You may or may not know but I have a thing for hatches – I’m not sure why myself but ever since my first car (which was a crappy old Honda Accord hatch from the 70s) I have always liked the hatch more than the sedan models in cars. Maybe it had something to do with the sportier shape of hatches or the more curved lines, either way I have always favoured the hatch look. My first car I ever owned was this:
It lasted for years and did the job of getting me from A to B, It was surprisingly roomy with the rear seats down and I do remember moving a few times with all my crap in the back of the car. I had many memories of driving in that car, I even went on long road trips with it but eventually it died and went to hatch heaven. I currently drive an Astra hatch so I feel like I have gone full circle back to the type of car I like to drive. Anyways I thought I would list my top 5 favourite current Hot Hatches that fall below AUD$50k (in no particular order)
(1) Opel Astra GTC or OPC
Obviously I am going to put this one on the list. Either car would be a dream for me to own but seeing that I am poor it would probably be a good 10 years before I could even consider owning one of these babies, maybe if I get lucky on the lotto one day. The GTC is not a bad car, the 1.6 turbo can churn out 132kW (at 5500rpm) and prices start at about $32k, the 1.4 turbo is slightly cheaper and starts at about $30k.
Opel Astra GTC
The Astra OPC is another beast all together. With a power output of 206kW the Astra OPC produces its notable power from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and is capable of accelerating from 0-100km/h in 6.0 seconds. With a price tag of $43k you have to expect some premium trimmings as well. Standard equipment for the range-topping Astra includes 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive dampers, nappa leather sports seats with heating, Bluetooth connectivity and a satellite navigation and infotainment system with 7-inch colour screen.
Opel Astra OPC
(2) Hyundai Veloster Turbo S
I have never been a Hyundai fan but after seeing the Veloster I think that Hyundai are trying to step up their game. The shape is very similar to the current crop of hatches, they all look very fluid, curved and more aerodynamic than older hatches. The one thing I do like about the styling of the Veloster is the rear, it looks like it has been inspired by the Megane turbo but will cost much less than the Renault. Powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, the sporty Veloster produces 155kW of power and prices start at about $36k
Hyundai Veloster Turbo
(3) Renault Megane RS265
This sporty french number is a beast, the trophy version pumps out 195kW @ 5500rpm from a 2 litre turbo, there is also a special 8.08 Nuburgring version with all the trimmings which include Recaro seats, etc. Prices start at about $50k for the trophy version.
Renault Megane RS265 Trophy Edition
(4) VW Scirocco
This is the first VW I have seen in a quite a while that has grabbed my attention, the styling is fluid and like the other cars I have mentioned curved and almost dewdrop shaped. Using a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the Scirocco R produces 188kW of power at 6000 rpm, and also comes with a lot of extra features, prices start at about $50k – OK officially the Scirocco is classed as a coupe but seeing that this is my list I see it more as a hatch.
(5) Ford Focus ST
Who can forget one of the best selling hatch in the world. The Ford Focus has for many years been a best seller and the ST is no exception. Starting at $42k for an ST it comes with all the extra trimmings that you would expect with the price tag. The 2 litre turbo puts out 184kW@5500rpm and comes with a host of extras which include Recaro seats, sports tuned suspension, SATNAV and a host of other bits.
Ford Focus ST
SO there you have it – my 5 favourite Hot Hatches, there are many other notable mentions but I will save that for another entry. Have a good christmas and don’t party too hard on NYE. I will be probably doing some mods to my car on New Years day – sad but true.