The kind of hot hatches manufacturers are producing these days would have made our eyes water 15 years ago. Once you didn’t see anything in this bracket with more than 200bhp, and now they’re all pushing 300bhp. This Golf R has 296bhp and it properly flies. 0-62mp takes just over 5 seconds and you’ll get a serious drive out of it in all weather conditions.

Cash alternative
296 bhp
0-62 mph 5.1 seconds