Though it is quite affordable, the Veloster N can't match the value of a used hot hatch.
Hot hatchbacks are meant to be an affordable way for car enthusiasts to buy a fast, practical car. As automakers continue to pump out limited-run, high-performance hot hatches, prices continue to get out of control. Hyundai is looking to break the cycle of increasing hot hatch prices with its new Veloster N. The base 250 horsepower version starts at just $26,900 (plus an $885 freight charge) while the more powerful 275 hp Performance pack version starts at a still affordable $29,000.
Compared to more powerful hot hatches like the Honda Civic Type R and Volkswagen Golf R, the Hyundai Veloster N is a relative bargain. Still, some buyers out there may not be able to afford a brand-new car like the Veloster N, so we wanted to propose five cheaper used alternatives.
Two hundred and fifty horsepower from the Veloster N is a pretty solid number in 2018, but our first used option packed the same amount of power a decade ago. The Volkswagen R32 was sold for just two model years in the US, 2004 and 2008. We'd like to focus on the 2008 fifth-generation model, which was powered by a 3.2-liter VR6 engine sending 250 hp to all four wheels through a six-speed DSG transmission. Unfortunately, a manual transmission was not available for America.
Volkswagen only built 5,000 R32s in total in 2008, making it quite a rare car. Despite this, used models can be found between $8,000 and $20,000. The R32 was eventually replaced by the more powerful, turbocharged Golf R, though we prefer the amazing sound of the naturally aspirated VR6 engine.
This may be our last chance to recommend buying a BMW M Coupe as an "affordable" collector. M Coupe prices have been skyrocketing, especially if you have a later S54-power model from 2001-2002. The earlier S52 models from 1998-2000 can still be found for between $20,000 to $25,000. Of course, pristine examples can command more than double this amount.
The early BMW M Coupe was powered by a 3.2-liter inline-six producing 240 hp going out to a five-speed manual transmission. The car's shape is a bit love-hate, but we fall on the love side. It may not have the rear seats of the Veloster N, but the M Coupe does have a proper RWD sports car layout and is extremely collectible. Buy one now before prices become completely out of control.
Yes, we know the Mercedes GLA is an SUV, not a hatchback. However, when the GLA is in its faster, lower AMG 45 form, it actually appears more like a hatchback than an SUV. We simply couldn't believe how cheap the GLA 45 and its sedan sibling, the CLA 45, have become on the used market. It is now possible to buy a first model year (2015) GLA 45 for as little as $25,000 on the used market. You probably won't find a certified pre-owned example at that price, but you'll still get a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine pumping out 345 hp through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
The Audi TT RS was a car that almost didn't come to the US. Thanks to an internet petition, Audi decided to import just 1,407 examples into the US in 2012 and 2013 - all coupes with the six-speed manual transmission. All TT RS models are powered by a unique 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, which produces 335 hp. Only higher mileage examples can be found at around $25,000 because the TT RS has held its value extremely well due to its rarity. It may not be as practical as a hot hatch, but it does have two rear seats and a large hatch-style trunk.
If funky looks are what you're after, why not take a gander at the Mini Coupe. Mini built the Coupe from 2011 to 2015 and even offered a hardcore John Cooper Works Version. The Mini Coupe JCW was powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 208 hp going out to a six-speed manual transmission. It may not be as powerful as the Veloster N but the Mini cars have their own way of being fun to drive without being incredibly powerful.
The Coupe was an interesting experiment for Mini by offering a two-seater version of the classic Cooper, though the experiment clearly didn't last long. Since the Mini Coupe is such an obscure model, JCW versions can be found between $15,000 and $20,000 with low miles.