Hatchbacks

Hatchbacks are ideal for families. First off, the best hatchback cars have a decent-sized boot that’s easily accessible thanks to that boothatch which gives the car type its name. The best hatchback cars also are roomy, come with efficient engines, cool tech and are smart and stylish too. Here, our experts have got what you need to know on every hatchback.

Hatchbacks are loved the world over for their practical boots. The best are also roomy, come with efficient engines, cool tech and are smart and stylish too. We’ve gathered a list of the top five for you.

1
Ford

The Ford Focus is the best hatchback. It’s crammed with the latest technology, looks great and is brilliant to drive. It comes with a range of efficient engines and is competitively priced – no wonder it won our Family Award at the 2018 carwow Car of the Year Awards. The interior is the poshest yet for a Focus, it's relatively spacious, and has a decent sized hatchback boot.

2
Mercedes

The Mercedes A-Class is a sensible family hatchback that’s also an aspirational purchase. Buy it and you get a car with smart styling and a lovely interior that’s packed full of unbelievable technology. It’s for this reason that the A-Class won the Game-changer Award at carwow’s 2018 Car of the Year Awards. It’s not all style and no substance, though, the A-Class is a tidy car to drive that’s available with a decent range of engines.

3
Volkswagen

No list of the best hatchbacks is complete without the Volkswagen Golf. For decades it has always been a well-built and spacious family hatchback that’s easy to drive and pleasant to live with. And although the VW Golf isn’t a huge car, its boot is big enough to cope with taking the family’s luggage when you head off on holiday.

4
Skoda

When it comes to outright space, few hatchback cars provide quite so much for the money as the Skoda Octavia. It has a simply huge boot, but also more generous rear leg room than all of its closest alternatives. Add to that a great touchscreen infotainment system and lots of standard equipment and you’ve got a brilliantly rounded family hatchback.

5

There’s not much to separate the Audi A3 from the VW Golf, but if you value a high-quality interior and don’t mind paying slightly more for it, then it makes a superb choice. Like the Golf, it drives extremely well, has space for four adults onboard and, importantly, has a practical hatchback boot.

If you don’t quite need the space offered by a family car, but still want a practical hatchback boot, then there’s still plenty of choice. These five of the best small hatchbacks are still great to drive, but are easier to park and cost less to buy and run than their bigger brothers.

1
Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Polo isn’t just a great small hatchback – it’s a great car, full stop. There’s a real sense of quality running through the Polo’s interior and it has space for four adults and a big hatchback boot for a small car. The Polo’s an easy car to drive and comes with a brilliant engine range. All these skills won it the Little Legend award at carwow’s 2018 Car of the Year Awards.

2
Ford

The Ford Fiesta is a small hatchback that has room for the family and a couple of suitcases in its boot. What sets the Fiesta apart though, is that you can actually enjoy driving it when you get the car to yourself. It’s available with a variety of nippy turbocharged engines that are cheap to run.

3
Skoda

The Skoda Fabia is an impressively practical little car. There’s more than enough space in the front for tall drivers to stretch out and there’s still enough room left over in the back for two six-foot-tall passengers to get comfy. Behind them, the Fabia’s hatchback boot will take a couple of large suitcases.

4

The Audi A1 isn’t particularly cheap, but it does provide some of the best wow factor inside of any small hatchback. Indeed, its cabin is high quality and has a striking design. There’s also a choice of small but punchy (yet frugal) engines.

5
SEAT

With is sharper looks, the Spanish Seat Ibiza is the VW Polo’s sportier cousin. It’s slightly behind on interior quality, but is cheaper to buy too, while retaining all that’s great about the Polo’s space and practicality, comfy drive and efficient engines.

Hot-hatches are cut-price performance-car superstars guaranteed to put a smile on your face. And the best hot hatches are the ones that are both grin-inducing and that you can live with as your daily car all year round. Here are our experts’ top five hot hatchbacks.

1
Honda

The Honda Civic Type R is the best hot hatch. It looks and goes like a race car, but is also practical and comfortable enough to use as family transport. It's styling is not for shy and retiring types, but it is awesome to drive, comfortable on the motorway and has a big boot.

2
Volkswagen

The VW Up GTI hot hatch may be a small car, but it’s big fun. It’s surprisingly spacious inside dinky car, but the GTI’s powerful engine and sporty suspension give it the ability to hurtle down a twisty road far more quickly than you’d think.

3
Volkswagen

The Volkswagen Golf R is a hot hatch for shy retiring types. It’ll beat most cars off the line at the traffic light grand prix, but its subtle styling means people will struggle to distinguish it from a humble Golf diesel. If the Civic Type R is too lary, then this could be the hot hatch for you.

4
Ford

The Ford Fiesta ST is a feisty little hot hatch with a 200hp petrol engine, an aggressive bodykit and a sporty-looking interior. It's reasonably cheap to run and has a good level of standard equipment.

5
Hyundai

The Hyundai i30 N hot hatch is like a normal hatch that’s swapped its polo shirt, chinos and shoes for a tracksuit and trainers – it’s just as practical as the i30, but sportier.

FAQs

A hatchback is a type of car where the boot lid and rear window form a hatch that opens up, allowing access into the boot inside. The boot space is part of the car's cabin, as opposed to a saloon car, where the boot is in a separate compartment behind the rear seats. Hatchback cars are popular with UK car buyers, who like the practicality of an easily accessible boot combined with the flexibility of being able to fold the rear seats down to create an even bigger load space. Also, because the rear window is close to the end of the car, hatchbacks can be easier to park than a saloon car. You know where the corners are.