Top 10 hot hatches for under R100 000

Updated: Oct 28, 2019

The prices of new cars in South Africa are remarkably higher than in other markets. Even most second-hand cars will cost you a pretty penny. With a budget of around R500K one could get some of the latest offerings of hot hatches in South Africa, however, not many people have R500k laying around for a car, but many people in South Africa have an interest in cars. With this in mind, we decided to put a list together for hot hatches under R100 000 and to show you that you don’t need big bucks to get a cool and fast car. So, here is our list.

1. Ford FIESTA 2.0i ST150

White Ford parked on a pavement under a tree.
-Image from Caradisiac

Quick facts:

Engine 2,0-litre, four-cylinder, twin-cam 16-valve

Power: 112 kW, 190 Nm

0-100 kph: 8,6 seconds

Top speed: 203 km/h

Ford is well known for making some seriously hot hatches and in the 2000s, this little car was born. Its naturally aspirated 2-litre 4 cylinder engine puts out 112kW and 190 NM. This coupled together with its small size and lightweight made it fast and fun to drive. So good in fact that in the day this car was a competitor to the VW Polo GTI. The Fiesta with its superior handling, beat the VW in many reviews. With its MacPherson struts up front and torsion beams and trailing arms at the rear, this car is so much fun around corners. The naturally aspired engine does suffer a bit in Gauteng with the altitude. However, performance is still strong. 2. Renault Megane R26 RS F1 Edition

yellow car parked in front of a red wall
-Image from Wheels24

Quick facts:

Engine: 2-litre, four-cylinder, turbo

Power: 169kW, 310Nm

0-100 kph: 6.5 seconds

Top speed: 237km/h

These cars were built to commemorate Renault winning the 2006 F1 Constructors

Championship. It came with the usual 2-litre turbocharged 4 cylinder, pushing 169Kw and

310 NM. This relates to a 0-100 kph time of 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 237kph. These cars also come with a GKN Driveline sourced limited-slip diff which helps to get the power down and stop the dreaded one tyre fire. When it comes to a corner, it handles superbly but that’s kind of what you expect from the team that competes in F1 and who helped develop this car. With its love or hate looks, the Megane definitely stands out from the crowd and is a somewhat unique hot hatch.

3. Peugeot 206 GTI 180

Blue Peugeot parked on sand
-Image from Wheelsage

Quick facts:

Engine: 2-litre, four-inline 16V

Power: 130 kW, 202 Nm

0-100 kph: 7.72 seconds

Top speed: 220 kph

Peugeot is known for making hot hatches and the 206 GTI 180 or the RC, is no exception. The 206 GTI wasn't as good as Peugeot wanted, so they beefed it up a bit and come up with the GTI 180. With its naturally aspirated 2-litre engine making 130kW (180hp) and 202 NM, this was another great hot hatch by the French company. 100 kph came up in 7.72 seconds thanks to a close-ratio gearbox. The suspension and steering were also tweaked from the stock GTI to create a hot hatch Peugeot would be proud of. With this car being naturally aspirated, engine responsiveness is instantaneous compared to some turbo cars. These cars are very underrated and not well known so finding one could be tough but worth it.

4. VW Golf MK5 GTI

white car driving down a road
-Image from Top Gear

Quick facts:

Engine: 2-litre FSI turbo

Power: 147kW, 280 Nm

0-100 kph: 7.2 seconds

Top speed: is 235 km/h

The car that put the GTI back on the map, after the flop of the MK3 and MK4 GTIs not living up to the GTI name. After the mk4 GTI the MK5 was a spicy hot chili in comparison. With its bulletproof four-pot 2-litre FSI Turbo engine developing 147kW and 280NM, this was the king of hot hatches back in the mid to late 2000s. with its iconic GTI rims to the superb handling and performance, it’s no wonder so many were sold.

