$500/month Budget, best hot hatch or similar for the money right now?

Asking for a friend. He has a $500/month budget he’d like to stay under and is trying to find a fast hatchback or maybe mid-sized vehicle.

He’s looked at the STi, but looks like it’s tough to get a good deal on these. He’s also looking at the Ford Fiesta RS and Honda Civic Type R.

Anyone have better suggestions for a good lease in this category?

With the assumption of good credit and the hopes your friend lives a lease friendly states the options could be endless. Although bad credit in the worng state will thin out the options quick. But in trying to answer your question 3 or 4 series BMW and the Genesis G70 are in that price point and are cars that move around well.

Credit would be considered good. Lives in Minnesota.

Imagine spending $500 a month on a Ford Fiesta.


I’m probably in a small minority of supporters, but we love our GLA250 and our payments are $360/mo with only first payment due at signing. Another member was able to score an AMG/night package trim for even less. If you want to really step it up the GLA45 is a hoot. Really hard to pass up the value here and the amazing service you get w/ MB.

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That would be funny, just giving his max budget.

I wouldn’t be shocked at all if a Fiesta ST leased that poorly.

It’s a short list:

  • GTI or Golf R
  • WRX or STI
  • Mazda3 5dr
  • Civic Type R
  • Hyundai Elanta Sport 5Dr whatever that thing is

Ford stopped making the Focus/Fiesta so any new RS/ST are late model years and not eligible for lease support. None of these leases especially well, a base WRX or Mazda3 should be well within the budget, the rest you’d have to run the numbers.


Hyundai Elantra GT N-Line


None of these cars lease well and usually the sporty trim lack any incentives. My friend flew from NY to NC just to find a dealer with a Golf R willing to go below MSRP.

I leased my GTI Autobahn for an embarrassing $399 / month at the time because I didn’t know better and most dealers wanted $450+ with normal drive offs.

At that price Id rather take a 330i if I had known better.

I dont think the 330i is as much fun to drive.

Certainly subjective, I had both. The GTI was a hoot and the limits were a lot easier to reach safely since it’s FWD. I only drove the F30 328i but with the sport suspension in RWD trim you could have a lot of fun. I actually liked the handling of the 4 cyl more than my 335i, less weight and lower limits again, but no where near as smooth or good sounding.

If I was just shopping from that list I’d consider driving the Veloster N, it’s gotten very very good reviews if you can get over the badge.

An S60 T6 R-design with Polestar is a fun car.

Not the most fun, but very fun for the money.

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username checks out…


OP why don’t you look at Giulia? Its definitely under budget, better than decent power, excellent driving dynamics.

Heard good things about the S60, haven’t had a chance to actually drive one but sounds like it’s good for sporty sedan but not hot hatch territory.

If you want a hooligan car, you’ve got to pay the hooligan tax.

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How do you mean?

Thanks for the suggestions

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That’s true. Mine is only the T5 (without Polestar) but it is still a really fun daily car to drive.

GTI is refined compared to the Veloster N. Coworker of mine just bought the Hyundai and can confirm it is a hoot to drive. The only problem is that it has that weird 3rd door, so it’s not very practical.

But price wise, you can’t beat it, I think it’s under 30k for the more powerful version, which would be a travesty if you skipped it.