Quickfire Hot Hatch Buying Guide: GR Yaris, Civic Type R, AMG A45 S, Fiesta ST, Golf GTI

Quickfire Hot Hatch Buying Guide: GR Yaris, Civic Type R, AMG A45 S, Fiesta ST, Golf GTI


The last 12 months have seen some cracking new additions and a few mid-life alterations to the hot hatch game. The already brilliant Civic Type R had an update with some special lightweight editions, VW released the 8th iteration of their benchmark for the sector – the Golf GTI – and then Toyota came along and blindsided everyone with the Toyota GR Yaris homologation special… Series 29: Geneva Online Motor Show: First Look: Want to watch a bit of on the internet? Welcome to the most comprehensive collection of official clips you’ll find on YouTube. Whether you’re searching for a caravan challenge, Ken Block in the Hoonicorn, cars versus fighter jets, Stig power laps or the latest Chris Harris Drives, you can find all the iconic films here.Want to share your views with the team?

welcome to your handy top gear hot hatch guide there’s been a tsunami of new hot hatches in the second half of 2020 so we thought why not let’s get them together down at the top gear test track hoon them around all day and then tell you what we think which is what i’m about to do so we start here with the new golf gti has vw been doing this for a bit too long they basically nailed the formula with the mark v didn’t they and then they’ve just been copying it ever since same design tropes same crisp but predictable handling same every man desirability same relatively lacking in performance compared to rivals that have 50 horsepower more but do you know what and every situation apart from driving it on your favorite b road is probably the most satisfying car to drive here buy one if you’ve got your sensible pants on moving on to this the honda civic type r you can’t really miss it i should say the new honda civic type r because this one has been subjected to a series of quite nerdy upgrades including a grill that’s about 13 bigger and instead of a ball on top of the gear knob you’ve now got a teardrop shaped piece of metal don’t know why they did it it was perfect beforehand more interestingly the standard model is now bookended by two different ones you’ve got the sport line which deletes the rear wing and adds some sound deadening and this one the limited edition which lobs out the air con and the infotainment and you get lighter forged bbs wheels and it saves about 50 kilograms it is a car that looks slightly daft but it’s so so good to drive that front end is so positive the gear shift is so good it’s the car that proves rear-wheel drive isn’t the only answer if you can get past those looks by all means buy one the fiesta st what can i say about this thing that we haven’t already said well a little bit actually because this is the fiesta st edition the new one so you’ve got new coil over suspension from ford performance slightly lighter wheels slightly beefier brakes but no more power so it’s the same smidge in under 200 horsepower 1.5 liter triple turbo but just such a complete car always up for having fun a barrel of laughs this thing the ride it’s a bit positive but trust us you’ll get used to us also probably the cheapest car here in its most basic guys and then we move on to the most expensive the mercedes a45s the most powerful series production hot hatch anywhere 415 horsepower from its 2-liter single turbo it’s got a drift mode it is monstrously monstrously fast this thing tech overload on the outside engineering obsession underneath it does have a tendency to feel a bit artificial though a bit lacking in driver engagement but if you’ve got 50 grand spare by all means buy one if you like brutal acceleration moving on to the hyundai the i30n the new hyundai i30n which you probably spotted if you got your anorak on because it’s got new led light signatures and it’s got fatter tail pipes at the back under the bonnet there’s still a two liter turbo 276 horsepower if you buy one in the uk that’s about five horsepower more than before more interesting is the fact that as well as a six-speed manual you can now get an eight-speed twin clutch which is as good as anything out there i can’t think of another car that just came fresh that came cold into a sector like the hot hatch sector and just went pretty much to the top of the tree it is a fantastic car they said there’s one weakness it’s probably a harsh ride and there may still be a little bit of bad snobbery out there but if that’s you get over yourself it’s an absolutely cracking car the audi s3 right we all know the drill here don’t we four wheel drive for traction quality as standard this one now has a two liter turbo of course but with 306 horsepower so it is a properly quick car but it’s a bit soft in this competition it’s a bit predictable it’s one for the image conscious if i’m honest but if you are conscious of your image please don’t go for this color i’m going to call it stomach bile and by all means avoid the chrome trim that they’ve splashed all over this car but you can pretty much forget everything i’ve just said because we come to the end of the line to the new toyota yaris gr which is the car you should buy admittedly it’s a full rally homologation special which means it’s got this bespoke three-door body shell which means the back seats are basically unusable and you can just about see out of the rear window but you’ll look past all that when you drive it because this thing is absolutely superb park carbon it’s got a carbon roof 4×4 rally refugee part developed by wrc legend tommy mackinnon we wanted to love this car when we saw the specs three-cylinder engine 1.6 turbo 257 horsepower and you know what it’s absolutely blown us away switchable all-wheel drive system it feels like a proper little tough rugged rally car this thing it’s not just all in the marketing they’ve done a proper proper job on this all the controls are nice and crisp it’s a superb thing and guess what they’re selling them for under 30 grand so the big question is what are you what am i what are we waiting for get out there and buy one there’s a new top gear hot hatch king and it’s called the toyota yaris gr

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