In the same way that Hoover is a byword for vacuum, think hot hatch and you’re undoubtedly thinking Golf GTI. And there’s a reason for that: Volkswagen’s venerable GTI has been the default hot-hatch choice since its debut in 1975. Nothing else treads the fine line between comfortable daily driver and back-road blaster with the same poise as VW’s finest. Fast-forward to 2017, with VW pedalling the seventh iteration of its tartan-clad giant-killer, and things have only improved with age. The most powerful GTI ($43,840) yet is hugely fun from behind the wheel, and properly quick, too, knocking off 100km/h in just 6.5secs. But it will still happily don the sheep’s clothing to swallow groceries, baby seats or four adult passengers with ease.
Money no object: Mercedes-AMG A45
From its fast-and-furious styling to its insanely addictive launch control function, Mercedes’ A45 AMG ($75,042) is all kinds of happy madness wrapped in one brutally quick package. The quickest, most powerful and loudest hot hatch to prowl Australian roads.