Now, before I start to describe my affection for the Megane R.S trophy, I can already hear all of you screaming "WHAT ABOUT THE FIESTA ST YOU MONSTER!?" or "HELLO, THE GOLF GTI YOU NUMPTY!". I hear you, loud and clear, so let me add some caveats, then my reasons and you can comment away and tell me I'm wrong....or even that I'm right.
WHAT AM I TALKING ABOUT WHEN I SAY HOT HATCH?
For the purposes of this discussion, I'm talking about hatch backs with back doors, a decent size boot, isn't whoppingly expensive and you could own in your 30s without looking like you are trying desperately hard to recapture a youth which escaped many moons ago.
That narrows me to the Mercedes A35, Golf GTI, Focus ST, Hyundai i30N, the Civic Type-R and the Megane R.S.
WATCH MY REVIEW OF THE MEGANE R.S TROPHY
WHAT MAKES THE MEGANE R.S TROPHY SO GOOD
The hot hatch segment is tightly packed with some big names with huge amounts of heritage and recently we've seen new players join the party such as Hyundai. It's tough to separate one car from the other when you look and the numbers. The reality is they are all very good.
When I say that the R.S Trophy is the best hot hatch released this year it really is based on how the car makes me feel and how it compliments the style of driving that I enjoy.
Plus it has a gear stick, that point is worth a sentence on its own.
When you love cars, it is always hard to pick one outright but here is why I think 2019 belongs to the Megane...
PERFORMANCE WHERE IT COUNTS
All hot hatches are packed full of tech, have super powerful units with 100s of horse power to catapult you towards the horizon and have a host of options available that allow you to change your car to suit your personality and whims. Trying to compare cars in this segment based on the numbers just isn't worth it.
Where a hot hatch really shows what it can do is in the real world, which in the UK is how quickly you can accelerate and decelerate on a B road or on a slip road onto a motorway. The Megane manages to put its power down whilst sprinkling the magic dust of driving excitement in a really pleasing and effective way in that sweet, real world band that lives between 30-60 mph.
It's responsive into corners, with just enough body roll that it helps the car zip round a tight country lane and the four wheel steering is sorcery. I never thought I'd see that type of technology make its way into this segment but it has and that puts a rather large grin on my childish face.
Ultimately it isn't about how fast you can get to 60mph in a hot hatch, its how much fun does the car let you have at sensible speeds on normal roads and this R.S Trophy ticks that box firmly with a huge biro.
COMPETING IN A TOUGH CLASS
There are no shortage of options when it comes to buying yourself a quick, practical car.
In the last few years I've driven some fantastic hot hatches. The i30N and the new A35 I found especially good and the both give the Megane R.S a run for its money.
WATCH MY REVIEW OF THE HYUNDAI I30N
The thing about the options on the market right now is that they each do something very well. The A35 is luxurious, the i30N provides fantastic value and the Golf GTI is dependable and tested but I think a Hot Hatch is about being a cracking all rounder. Not just doing a few things really really well.
The Megane gives you a fantastic driving experience, doesn't break the bank, is hugely practical, you can get it repaired or serviced anywhere in the country and it is exciting to look at. It does so many things so effortlessly that you can genuinely live with it everyday.
WHY IT MAKES ME ALL FUZZY
This is the thing that is always tough to explain. Some cars are great. They do everything you want in a way that should make you feel all gooey but you walk away from them feeling non plussed.
The Megane made me want to drive every minute of every day.
From the snaps and crackles coming out of the exhaust to the dynamic drive it just suited me down to the ground. At low speeds in comfort mode it was calm and collected, perfect for nipping down to the shops or driving the family to town and then, with a flick of a button on the lovely big touchscreen mounted in the dash, it turns into a hooligan.
It is the perfect hot hatch for me and I loved it.