However, in recent years times have changed in the hot hatch world, with premium manufacturers, like Mercedes and BMW, getting in on the act to offer sporty versions of their compact models, for example the Mercedes-AMG A45 S and the BMW 128ti. And in doing so, it significantly raised the performance and luxury expectations in the hot hatchback market. Now, such cars can provide a nail-biting level of performance not far off a high-end sports car, and some even do so in 4-wheel drive. Naturally, that comes with an increase in pricing and overall running costs. Whilst certainly impressive (and a lot of fun), the hot hatchback raced ahead to create something of a void in the market.
Enter the junior hot hatch, which provides city liveability and unassuming performance, rather than supercar baiting figures. Also known as a warm hatch, they usually have lower running costs and smaller engines compared to their more powerful siblings, and yet they’re still designed to serve up driver thrills with greater agility and playfulness. What’s more, the range of models available caters across the board, serving up everything from more sensible options to those that pack a bit more punch.