While getting a used hot hatch sounds like the bargain of the century, does the maths really add up? The hatches we have compiled here cost RM140,000 to almost RM160,000 brand new. After 5 – 7 years of depreciation though you can pick one from as low as RM50,000. Are the parts prices exorbitant? Would they break down on you each time you start it? If so will you have to mortgage your house to keep them running? We investigate all these variables in the 2nd part of the 3 hatch buyers guide.
First things first, these are reliable cars. Manufacturers usually have to beef up the running gear for higher performance variants. So all these cars are given the best components for them to cope up with the output and aggressive driving that goes with it. Therefore, they can withstand more abuse than the regular cars.
You will get boost, always
There are a total of nearly 50 Ford Fiesta ST’s, 100 Peugeot 208 GTi’s and a whole lot more Polo GTi’s have been sold. These high performance cars have not experienced major drivetrain failure. The turbochargers in the 208 GTi and the Fiesta ST have seen over 150,000km of action, and they still work just fine. The Twin charger system of the Polo GTi also has not missed a beat.
Some of them are even able to withstand light tuning, however we do not entirely condone it. The one thing you have to watch out are the rubber components though, as they will get brittle over time, but is a simple fix.
Two out of the 3 cars comes with 6 speed manual transmissions. Since they are designed for 250Nm (Fiesta ST) and 275Nm (208 GTi), they are pretty heavy duty. The cars you see here have mileages ranging from 97,000 – 130,000km on the clock during the test. They still have their factory clutches on them, with plenty of life left.
The dry clutch DSG gearbox on the Polo GTi may cause concerns but most owners will testify that their cars transmissions last just fine. Independent specialist German Motors Automotive who are based in USJ also claim that the gearboxes work just fine with regular maintenance and right usage.
And replacements will cost….
For the Volkswagen Polo GTi, we sourced our parts from German Motors Automotive, located in USJ, Selangor. For the Peugeot we sourced the parts from Euromotive Auto Parts. As for the Fiesta ST, its a combination of online parts prices and local Mazda / Ford parts distributor Kemuncak Parts and Accessories Sdn Bhd. The latter two have their own stores in Lazada and you can source most of the parts from there.
Suppose you have to to replace the clutches of these cars, including the Polo GTi’s since it uses double clutches for its autobox, this is the figure you would be footing the bill for. The official service figures themselves do not cross the RM5000 mark, but you can get away with under RM1200 including labor if you opt to replace them at an independent specialist.
Bear in mind though, while you save a whole lot from independent specialists, the risk is also on you. The parts might work but shoddy workmanship could undermine the whole fix. The up side is this replacement is good for the next 6 years at least with optimized usage. Optimized meaning using it the best way possible, without overloading the components, like riding the clutch.
Where you will spend the most
Where you will really end up spending realistically for a car of this age is for the undercarriage parts. Namely items like dampers, topmounts, engine and gearbox mounts, and of course, lower arms. In the chart below, we have stacked the parts price of these cars from both the official service center and the independent parts suppliers.
We have also listed the same parts price of the B and C segment Japanese sedans. The Myvi’s parts prices are significantly cheaper than these cars. Where it gets interesting is that these parts are actually CHEAPER than the parts of the Honda Civic and surprisingly the City too.
Your service cost, if you were to do it independently solely relies on the cost of your engine oil. A basic maintenance service will include your engine oil, oil filter and air filter if you’re particular about it. Hence why we quoted the official servicecenter figures for reference.
The Volkswagen Polo GTi has a higher figure as its interval is 15,000km, instead of 10,000km that the other two cars have. Once again for the consumables we have listed prices from independent parts dealers for your reference.
For our weather and air quality we highly recommend a change of air filter and cabin filter for every service, just to keep your AC compressor and turbocharger happy. Also noteworthy is that these are direct injection engines. Make sure you purchase type approved engine oil to avoid sludge build up in your engines. Give them the right engine oil and these cars will run like clockwork.
Not fair! Why use independent parts prices?
There is a reason why we compared the official service center parts prices of the new cars to the independent parts prices of the pre-loved hot hatches. The hatches are mostly done with their warranties. As a consumer, you are no longer obliged to return to the service center for servicing, since there’s no warranty terms to violate. Unlike the brand new cars.
We are providing the cheapest possible options on both ends without violating any benefits that come along with the purchase of the car i.e warranty. Plus chassis parts like those we just compared can require a change within 2 – 4 years of ownership, as it comes down to usage.
With that logic, we have listed the independent parts prices too. Its up to the owners discretion on where he or she would like to shop for their car.
Whats the final tally?
Calculating the parts prices alone does not tell you the whole story. Chances are most of us will finance their vehicles too. Hence we combined a list of basic year long maintenance plus finance repayment and tabulated the combined figures over 12 months.
Items we included were, the official service centre pricing, for twice a year, a set of 4 tyres, front brake pads, insurance, road tax and your monthly installments. We calculated a finance amount of 80% with an interest rate of 4% for the used hatches, and 2.5% for the new cars over a period of 5 and 7 years. Here’s what we got.
This is where the reality check comes in. The running cost of the Myvi is out of contention here, its way off the maintenance and finance cost of any other car in the list. The hot hatches are clearly cost more to run compared to the B segment sedans. But within RM1000 per year. However when you include the finance part, it works out to be more expensive to run a B segment sedan compared to these hatches.
The deciding variable here is the manufacturers warranty. If you feel like you want the comfort of a manufacturers warranty then its best you stick to a new car. But RM11,000 per annum more and forsaking 200bhp?
Are we missing something?
What we did not calculate is the fact that these new cars can be financed for 9 years. Then yes the running cost and finance totals will work out to be similar or lesser. Plus its quite difficult to finance these cars for 80%, you’re more likely to end up with a 75% finance. That means more downpayment upfront. However it would result in a lower monthly figure, so it balances out there.
Another thing we would have to mention is the preventive maintenance you might have to do when you purchase these cars. That however, is down to how well the dealer / owner has prepped the car for sale, and how big a discount they are going to offer you.
On the plus side, Volkswagen has issued a recall for their DSG systems and all Polo GTi’s qualify for them. Peugeot also has an extensive recall program and some GTi owners even received brand new engines. Talk about after sales service.
No amount of Super Ring’s will convince majority buyers to make the crossover from brand new B and C segment sedans to these pre-loved hatches. Some may even convince themselves that a couple of mods will allow their newer cars to perform just as well as these hatches. Especially since the 2020 Civic 1.5 TC already comes with 17 inch tyres, 173bhp and 220Nm of torque.
But for those who want a different motoring experience and feel special from behind the wheel, we hope these stats will help you.
Again, we cannot stress how different these cars behave on the road and track compared to regular cars. These are purpose built performance machines. Their level of engagement and stamina built in for hard driving is unmatched by regular run in the mill cars.
To prove that point, we will be finally putting these cars to their paces in the next part of this trilogy, when we hit the Dato Sagor Racetrack with Karamjit Singh, and see which is the fastest against the clock.