Truth be told, though, Toyota has form in this department. Who remembers the Yaris and Corolla T-Sport of the early '00s? Neither was in danger of troubling the top of its class - the former more a benign Suzuki Swift Sport rival, the latter endowed with a heady engine but too soft a chassis - but today their obscurity makes them temptingly cheap, especially if you're after a daily with some poke that isn't one of the usual suspects. How cheap? Well, I reckon £1,500 for this 2003 Corolla should do the trick, and of course, you get Toyota's legendary reliability thrown in too.
Of course, as history records, the Octavia vRS was a roaring success, combining the model's prodigious space and practicality with a chassis that, while hardly the last word in deftness, still allowed for plenty of entertainment. Today, they're deeply appealing as fantastic all-rounders, and this one looks to be a gem; for that money, I'd rather the mileage was lower, mind you, but I guess beggars can't be choosers.
I reckon the Cee'd GT looks great, too, but what about that value? Well, this example - barely three years old with one owner, and backed up with a full history - is just £11,461, and still with more than four years' warranty left. If I was in the market for such a thing right now, I'd be sorely tempted.
If you've a little more cash to splash, may I suggest the Cee'd's cousin once removed - the Hyundai i30 N, a car which arrived to great acclaim just a few months ago. Of course, the keener-eyed among you will note that this isn't Hyundai's first hot hatch - that was the i30 Turbo, itself a redress of the Cee'd GT. But the N did break new ground for Hyundai, taking the company firmly into the realm of the super-hatches and doing so in deeply impressive fashion.
Which leaves me pondering possibly the daddy of all unexpected hot hatches: the original Renault 5 Turbo. Granted, Renault had always had a finger in the performance car pie, but the world had barely been introduced to the concept of a hot hatch before La Regie released this utterly barmy mid-engined homologation special. Imagine how preposterous the idea of 160hp in a small hatchback the size of a bean tin must have seemed way back then.
With all that weight of history behind it, it's no wonder a 5 Turbo will set you back vast money these days - even if it's the slightly-less-special Turbo 2. Believe it or not, this 41,000-mile example at £64,995 is actually the cheapest in our classifieds. Worth it? Well, we could argue the toss all day; either way, though, it rather puts the price of the Yaris GRMN in the shade, doesn't it?