The electric car segment is growing thick and fast with new models being added all the time. In fact, with this rapid rate of expansion, there are more options than eve...
From the luxurious to the low cost, we’ve put together a good selection of cars that excel in different domains for our favourite small hatchbacks. The popular class of car is one of the most important segments for the auto industry, so it was no easy task to complete this list with lots of fierce competition, which made it all the more fun. The question remains though, which would you choose as your favourite hatchback?
With compact dimensions, hatchback cars are often easier to drive compared to larger vehicle types like saloons and SUVs. But that’s not the only thing going for hatchbacks. They have a lot of other selling points too. Usually, hatchback cars are:
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Choosing favourites from such a star-studded roster is never easy, and we’ve had to leave out some impressive cars. However, the vehicles on this list are the ones that make us smile most, from autos that are a complete all-round package, to ones that are sheer fun to drive. Read on to find out our top 10 favourite small hatchbacks.
Introduced in 1974, the Volkswagen Golf quickly became a leading car and a sure-fire hit, no doubt surprising everyone at VW with its rapid and ever-lasting popularity. Now in its eighth generation, the Golf remains one of the best cars in the hatchback class with only a handful of rivals that can stand toe-to-toe with it. It has a string of class-leading qualities, from an excellent driving experience, to strong build quality, and a premium cabin with impressive levels of refinement. It is consistently at the forefront, usually in a podium position, in a whole host of ‘top 10s’ and ‘best of’ lists, in categories as diverse as best hatchbacks for families, top 10 cars for new drivers, and best small vehicles. If a category is relevant to the Golf, you’ll usually see it at, or near, the very top. And that’s no small feat, especially as a consistent trait throughout most of the Golfs long lifespan. It really makes choosing a favourite quite easy.
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Like the Volkswagen Golf, the Ford Focus is one of Britain’s best-selling cars, proving a common sight on UK roads. The Focus is a bit younger than its long running rival, however, being introduced to the market in 1998, having replaced the iconic Ford Escort. Nonetheless, the car proved a hit from its release, quickly establishing itself as one of the few rivals that can keep pace with the Golf (and better it in certain areas). Typically on most top 10s, whenever you see the VW the Ford Focus will either be just behind or just in front, the two often jostling for the top spot. Now in its fourth generation, the car remains one of the best to drive in its class, with stylish looks, and excellent practicality, wholly deserving of its popularity and success.
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When it comes to picking favourite hatchbacks, the Mini holds a special place in the hearts of most motoring enthusiasts. And it’s no different for us at Motors.co.uk. The iconic car is loveable from the outset with its unique styling, which is entirely distinctive to the brand. Inside, it enjoys a high-quality cabin with a premium finish and more space than the dinky outward dimensions suggest. And when it comes to driving, the car’s low centre of gravity and light steering go hand-in-hand with a punchy and spritely ride experience, resulting in a hatchback that is a lot of fun to drive with a go-kart like feel.
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Introduced in 2009, the Nissan Leaf quickly established itself as a leading electric vehicle (EV). In fact, it is one of the key cars in its class, bringing affordable electric motoring to the masses, popularising EVs in the process. Quite simply, it is a significant car in automotive history. It’s also one of our favourite electric vehicles and an excellent hatchback in its own right. It’s very practical, it offers very low running costs, and has a spacious cabin. In addition, it’s easy to drive and has quick acceleration, typical of an EV. Furthermore, the Leaf has excellent range, with models usually at the forefront of the class when it comes to the mileage it can travel on a full battery – no doubt, playing a good part in its success.
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The Dacia Sandero is our favourite budget hatchback full stop. It’s very affordable and superb value for money, with brand new starting USED PRICES FROM just under £8k. Sure, it is something of a no-frills kind of car, but it is way better than most at those prices. With attractive styling, a spacious interior, and goodlevels of practicality (including a 320-litre boot), the Sandero is an accomplished hatchback regardless of its price. It makes for an excellent first car or as a second run-around for city driving, particularly as it is offered with a range of frugal engines providing very low running costs. It has two trim options available with the top-spec Comfort trim still costing under £10k brand new. And for that you get some handy features, such as cruise control and rear parking sensors.
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One of the first models born from Seat and Volkswagen’s partnership, the Seat Leon rolled onto the scene in 1998, although underneath the new car’s exterior it was essentially a fourth generation VW Golf – which is no bad thing. Unsurprisingly, it proved very popular, especially with its sporty styling. Now in its fourth generation, the car is built on Volkswagen’s MQB platform, which means it is lighter and offers a roomier cabin. The latest models are the most advanced, coming with lots of equipment,safety kit, and even sharper styling, looking sportier than ever. It’s good value for money too, and importantly, it is great to drive, with an engaging and invigorating ride experience.
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When it comes to premium hatchbacks with upmarket brand appeal, it’s easy to fall in love with the Audi A3 – and its popularity shows that lots of people do. It’s a best seller in Britain for the famous German marque and for good reason. Dating back to 1997, every generation is renowned for having classy styling, a plush cabin, and a premium finish. The latest models continue those traits, building on the previous versions to offer an even better vehicle than ever, pushing the technology factor further and improving the already strong driving experience. It is more engaging to drive and even more stylish, with a sharper exterior and bold lines.
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On a par with the Audi A3 in terms of premium quality, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class upholds the values of the company, carrying all the hallmarks you’d expect from the world-famous brand. It is very stylish, and has a high-quality interior that sets the standards for the class. In addition, it has strong build quality and is fantastic to drive. In other words, it’s a typical Mercedes. The car arrived in the UK over 20 years ago and every generation has significantly ramped up the quality and luxury, with the latest fourth-gen car the most luxurious of the bunch. For its upmarket cabin alone it earns a place as one of our favourites, and everything else is icing on the cake.
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Sharing a platform with the Skoda Citigo and Seat Mii, the Volkswagen Up was introduced in 2012 as VW’s entry into the compact city car market. It swiftly became a favourite with its dinky dimensions, wealth of personalisation options, and fun driving experience aided by nippy handling. It enjoys an affordable starting price and is very cheap to run too. Most of all, however, there’s a playfulness to the Volkswagen Up that makes it instantly endearing and memorable. In the city car class, it rides at the front along with a handful of rivals, including its two siblings, which are well worth checking out for anyone interested in this segment. They’re near identical to the VW Up, with just a few differences between them – perfect for broadening the scope to find the best deal available.
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Launched way back in 2004 as a rival to the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class, the BMW 1 Series is another premium family hatchback that ticks all of the right boxes: it has excellent build quality, strong styling, and good levels of practicality. Inside, the cabin is suitably upmarket and as spacious as its rivals, lined with soft materials, a premium finish, and a good attention to detail – typical of the popular marque. It comes well-equipped as standard too. Best of all, it is a lot of fun to drive. In fact, it performs very well in every department, proving to be one of the most well rounded hatchbacks on the market – and that’s why it’s a favourite.
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