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Thread: Best Hot Hatch last 20 years

  1. #1

    Best Hot Hatch last 20 years

    So Pistonheads had a vote on the best Hot Hatch of the last 20 years or so.

    No doubt Renault are pretty pleased with their very strong showing,the Mk3 Megane didnt get a look in for some reason either.

    Has anyone driven any of the top 10?

    The most common one this side of the water is probably the Honda,Mk5 Golf or Fiesta ST

  2. #2
    Not driven a single one, though did get a brief spin in a Clio 172, quite a punchy engine, but a really crap driving position.

    Given the choice of any on that list, I'd take an M140i with the odd combo of Auto and LSD, but that reflects where I am in life and and how I'd envision using it as much as anything else.

  3. #3
    Driven a fair few of 'em including similar variants. I think there's quite a difference between (say) the smaller, NA cars vs the larger, FI ones. If you drive a 172/182 and a 225 back-to-back they really are quite different. Remember that the 225s didn't sell well when new and were bought by a 30-40something demographic. From a practical/acquisition sense the Clio V6 and R26.R are awesome cars but prohibitively expensive - to me, a big part of a hot hatchback's appeal is that you can get into one for €3-5k and tear around in it all the time in your mid-late 20s, at least that used to be the case.

    This is also, at least to me one of the hot hatch's big detriments: you can always own one, e.g. they are easy to buy and run, eminently practical, fast and usable, sometimes even anonymous but at the end of the day most are FWD and not fast enough to really get you into trouble or able to teach you much as a driver beyond going reasonably quickly and dealing with understeer. What is also a crying shame is that very few younger drivers run them nowadays which is awful as they are one of the big rungs on the traditional petrolhead's career ladder: starter car, warm hatch, hot hatch, RWD coupe, hot saloon, sports car etc.

    My vote in that list would be for whatever is cheapest, lightest, NA and most widely available. That's probably the 172 Cup, but you'd have to be half cracked to run one hard without ABS in rainy oul Ireland. So that leaves the EP3 Civic, but best of luck finding a good 'un and getting insurance with it.
    Last edited by Flet; 18-12-2019 at 12:21 PM.
    2003 BMW 325i Sport Touring (E46)
    1998 Porsche 911 3.4 Carrera 2 (996)
    2018 Volvo V40 D2 R-Design
    2005 Adria Coral 630DH

  4. #4
    The dominance of the hot hatch in the market virtually disappeared in the early 90's. Only one I ever owned of that vintage was my Alfa GT. The late 70's and 80's were the heyday of the hot hatch and it was golden age to have lived through and experienced.

    All the cars on that list did nothing for me. The sports coupe was the dominant sports car for the 90's. I can't remember any car that I really liked in the 00's and even today if I want to buy something new its a 4WD jeep I go for?

  5. #5
    Surprised to see the 140 and Alfa GTA in there - but I suppose our tax system never favoured them here!

  6. #6
    I'm surprised the Suzuki Swift Sport didn't get any kind of mention. Not the hottest of hatches from a power to weight perspective, but by gad they're a sharp handler.

  7. #7
    Can't argue with the clios. Having spent some time in a mates m140i I wouldn't have put it on the list. It has all the right ingredients, but I thought it fell just a bit short of the mark to be considered a hot hatch.

  8. #8
    It's a public vote, I've not driven any of them and I dare say anyone outside of journalists have driven them all, so chances are it's quite a personal vote, though how a limited run car got most of the votes is a different story, must've changed hands a lot of the time. Never raced, never rallied, ha!
    I'm standing in a field full of sheep, is it wrong that I feel aroused

  9. #9
    Well said FLET. 5 Renault Clios on the list is a bit . the Clio V6, 3.2 V6 ALFA and M140I should really be on that list as there were way overpriced and not really every an option for your average Joe, they were more a shrunk down outright perforrmance monster in the small package. Hot hatchs need to be samll light stripped out high reving loud N/A with manual gear box. turbo cars are fast but not necessarily fun.
    I have DSG mk5 GTI as a daily and im sick of telling people it a nice comfy fast car but i wouldn't consider it to be a a tru hot hatch. I have run before a 306 GTI (still have) and this is light years ahead better entertainment wise

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Notch000 View Post
    I have run before a 306 GTI (still have) and this is light years ahead better entertainment wise
    This just about scrapes into the last 20 years though, same as the dc2 type r (which is technically a hatchback). I guess all of the cars they looked at were only released after 1999?

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