We’ve been through the classifieds and put together a list of bargain second hand hot hatches that can be had for less that $30,000 from a variety of different manufacturers. We’ve used five key points when considering the cars on this list to determine our top four picks in this category, those key criteria points are;
- Bang for your Buck
- Driver Enjoyment
- Running Costs (insurance, fuel-consumption, servicing)
- Living with day-to-day
The second hand hatchback market is jam packed with great buys under $30,000. With so many options from a wide variety of manufacturers that fulfilled the marking criteria of bang for your buck, driver enjoyment and living with day-to-day, it came down to how reliable they were and what they were like to live with day-to-day.
We narrowed it down to our Top 4
2008 Audi S3 8P: $23,500
The hotly anticipated Audi S3 8P1 Launched in 2007 as Audi’s hero hatchback aimed at buyers seeking a premium, all-wheel drive alternative to the Volkswagen Golf GTI. The powerful 2.0L TFSI engine was mated to a six speed manual gearbox to maximise driver involvement and enjoyment. With an initial RRP in excess of $65K the Audi has suffered steep depreciation over the past eight years and is now firmly in the sights of buyers looking for a practical, fast hatchback in the crowded $20,000-$30,000 bracket.Whilst High Km examples can be had for just over $20k we chose this S3 because it has had its major timing belt service completed already and still has a lot of life left in it at just 73,000km on the clock.
For those familiar with the Volkswagen Group, they’ll know that the same 2.0TFSI engine with the same 188kW/330Nm output found itself in the Sixth-Generation Golf R between 2010-2013. As a result, the engine can be serviced by anyone familiar with Volkswagen/Audi vehicles meaning that car maintenance and service pricing is very un-Audi and very reasonable.
2013 Renault Megane RS265 Cup+: $28,955
The Renault Megane RS265 Cup+ sits in the middle of the sporty Megane range, one step below the Cup Premium and well below the RS275 trophy. Whilst we could have squeezed both of the latter into the sub-$30k bracket, we chose this 265 Cup+ because it offers a remaining year of factory warranty and a good level of standard features.With 195kW and 360Nm at its disposal, the RS265 Cup+ reaches 100km/h in 6sec dead- 0.3sec slower than the all-wheel drive 188kW Audi S3.
At $28,955 and 24,311km on the clock, this RS265 Cup offers a good buying opportunity for someone in the market for a new or demonstrator hatch.
2010 Honda Civic Type R: $24,990
It would be remiss of us to leave Japan’s hot hatchback hero, The Civic Type R, off this list. Unlike the Meganne and S3, the Civic Type R forgoes forced induction in favour of a naturally aspirated 2.0L. As a result, the Civic Type R is well down in power and torque on its hot hatch rivals utilising forced induction.Despite having less power than its rivals, the Civic Type R is still an extremely rewarding drive. The Type R is less about all out power and more about the driving experience. Peak power is at 7800rpm- the Type R loves to be revved and wants to be driven hard.
This Type R is the final to receive a naturally aspirated engine, we expect this to be a factor in years to come as the Type R becomes one of the most highly sought after V-Tec powered engines. With just 33,421km on the clock for $24,990 this Civic still has a lot of life left in it.
Volkswagen Golf R: $29,890
Since its launch in 2010, The Volkswagen Golf R has become a cult hero in the hot hatch segment. The Golf R shares the same engine as the Audi S3 8P for significantly less money. When paired with the dual clutch gearbox, the Golf R’s 188kW/330Nm 2.0L four-cylinder can launch to 100km/h in 5.7seconds- the fastest of any hatch in this segment.Due to tightening emissions regulations, the Volkswagen Golf R was the first ‘R’ edition Golf to receive a turbo-charged engine. Where the Golf R32 was criticised with being too heavy and slow, the Golf R uses its 4 cylinder 2.0L engine to great effect offering a potent dosage of torque from low down in the rev range to make the R easy to live with everyday.
This Golf R offers a good compromise between price and mileage. At $29,890 with 75,757km on the clock, this R has just undergone the major timing belt service- so only minor services to worry about for the next 30,000km.
Written by Liam Ridings