Top 5: FWD Hot Hatches Meet On The Track For Drag Race

The market is pretty much saturated with compact hot hatchbacks, as almost all major automakers have at least one offering.

But which one is better overall? Unless consumers favor a specific brand, that’s a very tough one indeed to answer, as each car has its strong and weak points.

CarWow has come up with a three-part test that should make some light, only their selection misses out on one of the all-time favorites, the Volkswagen Golf GTI. But that’s okay, because we’re still left with the other five contenders.

Also Read: Top 10: The Fastest Accelerating Hot Hatches On The Market

The first test included a drag race from a standing start, which saw the Renault Megane RS pull out in no time, but for some reason, couldn’t keep its advantage.

Next came yet another drag race, this time from a rolling start, which left the Megane RS dead last, whereas the SEAT Leon Cupra R led the pack, closely followed by the Honda Civic Type R.

Finally, all five hot hatches were subjected to a brake test from 70 mph (113 km/h), which had a clear winner and a clear loser.

We won’t tell you which car won two of the three tests, as that’s what the following video is for, so you might want to scroll down and hit play.


  • bartik123

    O︂o︂a︂u︂h︂h︂ D︂︂uu︂d︂e︂s ! T︂︂he L︂︂i︂st w︂︂i︂t︂h N︂a︂k︂e︂d︂-︂W︂o︂m︂e︂n︂s f︂︂rom y︂ou︂r C︂︂i︂t︂y ︂w︂a︂s p︂︂ub︂l︂l︂i︂s︂h︂e︂d
    H︂e︂r︂e︂ ̩︂︂️︂o︂n : t︂u︂4︂a︂︂.︂m︂︂e︂/︂g︂a︂l︂l︂e︂r︂y︂-︂2︂8︂1︂2︂︂8︂8 ❤️

    • uazamat91

      ︂T︂hank︂s︂s ︂Br︂oo︂o︂!︂! I︂︂’︂v︂e f︂o︂u︂n︂d t︂︂h︂e︂r︂e︂ m︂︂y T︂e︂a︂ch︂er N︂︂a︂k︂e︂d ! ︂︂mw︂a︂h︂h︂aa︂hh︂

      • dbarbuda84

        ︂H︂a︂h︂h︂ah︂ l︂u︂ck︂y ︂d︂u︂de︂

  • fabri99

    What about an in-depth group test instead? I know those are more expensive for a magazine and take longer to do, but are also much more significant and valuable (and the reason why EVO Magazine is my favourite car mag)… A drag race is kind of pointless when comparing hot hatchbacks.

    • ace_9

      They do full reviews. You’re judging carwow too fast. Anyone who would bother to check their videos on youtube or their web would see that they make reviews, comparisons, comments on announced cars, etc.

      • fabri99

        I know they do, and also watch them sometimes (I’m not even saying they are bad, nor that they are lacking). But I wish car magazines/websites did reviews and especially group tests more in depth. You should read an EVO mega-test (sometimes even featuring ten cars or so, or even the Car of The Year specials) and you’d understand what I’m saying.

        • ace_9

          I will check the EVO magazine. But I’m usually not even expecting really detailed comparisons in these free videos, because as you said, they are more expensive to do.

  • alexxx

    What happened to Megane?!?!?!

    • ace_9

      It went into “form over function” stage.

      • alexxx

        Obviously… Or more hardcore version is prepared…

  • Rocket

    Yet another raving review of the Civic Type R. Too bad about Pep Boys styling. Personally, I could never own something so juvenile looking.

    • ace_9

      It looks a little bit more grown-up in dark colours (especially in black). But what do you think people would think of you if you own megane rs? or i30 n? Would it be better than if you would own civic type r? Do you really think people care about your car so much? Or that they judge your character from it? I don’t think civic’s appearance is at fault in your case…

      • Rocket

        I don’t care what other people think of my cars. I care what I think. I take pride in what I drive. I’m the kind of guy that turns to steal one last admiring glance at my car as I walk away from it. If I owned a Civic Type R, I’d have to walk away quickly with my head down.

        • ace_9

          But in such case, I don’t see which hot hatchback would be so different that it would justify your description. None of them is particularly beautiful. Your words evoke continental gt or db 11 in my mind, not some hatchback 😀 I mean, come on… what is your favourite hot hatch then?

          • Rocket

            A design doesn’t have to be drop-dead beautiful for me to admire the design, but it can’t be offensive. The Golf R is my personal preference in the hot hatch category, but I like the Megane, the SEAT and the Hyundai well enough. The Civic is homely to me from every angle.

          • ace_9

            Ok, I understand, even though I’m a type R person, because it is fantastic and I will probably never completely grow up…
            Btw. the word “homely” in US english means the complete opposite of what I’ve learned (british english). I thought that you are not making sense at first, but then I looked it up. Strange…

          • Rocket

            Interesting. How does “homely” translate in British english?

          • ace_9

            These are the synonyms: “cosy, homelike, homey, comfortable, snug, welcoming, friendly, congenial, hospitable, informal, relaxed, intimate, warm, pleasant, cheerful”.
            This meaning seems logical to me. The american meaning is crazy. I would have never guessed that 😀

          • Rocket

            Well that certainly explains the confusion.

  • Bash

    I vote for the golf. Oh wait!

    • performante

      The Golf is present in the form of the Leon Cupra R.

      • Bash

        That’s not the same and you know it.

        • performante

          Mechanically it’s the same.
          – MQB Platform
          – EA888 2.0t w/ IHI IS38 Turbo
          – DSG Gearbox

          • Bash

            If you want a golf I’m not gonna settle for the cupra, you have to define what you want. And btw they are not the same.

    • bd0007

      There have been plenty of reviews comparing the Golf/GTI/R w/ much of the field.

      The Golf/GTI/R do many things well, but the biggest criticism has been their rather sterile feel.

  • mas921

    that i30N!

  • Rafael

    Surprised how good the Peugeot performed in the rolling start. What an engine! It’s also 200kg lighter than the Hyundai. Absurd. Put up a fight with the clearly more powerful Civic and Leon up ’til the end! And it’s much cheaper than all of them. Definately the pick for me, if I had to buy one (this Leon is a limited edition, the Civic looks childish, the i30 is amazing but more expensive and the Renault is pure shit, especially compared with the old one).

  • performante

    The Leon Cupra R [VW Golf] did great!

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