I live in St. Louis, MO, so granted the below is going to be skewed a bit from state to state depending on the incentives. And given that it's October, I'm sure these numbers will fluctuate month to month as well, again depending on the incentives.
I decided to line up all the usual suspects in the hot-hatch category in a toe-to-toe comparison, cost-wise. Why? Because race car. And because the kids are asleep.
Criteria: Where possible I chose 4 doors over 2. Manual only. No options added, base prices only including destination charge. No AWD(sorry Subie). Disclaimer: I'm 100% certain that I've probably forgotten one or two cars that could be added to this list, so I apologize ahead of time. Blame Budweiser.
And I'm giving two prices: one is the MSRP. The other is from the TrueCar app connected to ConsumerReports.com. In short: CR.com will let you price out a car using their "official" TrueCar app, which quotes a price that a dealer is willing to give you if you fill out a short online form and allow the dealer to contact you. It's a pretty good thermometer for just how low you could probably negotiate below the MSRP and still get a dealer to make it happen. Not perfect, but good enough for a means test.
2014 Focus ST: MSRP: $24,910 (again, including destination). CR: $21,691.00
2013 Civic SI Sedan: MSRP $23,510.00. CR: $21,395.00 (I know the SI isn't a hatch. It always seems to show up anyway in these comparos though, doesn't it?)
2013 Fiat Abarth: MSRP $22,895.00. CR: $22,033.00
2013 Hy Veloster: MSRP $22,895.00. CR: $21,062.00
2013 GTI (4 dr): MSRP $25,390.00. CR: $21,906.00
2013 MS3: MSRP $24,995.00. CR: $23,250.00
2013 Cooper S: MSRP $24,000.00. CR: $23,734
2014 Fiesta ST: $22,195.00. CR: $20,759.00
So who wins? Using the highest percentage discount, the GTI and ST are neck and neck for October. They seem to have the most incentives going on for buyers. On the flip side, it appears Cooper and Fiat are giving most buyers the middle finger discount right now.
And check out CR's Fiesta ST price. Not bad at all for what you get.