By 2012 Renault’s fast car division seemed unable to put a foot wrong when it came to building hot hatches. It was no surprise therefore when that year’s Renault Megane 2.0 Renaultsport 265 proved to be an instant hit, nor indeed that it continues to make a fine purchase six years on with good examples now available for around half of the original £24,825 list price. In fact, at this moment in time it might just be the most interesting Half Price Hot Hatch of them all.
With the first six months of 2018 behind us it is an ideal time to take stock of the new car market. After all, today’s new cars are tomorrow’s nearly new ones, as can be seen by the fact that every car in the list below can already be sourced as approved used via CarGurus, with potential savings of thousands of pounds.
Since being relaunched by BMW in 2001 the MINI brand has been an incredible success. For that you can thank the way it combines the sense of cheeky fun you’d expect of a classic Mini with modern standards of build quality, safety and reliability.
If you’re in the market for a small car there’s a good chance the Volkswagen Polo is on your shortlist. After all, alongside the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa it is a regular fixture in the list of the UK’s best selling cars, with a mixture of practicality, affordability and build quality that buyers find hard to resist.
Are there any other manufacturers that do the whole super-fast estate thing as well as Audi? Certainly none have been at it for as long, with the first seriously rapid RS Audi wagon dating back to the RS2 of 1994 (even if it was co-developed with Porsche).
The Audi A2 of 1999 and BMW i3 of 2014 are two cars that on paper appear to be fundamentally different. For a start they are built by competing firms, but even more basic than that is their method of propulsion: internal combustion for the A2 versus battery electric for the i3.
Let’s start here by saying that controversial doesn’t necessarily mean bad. And so when admiring some of the beauties below we urge you to not spit your tea out in disgust, but instead to admire their makers’ self-belief in bringing such unlikely creations to the market, for better or for worse.