These are the three best hot hatchbacks around – but how do they stack up when fully loaded with options?

In the market for a range-topping hot hatchback? There are more than a few good options to choose from. The Ford Focus RS, the Honda Civic Type R, and the VW Golf R are three of the most powerful, most sought after vehicles in the segment, each producing around 300 horsepower, and costing just north of $30,000. But which of these vehicles – when fully loaded with options using the online configurator – is the most expensive? Let’s take a look.

Ford Focus RS

Gallery: 2016 Ford Focus RS: First Drive

Base Price: $41,120
Most Expensive: $45,630

The Ford Focus RS is the most expensive of the trio starting off. With an asking price of $41,120, it’s $1,335 more expensive than the Golf R, and a whole $7,020 more expensive than the Civic. But when you start ticking all the option boxes, it’s actually well priced. Opt for the Nitrous Blue paint job and that’s an extra $695, choose the premium forged 19-inch wheels and that’s another $550, and with power moonroof, that’s another $895. Those buyers in states with colder weather can also tack on RS winter tires and wheels for another $1,995.

With less than $5,000 worth of options, the most expensive Focus RS will only set you back $45,630 (not including $875 destination charges). Compare that to the Golf R, and the Focus RS is pretty well priced, especially when considering it’s also the most powerful of the bunch, producing 350 horsepower thanks to a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine.

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Volkswagon Golf R

Gallery: 2018 VW Golf R

Base Price: $39,785
Most Expensive: $46,201

The VW Golf R is a bit shorter on options compared to its Ford counterpart. All five of the exterior color options come standard, thankfully, and the Titan Black Leather interior is the only available interior trim. One advantage the Golf R does have over the Focus RS, though, is that it  comes available with a seven-speed automatic transmission, a $1,100 option. As far as accessories go, there are a few; things like Mojo cloth floor mats are an extra $105, a heavy-duty trunk liner is an extra $138, sun blinds on the rear window are $287, and 17-inch winter wheels are another $1,137.

With more than $5,300 worth of options selected– accessories and all – the most expensive Golf R will set you back $46,201, not including the $850 destination fee. It’s a bit more expensive than the most expensive Focus RS, and less powerful, too. The 2.0-liter inline-four engine produces 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.

Honda Civic Type R

Gallery: 2017 Honda Civic Type R: First Drive

Base Price: $34,100
Most Expensive: $38,315

With a starting price of $34,100, the Honda Civic Type R is the cheapest of the three hot hatchbacks. There’s only one transmission to choose from, five standard exterior colors, and one red and black suede interior finish. Body options like side molding ($217), a dust cover ($350), a door mirror cover ($520), and a carbon fiber rear spoiler ($1,200) bring the cost up a bit. While in the cabin, all-season floor mats ($155), an illuminated console ($250), illuminated door sills ($290), and a wireless phone charger ($305) hike the price up as well.

Fully loaded, the Honda Civic Type R can be had for $38,315, not including the $890 destination fee. That’s a pretty good price considering it’s also the second most powerful of the group, producing 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, but it’s also the only option that doesn’t have all-wheel drive – power is sent to the front tires exclusively.

Here’s how the three hot hatchbacks stack up in every category, including price:

Ford Focus RS 2016
2018 VW Golf R
2017 Honda Civic Type R: First Drive
  Ford Focus RS Volkswagen Golf R Honda Civic Type R
Engine Turbocharged 2.3-Liter Four-Cylinder Turbocharged 2.0-Liter Four-Cylinder Turbocharged 2.0-Liter Four-Cylinder
Output 350 Horsepower / 350 Pound-Feet 292 Horsepower / 280 Pound-Feet 306 Horsepower / 295 Pound-Feet
Transmission Six-Speed Manual Six-Speed Manual / Seven-Speed DSG Six-Speed Manual
0-60 4.5 Seconds 5.2 Seconds / 4.5 Seconds 4.9 Seconds
Base Price $41,120 $39,785 $34,100
Most Expensive $45,630 $46,201 $38,315