The hot hatch market has had a major shift in recent years. It still remains as popular as ever, but the criteria for what’s important has significantly changed. No longer is the market led by lightweight, sparsely-kitted, cheap boxes of fun. The new era of hot hatches focusses on power and interior that rival the executive saloon market. It’s not uncommon to see cars with north of 350PS (257kW). In fact the Mercedes-AMG A45 has 365PS (268kW) and the starting price is just shy of the £50,000 mark.
Spending that much money on what is supposed to be an accessible route to some motoring fun for the masses just isn’t feasible. However, don’t despair. If we look at the second-hand market there are quite a few affordable options if you’re looking to get your pocket rocket thrills on a modest budget. Winding the clock back to the mid-2000s and early 2010s is where we can find the majority of these gems, so we’ve broken down the best affordable hot hatches to save you time.