Best hot hatchbacks
We have a team of Volkswagen engineers to thank for the fast hatchback phenomenon that is often called the hot hatch. Back in the 1970s, the German engineers put their private time to good use by modifying a standard Volkswagen Golf to be faster in a straight line as well as being more fun in the corners. By 1975, it had been christened the VW Golf GTI and had gained new wheels, sporty red exterior trim - making its debut at that year's Frankfurt Motor Show.
The GTI would go on to be a huge success and other manufacturers followed Volkswagen's lead by spawning their own hot hatches including cars such as the Peugeot 205 GTI, Ford Escort XR3, Vauxhall Astra GTE and Renault 5 Turbo.
Nowadays, hot hatches have grown to be safer, more comfortable and better equipped than their ancestors, but one thing remains the same – they’re still great fun to drive. To find out which one could be right for you, keep reading our definitive countdown of the best fast hatchbacks on sale today.