Published on October 27th, 2017 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Which HOT Hatch should I buy? V40, A250 or GTI?

If you are looking for a hot hatch, the choices are quite thin in Malaysia. There was a time when the hot hatch was an ignored segment. Then the Golf GTI Mk5 arrived 12 years ago and shook the market and Malaysians started appreciating a hatchback with excitement. Today, there seems to be a thinning of the segment as some ‘players’ seem to have slowly disappeared.  It started with the Renault Clio GT and then the ‘one that started it all’, the Golf GTI. So, if you are in the market for a hot hatch, we have some options for you to consider…..a few.

Volvo Car Malaysia recently unveiled the new face of their hot hatch V40 by launching the V40 T5 Inscription. This revised V40 carries a new face, bringing this popular hatchback visually closer to Volvo’s new 90 Series cars.

The first statement we have to make concerns the lack of enthusiasm Malaysian premium hatchback buyers have for this V40. There seems to be a little stigma attached to owning a compact Volvo. Volvo SUV’s have no issues in the market place and they seem to be flying of the sales shelf. But this V40 tends to be under appreciated.

At its selling price of RM180,888.00, it delivers a 245bhp engine with a 0-100km/h acceleration time of just 6.3 seconds. This is on par with the more expensive Mercedes A-Class 250 with just 211bhp and a selling price of RM238,888 which is a clear RM58k more expensive. This is all about brand value……which Mercedes-Benz carries above Volvo. Also good news for Volvo dealers is the fact that Volkswagen in Malaysia has not taken an active interest to sell its very popular Golf GTI Mk7 which produces 220bhp allowing it to run from 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds and was priced at RM208,000 at launch. Earlier this year a few units trickled into the market for RM235,888 and were sold out without any advertising (that shows its popularity).

Apple to Apple, the A-Class and Golf GTi deliver in performance, handling and safety almost equal to the Volvo V40 and this is why the V40 seems like a value buy, however the GTI has that sexy exhaust note and its classic hot hatch appeal and Mercedes is the gate keeper of prestige, which leaves Volvo to hold the ‘high on safety’ torch high above the competition.

Which should you buy? You decide…..for us….its never about price, its about what tickles us behind the wheel.


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