This post is part of a series of entries looking at one particular segment and body style, and seeing what the state of the market is by using The Vehicle For Me. This time I'm looking at hot hatches, a type of hatchback that focuses on horsepower as much as utility.
I'm going to set my hypothetical budget at $40,000 and since I'm buying a car for the thrill it can provide me, I will of course require a sick manual transmission and anything over 175hp. Other than that I'm not too concerned about features so I'm going to prioritize using the new Power-to-Weight Ratio and Cargo Space.
Coming in first place easily is the 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 5-door with 82%, followed at 72% by the 2013 Mazda MAZDASPEED3 Touring 5-door. Trailing in 3rd place is 2013 Volkswagen Golf R 2-door at 62%. The Subaru won handily at Power-to-Weight and comes in second with cargo space, making it a pretty clear winner. However, if you're looking for a good value then look no further than the MAZDASPEED3, which has slightly lower Power-to-Weight and cargo space but is over $10,000 cheaper, putting it ahead in the Points Per Dollar metric. The Golf R is kind of in the middle of the pack. It doesn't offer the power or cargo space of the others, but it's also not as fuel efficient as some of the less powerful options. However, if you are a diehard Volkswagen person then it is your best bet in this category.
Victory: 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 5-door
I have to give the victory to the Subaru for being such a power house and winning this scenario with such gusto, but my personal choice here would be the MAZDASPEED3, which gets close to the same performance for 2/3 of the price.