8 April 2005

Shopping for a new hot hatchback this week? You could save up to £3000 as a new generation of forthcoming performance models makes right now the time for a great deal on the current cars.

The best opportunity for hot-hatch buyers is the fastest Astra on sale – the five-door, 197bhp £18,445 SRi Turbo – because the 237bhp, £19k Astra VXR is ready to take its position in September. Vauxhall’s salesmen are resorting to big discounts to tempt buyers, and online prices can be as low as £15,500. Seat is due to replace the Leon range this autumn, and as a result the 222bhp Cupra R also makes a convincing case. You can expect to haggle around £500 off – perhaps more if you shop around from dealer to dealer. Seat will also throw in some performance-driving tuition, VIP tickets to a British Touring Car race and two branded jackets if you buy before June 30.

MG’s six-cylinder ZS 180 (right) is also worth investigating – uncertainty about the future of the marque means you should be able to talk your way into a hefty saving – at broadspeed.com you can save £2k on the £16,495 five-door at a stroke.

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