Top five hot hatches for €5,000

Top five hot hatches for €5,000

Aug 31, 2016

Top five hot hatches for €5,000

1 - Alfa Romeo 147

Year: 2002
List price: €1,400
Owners: 6
Mileage: 122,310km
Engine: 2.0 petrol
Location: Dublin

Ok, the number of owners this car has been through is a worry, so it needs a thorough check over, but in Sport guise the 2.0-litre engined 147 is a hot hatch in everything but name. There was a 3.0-litre V6 version called the GTA as well, but we doubt you'll find one in Ireland. The 2.0-litre car is cheaper to run and fast enough for anyone really. Looks great too.

2 - Ford Fiesta ST

Year: 2005
List price: €3,500
Owners: 1
Mileage: 181,856km
Engine: 2.0 petrol
Location: Dublin

This could be the find of the week, as this generation of the Ford Fiesta ST is ultra rare in Ireland, and a bit of a gem. Shame its 2.0-litre engine means it's expensive to tax and a power figure of 150hp doesn't sound like much, though remember there's no turbo here. Anyway, the Fiesta is small so it makes good use of that performance. What's more, Ford endowed the ST with a brilliant chassis, making it huge fun to drive, even at normal speeds. A future classic, we reckon.

3 - MINI Cooper S

Year: 2004
List price: €4,500
Owners: 3
Mileage: 80,789km
Engine: 1.6 petrol
Location: Dublin

The MINI might not automatically come to mind when you're considering hot hatches, but every single one of them drives with real verve and even the Cooper model is more than a match for most cars listed here, in the handling stakes. But to truly test that chassis, you'll need a Cooper S, and we adore the first generation model with its characterful supercharged 1.6-litre petrol engine. It's not too expensive to tax and yet it's as fast as any other car here. This 2004 example has low mileage, which is a big bonus.

4 - Skoda Fabia RS

Year: 2007
List price: €3,650
Owners: 2
Mileage: 233,355km
Engine: 1.9 diesel
Location: Sligo

This Skoda is a bit of an usurper here, wading in with a diesel engine when most hot hatches of old use petrol. But wait, the Fabia RS has developed a bit of a cult following for itself, with good reason. That 1.9-litre diesel engine is incredibly torquey, making the RS deceptively fast without having to stress the engine too much. That, incidentally, makes it much more economical than most hot hatches. We also like how it looks, inside and out.

5 - Volkswagen Golf GTI

Year: 2003
List price: €1,700
Owners: 4
Mileage: 210,824km
Engine: 1.8 petrol
Location: Westmeath

No list of hot hatches is complete without including the iconic Volkswagen Golf GTI, though your choices are limited at this budget, realistically, to a good Mk IV version. It's one of the least-loved GTIs made as it was much softer than the name tag would suggest, though it's not bad on fuel given the performance from its turbocharged 1.8-litre engine. Here we've found a well looked after example at a rock-bottom price and as it's one of the last Mk IVs you'd hope that reliability issues have been ironed out.