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Hot Hatch

Pocket rockets: the best small hot hatches on sale

From Fiesta ST to Suzuki Swift, here are the small cars that pack a big punch

  1. Suzuki Swift Sport

    Price: £13,999
    Specs: 136bhp, 118lb ft, 0-62mph in 8.7secs, VMax 121mph, 44.1mpg, 147g/km CO2

    Perhaps the last of the naturally-aspirated hot hatches. Cheap, but rather brilliant. Only 136bhp, but who cares when you've only got a little over a ton of car to hurl about.

    Read Top Gear's full verdict on the Suzuki Swift Sport

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  2. Volkswagen Polo GTI

    Price: £19,235
    Specs: 192bhp, 236lb ft, 0-62mph in 6.7secs, VMax 147mph, 47.1mpg, 140g/km CO2

    Much better than the car it replaced, chiefly for its manual gearbox (the old one was DSG only), and 1.8-litre turbo motor. Less hardcore than a Fiesta ST.

    Read Top Gear's full verdict on the VW Polo GTI

  3. Renaultsport Clio 220 Trophy

    Price: £22,425
    Specs: 220bhp, 207lb ft, 0-62mph 6.6secs, VMax 146mph, 47.9mpg, CO2 135g/km

    Paddleshift gearbox, turbo, five doors. It’s a Renaultsport folks, but not as we know it. Better in everyday areas, but with the wild streak dialled out. Shame.

    Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the 220 Trophy

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  4. Mini John Cooper Works

    Price: £24,520
    Specs: 231bhp, 236lb ft, 0-62mph 6.1secs, VMax 153mph, 49.6mpg, CO2 133g/km

    Might not quite match the Fiesta’s cheeky charm, but the new Mini still knows how to have a good time. Steady on the options or the price spirals alarmingly.

    Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the Cooper S

  5. Audi S1

    Price: £25,600
    Specs: 228bhp, 273lb ft, 0-62mph 5.8secs, VMax 155mph, 40.4mpg, CO2 162g/km

    All-wheel drive means the littlest, and best, of all the mainstream Audis will, when things get wet, run rings around these others. Pricey, but worth it.

    Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the Audi S1

  6. Peugeot 208 GTI by PS

    Price: £22,900
    Specs: 205bhp, 221lb ft, 0-62mph 6.5secs, VMax 143mph, 52.3mpg, CO2 125g/km

    They claim it’s a replacement for the 205 GTI. It isn’t. But it never could be. Far too safe and well built. But it is a very fine effort and for that we should be thankful.

    Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the 208 GTI

  7. Ford Fiesta ST

    Price: £17,895
    Specs: 180bhp, 177lb ft, 0-62mph 6.9secs, VMax 139mph, 47.9mpg, CO2 138g/km

    Effervescent little hot hatch that’s as good as we dared hoped and better than rivals. Sharp nose, accurate steering, energetic turbo and a tail that gets involved.

    Read Top Gear’s full verdict on the Fiesta ST

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