Hot hatches are all the rage these days, but you can get some serious bang-for-your-buck if you're prepared to look through some slightly older options. These are some of the bargains we found.
Citroën DS3 Racing, £4995: Citroën probably isn’t the first word most people type into a search engine when shopping for a hot hatch. Nor most likely is DS, now a stand-alone aspiring luxury brand. Yet a model very much worth considering from the former French alliance is the DS3 Racing.
This sporty variant of the DS3 supermini, introduced in 2011, took inspiration from Citroën’s World Rally Championship success at the hands of Sébastien Loeb, and what resulted was a rival to Renault’s Clio RS that even ruffled the feathers of the Mini John Cooper Works.
The DS3 Racing’s 0-62mph time of 6.5sec was courtesy of a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that produced 204bhp. Its ride height was dropped by 15mm and it gained a 30mm wider track, while carbonfibre body features and larger Brembo brakes were fitted.
As well as Citroën Racing branding, two exclusive paint colour combinations – Obsidian Black/ Sport Orange and Polar White/ Carbon Grey – helped to distinguish this car from the standard DS3.
Inside, the standard seats were replaced with sporty buckets and carbonfibre decorated the dashboard. The DS3 Racing cost from £23,100 when new, and just 200 right-hand-drive examples were built.
We managed to find one with 80,000 miles on the clock for only £4995. While the cost of insurance is likely to be quite high, running costs should be reasonable, thanks to an official 44.1mpg.
You might be less lucky than we were and have to look long and hard to find one online, but once you do, you could be onto a very good thing.
Skoda Fabia vRS, £2000: The Fabia vRS is a bit of a modern classic. It was Skoda’s first hot hatch, powered by a 126bhp and 229lb ft 1.9-litre TDI engine that took our testers to 60mph in just 7.2sec. A decent fuel economy and a manual gearbox are other pleasant surprises.