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.
If you want your used car search to be as painless as possible there’s something to be said for opting for one of the most popular models. After all, popular is bound to mean plentiful, so you’re almost guaranteed to have lots of choice without having to travel far from home, plus there will be a wide range of trim levels, fuel types and engine sizes to suit different tastes and budgets.
In the history of the hot hatch the Renaultsport Clio 200 will surely come to be regarded as the pinnacle of the old school formula. A car where stuffing a big, naturally aspirated motor into a supermini body was still the name of the game, rather than the current trend for smaller turbocharged engines and flappy paddle gearboxes.
American drivers have an inferiority complex.
We’ve long pined over cars sold in Europe that are not available for purchase in the United States. It’s a complex that we Yankees have never been able to shake, though there are signs that it’s finally starting to subside.
One reason for that is we’re finally starting to get some of the vehicles we’ve always wanted. The Ford Fiesta and FIAT 500 are leading that charge, though it remains to be seen if buyers on this side of the Atlantic will embrace them long-term. The other reason for the diminishing complex is younger drivers and their complete lack of interest in cars. Why would they care what Europeans get to drive when they don’t see cars as anything more than a portable iPhone accessory?
With that in mind, here’s the question of the day:
If you could bring one European brand to the U.S., which would it be: Alfa Romeo, Peugeot, Citroen, Renault, Seat or Skoda?
Keep reading for a peek into each brand.