5. VW Golf MK3 VR6

black golf parked on a road
-Image from Wheels24

Quick facts:

Engine: 2.8-litre VR6

Power: 128 kW, 235 Nm

0-100 kph: 7.6 seconds

Top speed: 225 kph

Back in the early 90s, the MK3 GTI didn’t quite impress Golf enthusiasts. VW didn’t want to lose face or customers so in 1992 they launched the VR6. With its cleverly designed slightly angled 6 cylinder, the Golf had 128kW and 235NM. The V6 engine only had one cylinder head with its small 15-degree divide, this made the engine small and a lot lighter than most other V6 engines. However, this engine is best known for the amazing sound it makes. With its suspension undergoing some minor tweaks from the standard GTI, this car is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. This car is also on track to become a modern classic that will probably go up in value in the near future. So, get in before it’s too late.

6. Mini Cooper S R56

blue mini cooper parked on sand
-Image from Autocar

Quick facts:

Engine: 16-valve 1.6 turbo

Power: 128 kW, 240 Nm

0-100 kph: 7.1 seconds

Top speed: 225 km/h

Yes, that’s right, you can get a baby BMW for under R100k. After the success of the R53, Mini launched the R56. The Cooper S came with a small 1600cc 4 cylinder with a

turbo, making 128 kW and 240 NM. This might not seem like a lot but with the small package that is the mini, it could still do the 100 kph dash in just over 7 seconds. Talking about its small size, the handling was on point as it has a short wheelbase and weighs almost nothing. This makes driving it such fun in true Mini fashion.


White Audi a3 parked in front of wall
-Image from Cars

Quick facts:

Engine: 2.0 T FSI

Power: 188kW, 330Nm

0-100 kph: 5.9 seconds

Top speed: 250km/h (Limited)

This is the fastest car on our list with a 0-100 kph time of just 5.9 seconds. This comes courtesy of its brilliant 2-litre TFSI engine making 188 kW and 330 NM with Audis Quattro system ensuring all the power is laid down on the road. With stronger pistons, reinforced connecting rods, and block, this car is built to go fast. Making this car stand out from normal A3s is a new front bumper, grille, roof spoiler, and 18-inch rims to name a few. Under the skin, you will find a sports suspension which makes it handle extremely well.

8. BMW 3 Series Compact 325ti

Blue BMW parked in front of building
-Image from Car Throttle

Quick facts:

Engine: 2.5 litre straight 6

Power: 141 kW, 245 Nm

0-100 kph: 7.1 seconds

Top speed: 235 km/h

Arguably the most controversial car on this list. Many don’t consider this to be a hatch but to us, it is. Another thing that divides people is the looks of this car. Let’s not get into that though. This unique car is packing BMWs famous straight 6 engine. The 2.5-litre engine makes 141kW and 245NM propelling the car to 100 kph in 7.1 seconds. This is also the only car on our list that is rear-wheel drive, making it quite fun to kick the back out going through corners. With the sport-oriented suspension, sharp steering and loads of grip, these cars handle like a dream and are a joy to drive.

9. Opel Astra OPC

Blue Opel Astra driving on a road
-Image from Cars

Quick facts:

Engine: Turbo-charged four-cylinder 16v

Power: 177 kW, 320 Nm

0-100 kph: 6.4 seconds

Top speed: 244 km/h

In 2006, this was the fastest car Opel had ever sold in South Africa. With its four-cylinder turbocharged engine, developing a mighty 177 kW and 320NM, this engine was a gem. 100kph came up in fast 6.4 seconds and thanks to drive by wire, the throttle response was lightning quick. Thanks to its big brakes and great chassis, this car wasn’t all about straight-line speed. With its subtle styling cues that separate it from the normal Astra, this car is a true sleeper that many people have forgotten about.

10. Mazda 3 MPS

Red Mazda 3 driving a long road next to bushes
-Image from Car Magazine

Quick facts:

Engine: 2.3-litre four-cylinder Turbo

Power: 190 kW, 380 Nm

0-100 kph: 6.1 seconds

Top speed: 250 km/h

This little Mazda is packing a not so little engine, making 190 kW and 380 NM, from its 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder making this the most powerful car on this list. Thanks to Mazda’s DISI (Direct Injection Spark Ignition) for better combustion. This means that these four cylinders produce power closer to a six-cylinder while still maintaining a decent fuel economy. With that amount of power and being front-wheel drive, Mazda gave these cars a limited-slip diff. This also gives the car torque steer. At the end of the day though, the handling of this car is still good and a lot of fun from town driving to track driving.

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