Saturday 3 December 2016

Top five hot hatchbacks for under ten grand

Bob Flavin and Anthony Murphy

Published 27/04/2015 | 08:44

There's nothing like that hot-hatch feeling, knowing that you are in a car that can be as fast as a supercar but you can do the weekly shopping and pick the kids up from school. We wondered what you could get for 10k or less and still have that fun feeling so here's a list of the top five.

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Dacia, as stated in their adverts, is not a company who do frivolity. Their models are basic and to the point, epitomised by the Dacia Sandero. The Sandero is a sensible hatchback with a small 1.2 litre engine and a three year warranty, all available for approximately €10,000.

 

All very good, but in life sometimes you need a bit of frivolity. I have compiled a list of five used hatchbacks that would certainly be considered far more frivolous than a Sandero, all available for less than €10,000.

 

I might as well start with something relatively sensible and work my way up from there.

 

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2008 Peugeot 308 1.6 GT €7,950

 

The Peugeot 308 GT could be considered more of a “warm hatch”, unable to compete with its big brother the GTI but still capable of exciting for a more reasonable price. The 308 GT is powered by a turbocharged 1.6 litre petrol engine with 150 brake horsepower and is able to reach 100kmph in less than 9 seconds. These impressive performance figures do not compromise economy unduly with Peugeot claiming 40 miles per gallon. Upon release, reviews stated the 308 had well a balanced ride and good handling but the exhaust was quite loud at high revs which could annoy some.

 

 

2006 Audi A3 2.0 TFSI €9,750 (So good it's sold!)

 

Audi has become extremely popular in Ireland in recent years, from a sea of A4s and A6s blasting up and down the motorways transporting very important people from high powered meeting to high powered meeting (at least that’s what they would like you to think) to people who believe a VW Golf is just not good enough for them and decide to pick up an A3. This leads us nicely on to my next choice, an Audi A3 with a 2.0 TFSI engine, two litres of turbocharged German goodness, producing roughly 200bhp and powering on to 100kmph in just over seven seconds. This is a five door S-Line model with a great looking interior, complete with body-hugging leather seats. It’s a very unassuming looking car and only people in the know would spot what you are driving, it could easily be mistaken for a 1.6 diesel!

 

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2008 Renault Clio 197 Cup €9,650

 

Not all Clios are created equal. Most live a life pootling around town or taking abuse as a first car. This particular Clio, the 197 Cup, is an entirely different breed and would be much more at home on a race track, rather than tipping to the shop for some milk. This Clio makes 194bhp from its 2.0 litre petrol engine. The Cup model is a special edition with lower springs and upgraded suspension. The engine is powerful but hasn’t huge amounts of torque so it needs to be revved to get the best from it, sure isn’t that all part of the fun?

 

2007 Alfa Romeo Brera 3.2 V6 €9,950

 

If we are going for frivolity we might as well go the whole way and pick an Italian beauty to lust over. The Alfa Romeo Brera is undoubtedly stunning to look at and is sure to turn heads. The model listed has a sonorous 3.2 litre V6 with 260bhp and gets to 100kmph in 6.8 seconds. The motor tax is scandalous and that big V6 is bound to be thirsty. But, if you are looking for some sensibility in the Brera, it does have four-wheel drive, great for those few frosty days in December.

2007 VW Golf R32 €9,950

 

If a 3.2 litre V6 Alfa Romeo is not your cup of tea, how about a 3.2 litre V6 Volkswagen? The Golf R32 was created by engineers at VW who decided the GTI just didn’t have enough power. This is the MK5 version, producing 250bhp, capable of 0-100kmph in just over six seconds and can be distinguished from the GTI by the centre mounted exhaust. The model listed has the DSG gearbox with paddle shifts mounted on the steering wheel, this might deter some enthusiasts but does allow for a more relaxing and refined drive.

 

I realise someone contemplating buying a Dacia Sandero is never going to pick these cars in a million years but maybe someone out there is feeling frivolous.

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