Ford Focus ST

Best used hot hatches

Hot hatches are fast and fun, yet also promise good practicality and affordable ownership costs. Here are our top 10 used hot hatches.

What do you get when you take a standard hatchback car, give it more power, sportier styling and some mechanical tweaks to make it more fun to drive? You get a hot hatch. 

The latest hot hatches are quicker and more powerful than ever. But they still combine the performance and fun driving experience of a sports car with the practicality and affordability of a sensible hatchback.

Here’s our pick of the 10 best used hot hatches.

1. Ford Fiesta ST

If having the maximum amount of driving fun for the minimum amount of money is your main priority, then a Fiesta ST should be high on your shopping list. 

Every Fiesta is great to drive but the ST is really special, feeling even more nimble and responsive. The previous Fiesta ST (sold new between 2013 and 2018) was a cracker, but we’re focusing here on the latest version sold from 2018 onwards. It’s just as much fun but more comfortable, better equipped and has a more up-to-date infotainment system. The Fiesta ST is inexpensive to buy and run compared to most other hot hatches. Yet it's actually more enjoyable to drive than many more powerful, more expensive rivals.

Read our Ford Fiesta review

2. Volkswagen Golf R

There are few cars that balance everyday ease of use with driving thrills quite as well as a Volkswagen Golf R. It’s available as a versatile hatchback or a spacious estate; it’s comfortable and quiet on long journeys; and it’s even reasonably fuel-efficient for a high-performance car. It’s as fast and fun to drive as much more expensive  – and less practical – sports cars and it even has the security of four-wheel drive. 

It’s also well equipped, with standard features including parking sensors, LED headlights and a touchscreen infotainment system with sat nav. You have a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes, and some cars are fitted with sophisticated adaptive suspension that lets you adjust the way they feel on the road.

Read our Volkswagen Golf review

3. Seat Leon Cupra

All of Seat’s cars combine great value for money with a youthful, fun character and that’s certainly true of the Leon Cupra. Under the Seat bodywork and badge it’s very similar to the Golf R, which is no surprise since both Seat and Volkswagen are part of the wider Volkswagen Group. The Leon Cupra has the same engine as the Volkswagen, so it’s a remarkably quick and responsive car. 

As a car that’s fast and practical in both hatchback and estate forms, the Leon Cupra is a fine family hot hatch. It gives you lots of standard equipment, too, including a touchscreen infotainment system with sat nav.

Read our Seat Leon review

4. Ford Focus ST

The Ford Focus is one of the most popular hatches around and in many ways it defines this type of medium-size family car. Even the most affordable Focus is great to drive thanks to its responsive and well-balanced feel. 

That feeling is turned up a notch or two with the Focus ST. It’s fabulous fun and offers great performance from its turbocharged engine. It’s as easy to live with as any Focus, though, and comparatively affordable to buy and run.

Read our Ford Focus review

5. Volkswagen Golf GTI

The Volkswagen Golf GTI was the first true hot hatch and, more than 40 years after it first went on sale, its descendant remains one of the best. 

We’re focusing on the seventh-generation version, which was on sale new between 2012 and 2020. On top of the usual Golf virtues of excellent comfort, a high-quality interior and lots of standard features, the GTI has had a subtle yet sporty makeover, including smart-looking alloy wheels and red trim highlights on the outside. Inside, there are more GTI-specific design details, including a distinctive tartan seat fabric and a golf ball pattern gear knob on cars with a manual gearbox. The GTI is as comfortable to travel in as any Golf yet it’s lots of fun, with brilliant balance and acceleration.

Read our Volkswagen Golf review

6. Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

The Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG (sold new between 2013 and 2018 and officially called the Mercedes-AMG A 45 4MATIC) is one of the fastest hot hatches around. In fact, you have to look at some seriously expensive sports cars before you find anything that’s comfortably quicker than this much-modified Mercedes-Benz A-Class. It’s not just fast, either – with standard four-wheel drive, the A45 AMG has the kind of grip and composure that you normally associate with ‘supercars’ made by brands like Ferrari and Porsche. 

This is one of the more extreme hot hatches, but because it shares many parts with other A-Class models it’s also a practical hatchback that’s just as well-suited to outings with friends and family or a trip to the shops.

Read our Mercedes-Benz A-Class review

7. Mini Cooper S

Even the standard Mini Hatch is more enjoyable to drive than most small cars, but the Cooper Seven more satisfying. No other hot hatch has the same blend of low driving position, compact size and comparatively large windows that make you feel so involved in the driving experience. None have the same retro style either.

You can get the Cooper S with three doors or five. Both are compact but you can fit four adults in each and the five-door model is practical enough for a small family. Part of the fun in buying a Mini comes from choosing one that suits your style. There is a huge variety of colour and trim options to choose from, so even though Minis are a common sight it’s rare to see two that are exactly alike.

Read our Mini Hatch review

8. Audi S3

Audi makes a lot of fast, luxurious cars and all of that know-how is distilled into a comparatively compact, cost-effective package in the shape of the S3 (a high-performance version of the A3). This is a high-quality hot hatch that has a lot going for it. An all-new version was launched in 2021 but here we're focusing on the previous model (sold new between 2013 and 2020).

A powerful 2.0-litre petrol engine gives you responsive acceleration, while four-wheel drive gives you lots of confidence behind the wheel. You can choose from a manual or automatic gearbox – both are enjoyable to use. The S3 is available as a three- or five-door hatchback – Audi calls the five-door a 'Sportback' – so there's something to suit all tastes.

Read our Audi S3 review

9. Skoda Octavia vRS

While all hot hatches are practical, there are none as spacious as Skoda’s Octavia vRS. In standard form its boot is 50% larger than a Volkswagen Golf’s. The estate model has one of the biggest boots around. 

Another key part of the Octavia’s appeal is value for money. It’s keenly priced when new, has a great reputation for reliability (so maintenance costs should be kept to a minimum) and delivers low running costs thanks to fuel-efficient engines. This is particularly true of the diesel version; according to official figures, it has an average fuel consumption of more than 60 mpg with a manual gearbox. If all that sounds a bit too sensible for a hot hatch, don’t worry – the Octavia vRS is also thrilling to drive and devilishly quick.

Read our Skoda Octavia review

10. Honda Civic Type R

The latest version of the Honda Civic Type R arrived in 2018 and, like its predecessors, is one of the wilder hot hatches you can buy. With aggressive styling that includes a huge rear spoiler, this is a car that stands out from the crowd. The theme continues inside, with lots of racy red trim and sculpted seats that hold you firmly in place as you round corners.

The Type R backs up its sporty looks with a powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that makes it one of the quickest hot hatches. It’s also one of the most enjoyable to drive, thanks to steering that gives a real feeling of connection to the road. Despite its aggressive looks and outrageous acceleration, the Civic Type R has a sensible side. Its interior is comfortable and practical, and Honda’s reputation for making some of the most reliable cars means that it should give you trouble-free motoring even as you make the most of its performance. 

Read our Honda Civic review

There are lots of high-quality used hatchbacks for sale at Cazoo. Use our search function to find one you love, buy it online and then have it delivered to your door or choose to collect it from your nearest Cazoo Customer Centre.

We're constantly updating and adding to our stock. If you can't find one within your budget today, check back soon to see what's available or set up a stock alert to be the first to know when we have any cars that match your needs.