Best Hot Hatches of 2017 and What’s Coming in 2018

2018 is set to be a great year of hot hatches. It's time to get ready for the year ahead and look back at 2017.

We like fast cars designed to be driven, coupled with practical 'everyday’ comfort. Here's a look at the best hatches of 2017 with a look ahead to 2018.


The Ford Focus RS

Ford hyped the 2nd-generation Focus as a trend-altering addition to its line of hatchbacks, and they did not disappoint. The Focus RS comes standard with a six-speed manual and a unique torque-vectoring system. It embraces all available technology, giving its drivers a trick four-wheel-drive system and channeling 345bhp (257mw) and 347ft lb of torque. With a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds and state-of-the-art GKN drive train, you'll love the RS on the straight-away and the curves.


Volkswagen Golf R

It's easy to forget the Volkswagen Golf R's all-around practicality while enjoying its 292-hp turbo, sports suspension, 18-inch wheels, and six-speed manual transmission. The Golf R is an all-out performance model. Standard features include satellite radio, heated seats, keyless entry with push-button start, and Bluetooth. Many consider it the best all-around hatchback for the money.


SEAT Leon Cupra 300

The Leon Cupra 300 has undergone a few modifications from its predecessors, which is good for just about anyone who drives. The car's maker has taken the best features of previous versions and added power. The power boost raises it to 296bhp (220kW), which goes quite nicely with its 280ft lb (380Nm) of torque. With electronically controlled differential alignment between the front wheels, drivers will love the 300's accurate steer and impressive traction. The 300's design remains sharp--although not as distinct as years past--and the SEAT's in-car tech is comprehensive and easy to use


Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R's  2.0-litre VTEC-equipped four-cylinder engine with turbocharger provides a maximum 316bhp (236mw), and 400Nm of torque with a load of mid-range performance--a common complaint with previous versions of the Civic. Its ability to transform itself from a comfortable day-to-day hatchback into a hardcore performance car at the flick of a switch makes it popular with diverse groups of hot hatch lovers. The fourth-generation Type R is completely new, starting with a new chassis. It's considerably larger than previous Type Rs. The addition of adhesives and spot riveting for the body construction makes it easier to manage on the curves.


Nissan Juke Nismo RS

Nissan decided to give the Nismo a power boost to go along with its spaciousness, and its drivers are the ones benefiting. Upgrades include boosting the 1.6-liter inline-four from 188 to 215 bhp and a performance upgrade on the brakes. The Juke Nismo RS features Recaro bucket seats, a standout body kit with red accents, unique red side mirrors, and a stiffer sport suspension. Step on the gas and you'll get good power right from the start, without turbo lag.


Audi S1

Audi road cars are no stranger to speed and efficiency. They are, however, rarely captivating, until now. The Audi S1 sports a 2.0-litre turbo, 227bhp engine and six-speed manual transmission, which makes the most of the S1's 273lb ft (370Nm) of torque. Traction is fantastic. The four-wheel drive system provides power. And the interior provides enough comfort, so you'll spend more time zipping along.


Hyundai i30 N

When the former boss of BMW's M Division defected to Hyundai to head up the brand's new N Division, great things were expected. And Hyundai did not disappoint. Hyundai has scheduled an early 2018 arrival for its new i30 N, which should be an advanced, more fun model than previous iterations. The N will feature 2 models: a base model, and a sportier 'Performance Pack' model. Both will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine, with the base model producing 247 bhp (184kW), while the Performance Pack model boasts 271 bhp (202kW) of power. Better tires, bigger alloys and a limited-slip differential makes the Performance Pack model stand out from its basic counterpart.


Ford Fiesta ST

The 2018 Ford Fiesta ST looks somewhat familiar to previous models, but a look under the bonnet proves that this version is even hotter than previous ones. The new ST debuts an all-aluminium, 1.5-litre engine that provides 200bhp (149kW) of power and 290Nm of torque from its three cylinders. In addition, the ST boasts cylinder-deactivation technology that can reduce the engine to two cylinders to conserve fuel, meaning you can zip all around Australia without taking a petrol hit to the wallet. The newest model should debut sometime in 2018.


Renault Megane RS

RenaultSport is no stranger to hot hatches, and the 2018 Renault Megane RS will not disappoint hot hatch aficionados. Under the Megane's bonnet sits a turbocharged 1.8-litre petrol engine capable of 279 bhp (205kW) and either a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. In addition to upping the power, Renault focused on stripping weight, allowing the RS to go from 0-100km in under 6 seconds. The Megane RS should debut in early 2018.


Suzuki Swift GTI

The second-generation Swift GTI has improved itself with a 1.4-litre, turbocharged engine, revised body work, modified suspension, a sporty cabin makeover. Although the Swift only sports 138 bhp (103kw) of power, its light weigh gives it a power to weight ratio similar to genuine hot hatches. Additional updates include a new front bumper with wider air intakes and a rear bumper with twin exhaust pipes. The Swift's cabin upgrades include a unique instrument alignment with contrasting coloured dials, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and sports seats with additional side bolstering.

If you love hot hatches, you're going to love 2018. This list of 10 great hot hatches makes up only a portion of great rides available in the coming year.

Keep reading. Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope.


Adrian Giannarelli

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Isabelle Chan


Grace Kirkby


Isabelle Chan


Adrian Giannarelli


Adrian Giannarelli