Sporty hatchback cars are, for some drivers, the holy grail of motoring. You get a practical and easy-to-live-with car that also offers tons of fun at a reasonable price. Even the most extreme hot hatches aren’t as expensive as their sleeker sports car cousins. That said, hot hatches can get expensive and a car like the 2018 Ford Focus RS is out of reach for many people. Luckily, there are other options out there.
One such option is the new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport. It’s not a true hot hatch, but it definitely heats up the Elantra GT nameplate. It has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and sportier driving dynamics that make it a real pleasure on the road. Drivers wanting a hardcore hot hatch will be left wanting but cash-strapped drivers seeking a sporty and practical car will be thrilled.
2018 Ford Focus RS
Ford doesn’t plan to make the Focus RS forever. In fact, after the 2018 model year, this super-fast and fun hot hatch will end its production run. That said, Ford decided to add in some extra goodies. The car is still essentially the same. It’s an all-wheel-drive drifting monster with a variety of drive modes and a powerful turbocharged engine. What’s new for 2018 is that it will come with a special limited-slip differential, the RS2 package will be standard and the car gets some large 19-inch wheels and more carbon fiber. This means it will be more fun and better to drive than ever. That said, the car will also be about $5,000 more expensive than the 2017 model.
Engine: 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
Performance: 350 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque
0-60 MPH Time: 4.6 seconds
EPA Mileage Rating: 19 mpg city / 26 mpg highway
2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport
Hyundai’s Elantra GT Sport isn’t as extreme as the Ford Focus RS, but if you want a fun and sporty hatchback at a serious value, it’s definitely worth considering. This little hatchback comes with a punchy turbocharged engine, good steering and handling, and a can-do attitude. The model can hang with other sporty cars but lacks the thrill of the Focus RS and other true hot hatches. That said, it’s a smart option for the guy or girl who loves to take the scenic route to work or go for a spirited drive on a Sunday morning. As you can see from the information below, it’s not as powerful or fast as the Focus RS, but it’s considerably less pricey.
Engine: 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual clutch automatic
Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
Performance: 201 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque
0-60 MPH Time: 6.5 seconds
EPA Mileage Rating: 22 mpg city / 29 mpg highway