2018 Hot Hatch Mega Test Face-off: Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai i30 N, Peugeot 308 GTi, Subaru WRX STI, Volkswagen Golf R

Is there a more vibrant and diverse segment on the market right now than that labelled ‘hot hatch’? In fact, is it technically a segment at all, but rather a broad net cast wide enough to include a $25K compact-sized Suzuki Swift Sport at one extreme and larger, circa-$80K Audi RS3s and Merc-AMG A45s at the other?

And that’s just hatchbacks. When cross-shopping pocket rockets, there are also sedan (Subaru WRX STI), coupe (BMW M2) and wagon (AMG CLA45 Shooting Brake) alternatives to consider as well.

The go-fast hatch goalposts are also perpetually moving: today’s ‘warm hatch’ is yesterday’s ‘hot’, the current ‘hot’ is the new ‘hyper’, and traditional hyper-hatch spearheads – gen-II Renault Megane RS, say – look to inevitably become overshadowed by ever-more potent and monstrous machinery. Buyers are just spoilt for choice in variety, size, style, price and even driven wheel type, with the playing field ever expanding as the new Fiesta ST, gen-three Megane RS and a trio of Benzes (A240, A35, A45), to name just a few, are set to lob in the near future.

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