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5 Best Hot Hatchbacks Under RM80k In Malaysia

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5 Best Hot Hatchbacks Under RM80k In Malaysia

Since the first arrival of the hot hatch, no other type of car perfectly blends everyday practicality and performance, but the good news is that there’s lots to choose from.

While Malaysia might not have the market abundance of, say, the UK, there are still a selection of hot hatchbacks that tick all the right boxes, and a majority of them can be found on the used market for a fraction of their price when brand new.

The formula of adding more power and precision handling to an otherwise uninspiring 5-door family car has been refined over the past decades to make most contenders in the hot hatch space a pretty well-rounded machine.

If you’re willing to look in the right places and take your time during your search, you’re bound to stumble onto a gem. But to help you along, here’s some of our best picks from the pre-owned pool in that are under 10 years old and around RM80,000.

Volkswagen Golf GTI (MK6)

The OG hot hatch will always be a tough one to unseat and the MK6 VW Golf GTI is a refinement of that lineage that improves upon the leapfrogging MK5 in almost every way.

Its stout 2.0-litre TSI engine packs a strong punch with 210PS and is very open to further tuning, which can also be said of its more durable dual-clutch transmission (DSG) that moves past the reliability issues (mostly) that plagued other Golf variants. Paired with an understatedly classy exterior and cabin, the Golf GTI the obvious choice for some very good reasons.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like 

Class-less, elegant, sporty looks

Look out for modded units

German build quality

‘Tartan’ fabric seats aren’t for everyone

Exciting yet everyday driveable character

Stay alert for DSG issues



Peugeot 208 GTI

For nearly 30 years the French brand has been trying to recreate the magic that was the 205 GTi from the 1980s, arguably their most iconic model. In the 208 GTi, after many tries, they’ve come the closest yet.

Its 200PS 1.6-litre turbo mill was as playful as its pointy nose.Handling is taut and power is delivered to the front wheels via a 6-speed manual transmission, an analogue antidote to most of its peers even today. Compact, lightweight, stylish, and always ready for a burst of fun, this was a return to form for Peugeot.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like 

Sexy French appeal

3-door format isn’t very practical

6-speed manual gearbox

Touchscreen interface is frustrating

Engaging dynamics 



Volkswagen Polo GTI (MK5)

Often overlooked, the Polo GTI is probably just as capable as the Golf GTI of any era (in this case being the MK6 mentioned above.

Less powerful, sure, but also tighter to drive and encumbered by less mass. The twin-charged (supercharger and turbocharger combo) 1.4-litre TSI was uprated to 180PS and rightfully felt a little overpowered, but as it aged can be prone to mechanical fragility, but is a technological marvel.

The DSG, similarly, can be a handful if not maintained properly. That said, you’re more likely to find a Polo GTI that’s been treated more gently than a Golf GTI, so pay attention to verifying the car’s service history and the prior owner’s preventative maintenance practices to bag a bargain.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like 

Tighter, lighter Golf GTI 

Possible DSG issues 

Shockingly rapid point-to-point

Boot could be bigger

Twincharged engine = uninterrupted power

Engine more prone to wear and tear


Renault Clio RS 200 EDC

In Peugeot’s hot hatch floundering until the 208 (and VW’s until the MK5 GTI), Renault Sport has gone from strength to strength. However, purists view the EDC - short for Efficient Dual Clutch - as the black sheep in the family.

Unlike its predecessors, the 200 EDC (so named for its 200PS 1.6-litre turbo engine) swapped a manual gearbox for an automatic gearbox and a high-revving naturally aspirated engine for a downsized forced induction unit. Arguments aside, the car drove beautifully and was wicked fun on a twisty road.

Sold for a too-brief window in Malaysia by TC Euro Cars, a majority of Clio RS examples found homes in enthusiasts and genuinely careful owners, which might make tracking a good one down a little less tedious.

What We Like

What We Don’t Like 

Makes you drive like a hooligan (positively)

Plasticky cabin materials

Strong engine

EDC gearbox not as involving as MT

Left-field appeal



Ford Focus ST (C346)

Back in 2012, the Focus ST’s local arrival was a shocker. Looked killer, 250PS from a 2.0-litre turbo, a 6-speed manual, and standard Recaro bucket seats were an irresistible combo.

Sime Darby Auto Connexion didn’t have an ample allocation headed our way, meaning the few that got their hands on one were extra lucky. As a result, they’ve become hard to find as owners first, second, or third tend to resist the urge to sell.

And why would they? Generally speaking, the car has been surprisingly void of noteworthy faults or reported issues despite it toeing the line at 10 years old, and there’s literally nothing quite like it on the road since. If you find one, especially if it’s in good condition, we say snatch it up!

What We Like

What We Don’t Like 

Powerful engine 

Thirsty when pushed hard

Aggressive looks

Garish cabin trim

Sharp handling



If you adhere to the rule of taking your sweet time in looking for a used car and inspecting every one to a thorough inspection before moving forward with a purchase, your future ownership of a ‘dream’ hot hatch should be relatively scare-free assuming you’ve managed expectations.

To help you decide, here is a brief condensation of how the cars we’ve mentioned above stack up:

Car Model

Year Range

Price (New)

Price (2022)


Worth a Mention




RM65 - RM80k


The OG hot hatch

Peugeot 208 GTI



RM55 - RM65k


French flair




RM48 - RM55k


Mini Golf GTI

Renault Clio RS EDC



RM68 - RM78k


Pocket rocket

Ford Focus ST



RM75 - RM80k


Buy one if you find one

Used Car Warranty with Warranty Smart

One of the downsides of buying a used car is that they are often not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

Warranty Smart is an optional protection for any used car purchase under 10 years old.

Coverage starts from RM848 a year. Read more about Warranty Smart here.  
How to use the to Find Your Perfect Car
In this article, I showed you how to find hot hatchbacks 10 years old & below under RM80,000.

Below is a tutorial on how to use Carlst’s advanced search feature to find your perfect used car:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the ‘Advanced Search’ below the search box.
  3. Select Your Filters
  4. Happy car shopping!


Jim Kem

Jim Kem

Content Producer

There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.

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