Ford Fiesta ST
Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is our Content and Paid Media Specialist, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.

Read time of 6 minutes.

Thrilling drive, everyday practicality. The hot hatch has to do it all - and the 5 on this list truly deliver.

Perfect for people who want the excitement of the sports car feel but need to easily bring home the weekly shop or pick the kids up, the hot hatchback has been popular in Britain since the term was first coined in 1983.

Most hot hatches follow the same formula.

Take 1 hatchback, increase the engine input, add some beefed up suspension - don't forget the sporty styling tweaks - and you have yourself a hot hatch.

The perfect combination of performance and practicality, hot hatches make a great daily run-around, are fun to drive, and make a great lease option. If you're a driving enthusiast who wants a car that can do it all, read on to find out our top 5 picks in the battle of the hot hatches.

Toyota GR Yaris

1. Toyota GR Yaris

This is a hot hatch that wants to have fun.

Toyota have knocked it out of the park with the GR Yaris: good seats, good weight, good steering and brakes. This is for good reason - those 2 little letters between 'Toyota' and 'Yaris' stand for Gazoo Racing, Toyota's racing division.

Built and designed by Gazoo Racing to be the next-gen Yaris WRC, Toyota took 'hot hatch' as a starting point - and ran. Every inch of the car is designed for performance and speed, and this is evident in the detail.

Regulations mean that aero devices can't be fitted to the rear doors? Toyota got rid of the rear doors. Roofline too high in the standard Yaris? Toyota lowered it, keeping the hot hatch streamlined but making the back seats a touch uncomfortable for anyone tall.

Able to sprint from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds, with top speed of 143mph, the GR Yaris mixes performance with versatility to create a serious contender in the hot hatch ring.

Browse our best selling Toyota GR Yaris lease deals

Volkswagen Golf GTI

2. Volkswagen Golf GTI

Popular since its launch in 1976, the Volkswagen Golf GTI has been described as the 'father' of the hot hatches.

Whether it's tearing up the tarmac of a deserted B-road, or carrying you on the commute to work, the Golf GTI can do it all. There's a reason why it made the hot hatch category so popular all those years ago, and that legacy continues.

One of the more 'liveable' hot hatches, the interior is well-built and includes a touchscreen MMI infotainment system and a plethora of safety features as standard - perfect for your next family car.

With the ability to hit 62mph in 6.2 seconds and a top speed of 155mph, the Golf GTI claims its place in the Hot Hatch Hall of Fame for good reason. And luckily for you, a VW Golf lease is an affordable way to experience this piece of automotive history for yourself.

Browse our best-selling Volkswagen Golf GTI lease deals

BMW 1 Series M135i

3. BMW 1 Series M135i

Does the BMW 1 Series M135i have it all? Arguably, yes.

Though a mouthful to say, the new BMW M135i has a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, a part-time four-wheel drive system, sleek and athletic design, and an advanced communications package.

All of this adds up to making the M135i into a serious contender for the hot hatch crown.

Though not equipped with massive amounts of room for backseat passengers, particularly of the tall variety, the M135i is still a great car for everyday life - 380-litre boot, touchscreen infotainment system, and all the connectivity the 21st Century needs.

For a speedy hot hatch that ticks all the boxes, the ability to hit 62mph in 4.5 seconds, and a top speed of 155mph, the BMW 1 Series M135i is a competitive choice on the hot hatch leaderboard.

Browse our best-selling BMW 1 Series lease deals

Mercedes-AMG A 45

4. Mercedes-AMG A 45

The battle of the hot hatches is heating up.

First, the GR Yaris built with racing in mind. Next, the Golf GTI with its years of hot hatch experience.

Now the Mercedes-AMG A 45 enters the ring.

The most powerful hot hatch on the list so far - it can hit 62mph in under 4 seconds, with top speed of 167mph - Mercedes have designed the A 45 to be as joyous as it is good-looking.

Make no bones about it, this is not a delicate car. Its sleek lines, dramatic arches and large grille turn it into a more aggressive-looking car - but it's still good fun, and will be as at home on a windy country lane or straight motorway as it is nipping around town.

A Mercedes lease is one of the best ways to get your hands on this powerful machine, with plenty of monthly payment options to suit you. And this is truly a machine to get your mitts on, guaranteed to make you grin, and make you stand out wherever you go.

Browse our best-selling Mercedes A-Class lease deals

Ford Fiesta ST

5. Ford Fiesta ST

The Ford Fiesta ST has been knocking around since 2005 - and still manages to deliver a no-nonsense approach to the hot hatch market, combining performance with agility, fun, and value.

A common sight on British roads, its unmistakably sporty design stands out in a crowd.

The reasonably spacious interior adds to its overall practicality, making it a comfortable everyday car, but also brilliant to take out on the road. Pick one of Britain's best drives, take the Fiesta ST out for a spin, and you're guaranteed to end the day smiling.

Economical and affordable to lease, the Fiesta ST is still one of the best hot hatches on the market. It sounds fantastic, its performance is even better - it can hit 62mph in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 144mph - and it handles like a dream.

What more could you ask for?

Browse our best-selling Ford Fiesta lease deals

The verdict

After all that, how can we possibly choose a winner?

Each hot hatch on the list brings something else to the fight - though this seems to be turning into a party - and each one could be the winner, if judged on its own merits.

The Toyota GR Yaris brings the sports car like sense of fun. The VW Golf GTI is iconic, having earned its wings after years of work. The Mercedes-AMG A 45 is, on stats alone, the most powerful. The BMW M135i is both fast and versatile. The Fiesta ST is economical and affordable while retaining a great sense of fun.

But if we had to choose, we'd pick the Mercedes-AMG A45, hands down.

Or maybe the GR Yaris.

Or the Golf GTI. Or the - well, we'll take them all.

If you'd like to enter the ring and try a hot hatch for yourself, browse our best hatchback lease deals, or even check out our best business contract hire offers.