When I think of hatchbacks I think of hot hatches. And what pops to mind first is the Mercedes-AMG A45S, which was one of my cars of the year last year, writes Ryan O’Connor.
If you ask me for my best, without the waiver that I have to actually pay for it, I’d look no further than the Mercedes, but the reality is that it comes with a hefty price tag. So for the purposes of this article I’ve decided to go with the hot-hatch I would like to have bought for me, the one that I would be willing to buy, and then new market-contender that has turned my head.
Without further ado,
The Mercedes Benz A45 S AMG:
A 2,0-litre engine with 310 kW and 500 N.m, packed into the small and sporty hatchback body means that you blast the road when you hit that throttle. Outside of performance, I have a soft spot for the classy aesthetic that Mercedes has managed to maintain in the last couple of years, and the simple and smooth interior matched with a mean and slick exterior make it my number 1. With a starting price of around R1.1million though, it becomes a lofty number 1 hope!
Volkswagen Golf GTI
We got to drive the GTI on the CAR Mag shootout, and it’s a dynamite package. While SA awaits the release of the new 2022 GTI Autobahn, I can only speak from the experience of the 2021 Golf 8 GTI. Starting at about R670 000 its not exactly a cheap car, but nothing close to the price tag on the A45 S. The Golf outputs 170 kW and 370Nm and, characteristic of VW, you don’t sacrifice a smooth drive for speed. I’m not too mad about the complexity of the dash control, and I felt it required too much concentration while driving to adjust the car’s settings. All in all though, the value for money is there in terms of combining performance with comfort, as well as everyday use.
Hyundai i30 N
Hyuandai’s latest i30 N is a mean machine with a kind price-tag. Starting at R749 000, the punchy 2,0litre motor outputs 205kW and 325Nm through a six-speed manual transmission.. The i30’s smaller sibling, the i20, was crowned the champion of Top Gear’s Speed Week in 2021, for it’s beautiful handling and all round capabilities, while also being the most affordable contender at Speed Week. With this in mind, the release of the 2022 i30 N is much anticipated, and Hyundai’s new model ranks as my head turning contender for 2022.
Special mentions must go to the new Mazda 3 and Kia Rio, which embody simple and efficient transport. Incredible every day cars that pack a whole lot of class into a much smaller price tag than the Mercedes-Benzes and premium Volkswagens of the world.