades not made by the (mostly) factory-approved Mountune company should be treated with suspicion.

Other than those caveats, the Ford Fiesta ST is an unobstructed used hot hatch.

BuyaCar financing options

Less than £10,000 gives you this high-spec Fiesta ST-3 model, which results in monthly payments of just £176, if you choose a four-year lease-to-buy contract with a £3,000 deposit. This equates to a total cost of £11,438 to purchase the car. Keep in mind that the base new Kia Picanto has a list price of £12,250 and gets 66 hp instead of the 179 hp – 197 hp on the overboost – from Ford, and we know which is more exciting.

Find out the latest prices for a used Ford Fiesta ST on our sister site BuyaCar…

Seat Leon Cupra (Mk3)

An underestimation seems to mean that the hot Cupra version of the Leon could easily be confused with more basic models. However, this Spanish sporty machine has a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that delivers up to 296 horsepower, as well as a chassis that beautifully blends an enjoyable driving experience with everyday comfort. Even better, there’s a choice of three-, five-door, and ST four-wheel drive hatchback models.

See the latest used Seat Leon Cupra prices on our sister site BuyaCar…

Honda Civic Type R (FN2) (Mk8)

With its space-age look and high-speed engine, this generation of the Civic Type R is a great blend of both torsion and speed — making it the best left-hand drive choice. Sharp handling and a beautifully precise manual gearbox add to the fun, plus it has non-explosive mechanics. Prices start from £3,000.

See the latest used Honda Civic Type R prices on our sister site BuyaCar…

Peugeot 308 GTi

The Peugeot 308 GTi is often forgotten, as more popular models such as the Ford Focus ST and Honda Civic Type R are the default choice for a larger, more practical hot hatch. However, the Peugeot is great to drive, it’s spacious and best of all, it offers great value for money. If you can live with high-resolution machines, it’s a great choice.

Find out the latest prices for a used Peugeot 308 GTi on our sister site BuyaCar…

Honda Civic Type R (FK8) (Mk10)

The Honda Civic Type R has been a hot hatch icon since its debut in the 1990s, although the British couldn’t buy it through dealerships until the EP3 in the 2000s. Each version was a gem in its own right, but the latest model is an incredible performance car for family car money.

Its turbocharged four-cylinder engine produces more than 300 horsepower, which is on par with rivals such as the VW Golf R, yet it feels more aggressive than any other hot hatch, and the chassis is easily able to handle the power – it’s one of the most fun cars to drive, Regardless of class.

It is very practical, with a large boot, plenty of equipment and plenty of room for passengers. However, when you switch the dampers from comfort to sport, they stiffen significantly and turn into a real driver’s car.

See the latest used Honda Civic Type R prices on our sister site BuyaCar…

Volkswagen Golf R.

The Volkswagen Golf R is the do-it-all car for drivers who like to stamp on the throttle and disappear into the sunset. Acceleration is pretty rampant from 0 to 60 mph and beyond, thanks to the powerful engine and all-wheel-drive design that brings massive amounts of traction.

There are plenty of Golf Rs for sale second hand, so it’s easy to find a good one, and the Golf is an inherently practical car, with a large trunk and plenty of space inside. There are all the tools you could need and a great touch screen too.

The Golf isn’t a great driver’s car like some of the others on this list, but it’s still very capable of the bends and makes a great family car.

See the latest prices for a used Volkswagen Golf R on our sister site BuyaCar…

Hyundai i30 N

The Hyundai i30 N badge is probably the reason why it is one of the hot selling outlets right now. Hyundai hasn’t had a history of high-performance cars, so why should its first hot hatch be so good? Well, it didn’t have the right to be – yet it defies tradition and is an absolute riot of leadership.

It’s aggressively spread out, so it’s not as comfortable on country roads, but its adjustable chassis, powerful engine and pleasant exhaust tone mean it’s a lot of fun. The i30 is still at its core, so it has the right amount of practicality as well.

The strength in the second-hand market is that it hasn’t held as valuable as the Golf and Ford on this list, so it’s a bargain to buy. Don’t lose sight of it – once you take the driving test, you’ll understand.

See the latest used Hyundai i30 N prices on our sister site BuyaCar…

BMW M135i / M140i

BMW M135i and M140i are very similar – the latter is the improved model, so it has received quite a few improvements. It’s not worth buying the M140i over the nice M135i although they both bring the same unique sophistication to the hot slot class.

The twist is that they have a powerful six-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive, so they feel more mature than the other cars on this list. The motor is super smooth, sounds great and delivers great performance.

The BMW is a pleasure to drive, and while it’s not quite as practical as some of the other cars on this list, it’s a lot more luxurious inside. There’s a luxurious cabin with plenty of equipment and the BMW is comfortable on long trips, so it makes a great everyday car if you don’t have a big family.

See the latest prices for a used BMW M135i/140i on our sister site BuyaCar…

Peugeot 208 GTi

The Ford Fiesta ST may be our favorite small hatchback but the Peugeot 208 GTi is arguably more fun to drive. It’s not exactly practical but still a great value, as it doesn’t have the racy look of a Ford but offers an incredible amount of fun for the money.

The Peugeot’s chassis is the highlight, as it’s adjustable and smart while still being composed on bumpy, winding country roads. The engine is a pyrotechnic too, which is really fun to use.

The small steering wheel takes some getting used to, but if you can overlook it, the 208 is a true gem of a personal loads of small hot hatch.

Find out the latest prices for a used Peugeot 208 GTi on our sister site BuyaCar…

Ford Focus ST

The Fiesta ST may not appeal to everyone – after all, there is not a whole lot of space in the rear seats or in the luggage compartment. However, if you like the Fiesta ST but need more space, the Ford Focus ST may be the perfect alternative.

It has the same fun-filled character as the Fiesta, but has a more powerful engine and a greater range of capabilities. It’s fast enough for entertaining, but like the Fiesta, the bends are where the fun is – the focus is the fun of sliding into a series of corners thanks to its sturdy chassis that demands more aggressive push.

The Focus is available in several forms, too—there’s a solid diesel model for those who do a lot of miles on the highway, and a royal version for those who need more space. These versions are the USP of the vehicle and can be a great reason to buy. Look carefully and you’ll discover that there are plenty of high-quality, affordable used examples out there.

See the latest prices for a used Ford Focus ST on our sister site BuyaCar…

Find out now more about The best used cars you can buy

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