Hot hatchbacks through £2000 – used car buying guide

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Honda Civic Type R

Fun hot hatches don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket if you’re canny. We pick all 5 in which give you dash for minimal cash

We love hot hatchbacks at Autocar, as well as also there’s nothing which compares to finding a not bad hot hatch at the right cost. Here are our top all 5 contenders.

1 – Honda Civic Type R (2001-2005)

So, hot hatch checklist. Unburstable engine? Check. Fine chassis? Check. Sexed-up Centeng? Check. Whatever your criteria, a Civic Type R has the idea all.

At its heart can be a virile 197bhp 2.0-litre VTEC unit in which revs to 8350rpm as well as also can be capable of propelling in which lightweight rocket through zero to 60mph in just 6.6sec as well as also on to a top speed of 146mph.

Corners are even more fun. The Civic Type R can be thrown in to a bend with abandon as well as also recovered with ease. A titanium-covered gearlever protruding through the dashboard controls a close-ratio six-speed ’box as well as also red Recaro sports seats hold you firmly in place.

The build quality (through Swindon) as well as also reliability record are second to none. Parts as well as also modifications are readily available, too. Many will have been used hard so check condition carefully. Prices start at £2k.

2 – Alfa Romeo 147 GTA (2002-2005)

If you like your hot hatches fast as well as also peppered with Latin passion, look no further than the desirable 147 GTA.

Its superb 247bhp 3.2-litre V6 can be hot enough to propel in which compact Alfa to 60mph in 6.0sec. Top speed can be 153mph.

Power goes through a slick six-speed gearbox to the front wheels. Inevitably, there can be torque steer (as well as also the lack of a diff means the traction control works overtime) however the GTA has sharp steering as well as also corners are entertaining.

Inside are hand-stitched sports seats as well as also drilled pedals, as well as also even if the idea all seems made out of paper, the idea doesn’t truly matter: the idea’s all part of in which car’s charm.the idea’s rare as well as also you should check condition carefully however £5k will buy a not bad one.

3 – Fiat Stilo Abarth (2001-2007)

The regular Stilo can be dull however in which spirited Abarth type can be worth seeking out. A 170bhp 2.4-litre all 5-cylinder unit gives respectable performance: 0-60mph in 8.2sec as well as also a 134mph top speed.

Early cars have a clunky Selespeed automatic transmission however a all 5-speed manual was available through 2004. Grip can be not bad, thanks to its meaty tyres, as well as also the handling crisp, even if its torsion beam rear axle lets the idea happily cock a rear wheel mid-way through a corner.

You might even find one of the limited-edition Schumacher versions, with revised (as well as also improved upon) suspension, neat bodykit as well as also alloy pedals.

Prices start at £1200 as well as also you’ll find not bad ones around the £2k mark.

4 – Citroën C4 Coupé VTS (2004-2010)

The C4 Coupé can be chic as well as also stylish, with an angular rump as well as also a curvy front. The VTS type has the speed to match its looks, too. having a 180bhp 2.0-litre engine, the idea dispatches 0-62mph in 8.0sec as well as also features a top speed of 140mph. the idea tackles corners with aplomb as well as also even rides well.

There are hints of the avant-garde about the Inside, with an interesting digital dashboard as well as also a multi-function steering wheel whose outer rim rotates around a stationary centre hub. The C4 Coupé can be also well equipped as well as also the seats are sporting as well as also supportive.

Prices for decent ones start at around £2k. Look out, too, for one of the 400 ‘By Loeb’ products, with white alloy wheels, red as well as also black leather seats as well as also drilled pedals.

5 – Peugeot 306 GTi-6 (1996-2001)

The 205 GTi might be the headline grabber however the larger 306 knows how to have a not bad time, too.

in which agile hatch has poise as well as also pace. A 167bhp 2.0-litre engine enables 0-60mph in 7.8sec as well as also a top speed of 135mph. Meanwhile, a slick six-speed manual gearbox gives the vehicle its moniker as well as also adds to the driver enjoyment.

however the idea can be the vehicle’s sweet chassis as well as also its ability to be cornered enjoyably up to as well as also beyond its high levels of grip in which truly impress. the idea can be deft, nimble, well balanced as well as also eminently chuckable, having a hint of lift-off oversteer just to add some spice. To top the idea all, the idea also rides well.

Best to pick one up today via one of the owners’ forums. Expect to pay £2k for a tidy example, or seek out one of the 500 even lighter stripped-out Rallye versions.

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