The ex-wife is taking half of my stuff and all of the kids, so it looks like I no longer need my Volkswagen Touareg. I do, however, need something much smaller and cheaper to run thanks to the sudden change in my asset portfolio. It still needs to fit two passengers on every other weekend, but I’m not fussed on whether it’s a hatch, sedan or whatever. I prefer petrol, and something that has a bit of a ‘Cool Dad’ vibe would be handy.
Trent, Gladesville NSW
We reckon something from the hot hatch genre will fulfil your requirements well, and the good news is there’s a broad array of cars to choose from.
It’s pretty hard to go past the Hyundai i30 N. It’s one of the most impressive hot hatches around, yet it also manages to be one of the most affordable at $39,990 before on-road costs. For your spend you’ll get one of the most powerful engines in the segment with 202kW and 378Nm, mated to a practical five-door hatchback bodyshell that should have no trouble taking a couple of passengers every so often.
Running costs should still be reasonable as well – Hyundai has a capped-price servicing scheme and a five-year warranty, while the claimed fuel economy of 8.0 L/100km is exceptional for a car with its performance.
Read next: 2018 Hyundai i30 N long-term review: Part 1
Also have a look at the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Honda Civic Type R and Peugeot 308 GTI, but bear in mind that none of them match the i30N for sheer bang-for-buck value, and only the significantly more expensive ($50,990) Civic Type R delivers a more exhilarating drive.