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Best hot hatchbacks 2018 -The best sporty hatches on sale today

KIA

The Stinger marks a change in direction by Kia

Price: from £31,995

THERE are lots of reasons to like Kia. From its sharp styling and ever-improving line-up to its excellent value and brilliant seven-year warranty, there is much to love about the Korean firm.

But you probably would not put driver enjoyment too high up that list. Until now.

This Kia Stinger is a four-door saloon focused on getting those driving enthusiasts who might have overlooked the brand in the past through the showroom door.

Although there are lesser petrol and turbo-diesel versions, it is the flagship 370bhp GTS that will draw most attention – and rightly so.

The brilliant Stinger is just the start of Kia’s range becoming more fun to drive and we like what we see.

focusFORD

Just 300 of this Ford model will be produced

Price: £36,295

Want to spend 2018 in the Red? No, we are not talking overdrafts, we mean this new limited Ford Focus RS Red Edition.

Just 300 of this fast Ford will be produced with a contrasting black roof, door mirrors and rear spoiler along with partial leather Recaro seats and carbon-fibre trim.

It also comes with some tasty black 19in-alloy wheels and limited-slip differential for serious drivers, which along with the RS’s standard Drift Mode should make it a great set of wheels for track days.

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civicHONDA

The new Honda Civic has 320bhp from its 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine

Price: from £30,995

Among hot hatch fans, Honda’s Type R badge needs little introduction, especially with the Civic.

On the surface this fifth-generation Civic Type R is as wild as ever, with its extreme body kit and spoilers and boasting 320bhp from its 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine.

Under the skin, though, the reality is that while it is just as much of a driver’s machine as before, it has softened a little to make it easier to live with on a day-to-day basis.

It is still a superb car, though, handles brilliantly and, crucially, you rarely seem to miss the four-wheel drive of rivals.

It might still be too extreme for some but for us this Civic Type R is one of the best yet.

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car1PEUGEOT

The Peugeot 308GTI could be one of the most underrated cars out there

Price: £28,590

WE firmly believe that Peugeot’s 308 GTI is one of the most under-rated hot hatches on the market.

As well as boasting the latest upgrades to the rest of the 308 range, the GTI does not shout about its performance like some hot hatches but instead gets on with getting its 270bhp to the Tarmac and firing you toward the horizon at a rate of knots.

Add to that some pretty sharp handling and steering along with little body roll through corners and while it might not hog the limelight like some, this is genuinely a hot hatch that you could drive day in and day out.

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carVW

The VW Up is capable of 0-60mph in just 8.8 seconds

Price: £13,750

Price: est. £45-50,000

There is a 1.8-litre turbo engine with 249bhp, which might not sound much given those rivals but its lightweight aluminium body means some very impressive performance indeed.

Experts are predicting a 0 to 60mph time in an incontinence-inducing 4.5 seconds.

With speed and style, if any car can get buyers to look beyond the talented German competition it should be this beautiful new Alpine.


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