Mini Cooper S, £18,180
The original Mini Cooper may have been the first pocket rocket but the latest generation Mini Cooper S feels like a very different animal. It’s faster and more powerful (184bhp) than the Abarth 500s – 0-60mph takes 7.0 seconds and its top speed is 142mph – and has better fuel economy (48.7mpg) and emissions (136g/km of CO2) yet feels bigger.
Twingo Renaultsport 133, £13,765
The latest generation Renaultsport hot-hatch is the sportiest ever and comes with an F1-car style front blade, pronounced grille and new split-lights along with a roof spoiler and sports exhaust on the back. Its revamped 1.6-litre engine offers 133bhp, a top speed of 125mph and 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds. CO2 emissions are down to 150g/km and it averages 43.5mpg.
Suzuki Swift Sport, £13,749
A warm hatch rather than a hot one, what sets this Suzuki apart is how much fun it is to drive, despite the old school feel. Its 1.6-litre engine produces 134bhp, it goes from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 121mph. An average of 44.1mpg and CO2 emissions of 147g/km is possible.