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The 5 at 5 Looking for a hatchback with a lot of performance? We’ve got a hot hatch for you, whatever your bank balance.

A HOT HATCH is a regular hatchback car with a more powerful engine, a tweaked suspension setup and usually some tidy sporty details.

These performance versions of standard motors offer sports-car thrills with practicality and usability – a car as perfectly at home on the track as it is in the supermarket car park.

So if you want to make the school run a bit more exciting, we’ve rounded up five hot hatches, from the top-end dream car to the distinctly affordable.

Under €65k

2016 Ford Focus RS, €63,000

Spirit Ford Ltd. Spirit Ford Ltd.

The new Ford Focus RS has probably been one of the most hyped hot hatches in the last ten years. And this particular model comes with black alloys, ‘privacy glass’, full leather seats and cruise control. Definitely not one to waste on the kids’ swimming lessons.

Under €45k

2016 Peugeot 308 GTI, €38,650

Slattery's Garage Slattery's Garage

The Peugeot 308 GTi by Peugeot Sport, to give it its full title, is quite understated in the looks department – but get up close with those 19-inch wheels and you’ll see they hide big brake rotors gripped by serious-looking Alcon calipers at the front.

So you know this car means business. It is quick, has plenty of fire power, dynamic handling and a power-to-weight ratio of just 4.82kg/bhp.

Under €40k

2014 BMW M135i, €37,950

Frank Keane Blackrock Frank Keane Blackrock

The BMW M135i is the hottest 1 Series out there and it is blistering. It is a tech fest of a car with superb handling, super direct steering and tonnes of grip. The ‘M’ must stand for magic! It’s very fast and its rear-wheel drive setup makes it an entertaining car to drive.

Under €25k

2014 Volkswagen Golf GTI, €24,750

T Kenny Car Sales T Kenny Car Sales

Irish petrolheads have a long standing love affair with the Golf GTI and for very good reason too; it is has outlasted and outsold many other hot hatches to become an iconic car.

It handles well on Irish roads and has a great firm sporty suspension but it’s still a comfortable ride, which is a good thing because ‘popping out for some milk’ in the GTI can turn into an unintentional extended jolly – it’s just so engaging to drive.

Under €20k

2013 SEAT Leon FR, €16,950

Noel Deasy Ltd. Noel Deasy Ltd.

Although more of a ‘warm’ than a hot hatch, the SEAT Leon FR is a great practical car with plenty of performance at the lower end of the price scale.

It looks very sporty with plenty of sharp lines and bold features and the Spanish manufacturer is very good at creating a sporty suspension, which makes this car playful to drive as well as being very poised through tight bends at speed. A fun car to drive and own, especially as it’s quite frugal too.