Seven best hatchbacks and what to consider when buying a hatchback car

Seven best hatchbacks and what to consider when buying a hatchback car
Whether you’re looking for your first car or a new family run-around, the hatchback could be the perfect match for you.

As the UK’s most popular body style, there are many hatchbacks you can choose from, but how do you know which one is right for you?

Here we share our list of the best hatchback cars and some of the key things to look out for during your search.

Things to consider when buying a hatchback

Safety

As with any vehicle, you’ll want to make sure your new hatchback has a good safety rating. Make sure one of the first things you check is the car’s Euro NCAP score. Pay particular attention to the safety ratings for drivers, passengers, children, and vulnerable pedestrians, and use these ratings to help guide your decisions.

Budget

Make sure you have a rough budget in mind when looking at hatchback cars. Along with the car itself, consider what the price of insurance will be, and how much it will cost to sort out the MOT and car tax. These expenditures can add up, so keep this in mind if you don’t want to spend over a certain amount.

Practicality

Ask yourself how much boot space you want, how much leg room you need, and what car size you want. Once you know the answer to questions like these, you can narrow your search down and choose from the best hatchbacks, as we’ve highlighted below.

What are the best hatchback cars?

Volkswagen Polo

hatchbacks-vw-polo

As part of the UK’s best-selling car brand in 2021, the Volkswagen Polo is a great all-rounder hatchback. Its comfortable and solid build means it has a smooth drive, a spacious boot, and a five-star Euro NCAP rating for safety.

One if its leading features is the clever assist system – 'IQ.DRIVE Travel Assist' – which enables adaptive cruise control and a self-parking system, helping you park in those tight spaces with ease.

New price: £18,285 - £26,990 (Find a used VW Polo deal)

Boot capacity: 351 litres

Read our VW Polo review

Ford Fiesta

hatchbacks-ford-fiesta

Joining the VW Polo as another great all-rounder is the Ford Fiesta. It offers great value for money, it’s comfortable, refined, and practical, and comes with plenty of standard kit, while the agile handling means you can enjoy all car journeys.

This hatchback provides reasonable space inside, and it’s simply fun and easy to drive as well as being cheap to fuel and service. You also have the option to choose from different types of engines, including a three-cylinder turbo petrol engine.

New price: £17,070 - £25,280 (Find a used Ford Fiesta deal)

Boot capacity: 292 litres

Read our Ford Fiesta review

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Seat Leon

hatchbacks-seat-leon

The Seat Leon is the perfect family hatchback. With four trim levels available, an 8.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a lot of space inside for rear seat passengers, this car gives you everything you need.

Some more cool features of the Seat Leon (the most successful SEAT model in the UK to date) include ISOFIX seating available on the passenger and rear seats, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay which come as standard across the range.

New price: £21,410 - £36,770 (Find a used Seat Leon deal)

Boot capacity: 380 litres

Read our SEAT Leon review

Audi A3

hatchbacks-audi-a3

Impeccable interior quality, sharp handling, and the perfect mix of practicality and desirability. The Audi A3 hatchback offers you a choice of petrol, diesel, mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines, and provides plenty of leg room even for those over six feet tall.

The boot size is considerable when you fold down the rear seats, giving you enough space to store your belongings when making a long car journey.

New price: £25,010 - £47,380 (Find a used Audi A3 deal)

Boot capacity: 285-425 litres

Read our Audi A3 review

Skoda Octavia

hatchbacks-skoda-octavia

Since its very first appearance in 1996, this has been a car that's always super-sized its value proposition, offering more space than the norm.

The fourth generation Skoda Octavia has a large boot capacity and makes driving much easier thanks to its Adaptive Cruise Control system, which allows the car to know in advance about bends, roundabouts, and upcoming traffic flow. The Skoda also adapts itself to speed limits as you enter them, and its full five-star rating from Euro NCAP helps keep you safe in the car.

The Skoda is the hatchback for you if you want to make a clever purchase. If you can stretch your budget a bit more, you can also add a ‘sleep package’ to the car, which will give you more comfortable rear seat head rests, stowed blankets, and sun blinds. Other extras include massaging front seats, a heads-up display and Matrix LED headlights that adapt to the road and other vehicles.

New price: £22,270 - £37,290 (Find a used Skoda Octavia deal)

Boot capacity: 600 litres

Read our Skoda Octavia review

BMW 1 Series

hatchbacks-bmw-1-series

380 litre boot capacity, 1,200 litre boot capacity when rear seats are folded down, and an infotainment system controlled by your voice.

The BMW 1 Series is a premium hatchback choice which is lighter, sleeker, and safer than others. The tech-savvy “Hey BMW” 'Intelligent Personal Assistant' allows you to operate many of the car's major functions by merely speaking a command, and one of its other useful features includes the extra camera safety kit which comes with 'Collision & Pedestrian Warning with City Braking' and 'Lane Departure warning' with steering impulse.

New price: £26,450 - £41,190 (Find a used BMW 1 Series deal)

Boot capacity: 380 litres

Read our BMW 1 Series review

Mazda3

hatchbacks-mazda3

Finishing off our list of best hatchbacks is Japan’s Mazda3. Its high-quality interior, crystal-clear 8.8-inch dashboard display, and large rear seats help this car to really stand out.

Despite not having as much boot capacity as the BMW 1 Series or the Skoda Octavia, the Mazda3 still boasts over 350 litres, making it more than spacious enough for a family run-around.

New price: £22,455 - £30,195 (Find a used Mazda3 deal)

Boot capacity: 351 litres[SC1] 

Read our Mazda3 review

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