Turns out sometimes you can have your cake and eat it, these cars are living proof. If you're looking for a new motor that will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck but also fit a weekly shop in the boot you've met your match with a hot hatch. All of these vehicles are fantastic fun to drive but but have proper rear seats and are comfortable enough to drive on long journeys, the perfect balance of power and practicality, what's not to like?
Here are the best hot hatchbacks for 2017.
Volkswagen Golf GTI
Was this the hot hatch that kicked off our obsession with sporty family cars? Volkswagen initially unleashed the Golf GTI on Britain 30 years ago back in 1977, and when the right hand drive version followed a couple of years later this went on to become one of the most iconic cars of the 80s.
These days the VW hot hatch has lost none of its sparkle. It looks great, offers an engaging drive whilst still providing the practicality required by a family car. Add to that top marks for safety and some of the best ratings for reliability in its class and you can see why after all these years the Golf GTI still gets top billing.
Ford Focus RS
If you're chasing the best drive on this list of hot hatchs, you're probably looking at it. The Focus RS harnesses bucket loads of power and is genuinely a thrill a minute on the road - if you've got a pulse this machine is guaranteed to set it racing.
This car isn't all about that 345bhp 2.3-litre turbo engine either, although let's be honest it mostly is. However you'll also be getting a reliable car that rates 5 star for safety as well as all the tech you'd expect from your standard Focus. Perhaps the only thing holding this car back is a lack of boot and interior space, but we're nit-picking really, the Focus RS is an absolute beast!
SEAT Leon Cupra
Those in the know will tell you the Leon Cupra packs the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine as the Golf GTI. In fact this SEAT kicks out more power than its Volkwagen cousin, churning out a stonking 286bhp - we're talking 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds.
Value for money doesn't stop there either, there's plenty of kit too, with connectivity for your smartphone and a 6.5 inch touchscreen as standard. You'll also find a premium feel missing from many of its rivals, not to mention loads of room inside too. The Leon Cupra is no big secret anymore, this car is a serious contender to be the best hot hatch available now.
Skoda Octavia vRS
This may not be the hottest hatch out there, but the Octavia vRS scores highly enough in other categories to make this arguably the best all rounder on this list. In the updated model for 2017 there is an additional 10bhp, meaning 227bhp now as standard but this still doesn't quite rival the ride you'll get in some competitors.
However, the big but is a big boot, offering a best in class 590 litres of space. This is a properly practical hatchback that makes sense for people who need something roomy as well as zoomy. The interior packs premium touches that certainly stack up next to the Golf and this car costs less too, it's a seriously smart choice that deserves your consideration.
BMW 140i M Sport
BMW's hatchback undenaibly offers a more premium feel than the rest of the cars on this list, and amongst other higher end hatchs like the A-Class and A3 you'd have to say the Beemer is probably the driver's choice. We're talking hot hatchs here though and they don't come much hotter than the M140i. You're dealing with a machine with some serious power, 335bhp to be precise.
Replacing the outgoing M135i, BMW have tweaked rather than overhauled, adding 14bhp and improving suspension. Did the best just get better?
Peugeot 208 GTi
The smallest car here, this nippy Peugeot aims to recapture the gallic flair of the original 205, which is still probably the French manufacturer's most cherised car - certainly this side of the channel. So does this latest effort do enough to live up to its sporty predecessor? Well yes and no, there are styling upgrades to the GTi to the grille and seats that provide the car a more alluring image and a 1.6 litre petrol engine that'll get you from 0 to 62mph in more than respectable 6.8 seconds. However the handling isn't as sharp as some rivals and this isn't quite the thrill a minute ride it could be.
That said, this car is still great fun and great value, if you're looking for a hot hatch in a small package this could be the one for you.