Since the late 90s, hatchbacks have been the family car of choice. You’ve mostly likely traveled to a holiday destination in one, been picked up from school and odds are it was the first type of car you owned. A medium-sized vehicle, but roomy on the inside; the hatchback has been the preferred choice of new couples who are starting to have children. Not as big as a saloon, but not as small as a coupe’, the hatchback is the bowl of porridge that’s just right.
Although the hatchback is classed firmly in the center, this doesn’t mean modern variants in the class are half-way-house on performance. Engines have sophisticated turbocharged induction systems, which provide excellent low-down torque but will also impress you with decent gas mileage. But what to choose according to your taste? The only way to find out is to go and have a test drive.
Image by – MTSRider18
A classic example of German engineering, the Golf is a four-door hatchback with elegant styling. It has 5 seats, with a roomy trunk able to fit at least 2 full sized suitcases. Harboring a 170bhp turbocharged engine, it delivers the power to the front wheels with either a 5 or 6-speed manual gearbox. Wolfsburg variant models have heated seats and an automated emergency braking system. Fuel economy in the city is a superb 28mpg and on the highway an above average 35mpg.
Be active in asking questions about the model with the dealer, as the recent emissions affair shows, sometimes the customer must be wary of what they buy.
Japanese models are always sure to stir up excitement among the petrolheads. The Corolla is often debated to be the original ‘hot-hatch.’ With stunning good looks and comfortable interior, this model has no problem whipping around town or doing the school run with the children. Featuring a 1.8 liter inline four port-injected engine, and a CVT gearbox, you can see why Toyota is a very popular brand among hatchback buyers. The braking performance is the one area where performance has been consistently lacking. The braking from 70-0 mph takes a stopping distance of 175 feet, which is average compared to other models.
The beloved Focus, adored by many, championed for its reliability and easy of use. Fitted as standard is a 99bhp 1.0 liter Ecoboost engine, which is ideal for whizzing around town. However, the same engine does come in an uprated 123bhp variant if you’re always traveling via highway and need the extra power. Known for being spacious inside, the Focus lists as a 5-door medium sized hatchback. The Focus is known for great handling, decent body control, and mid-corner grip.
The only small drawback is a lack of feeling through the steering wheel; however, this is common in mid-range hatchbacks.