The Fiesta has been consistently among the most popular cars in the UK for some time now, so it’s no surprise to see the latest model continues to take the top spot in 2018. Like its popular predecessor, this new version is great fun to drive and available with Ecoboost petrol engines that are punchy, quiet and frugal. However, it feels more modern inside and has a much better infotainment system.
For many people, the Ford Focus is the de facto family hatchback. But while it’s fun to drive and comes loaded with great accessories, many rivals offer more space and feel that bit classier inside. If you’re mainly going to be driving around town, the 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol engine is ideal; if you need more grunt for regular motorway use, the 1.5-litre diesel is the more sensible choice.
The Golf is a mainstay of this list. What’s more, it’s fully deserving of its success, blending a comfortable ride with class-leading refinement and a spacious and classy interior. It may be a little pricier than some rivals and its boot isn’t the biggest around, but in every other respect the Golf is a superb car.
The Qashqai is the car that started the trend for small, family-friendly SUVs and it remains one of the best following a recent update. True, there are cheaper alternatives, such as the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross, but the Qashqai makes up for its price premium with a spacious and well-designed interior, solid build quality and superb comfort and refinement.
There’s plenty to like about the current Vauxhall Corsa, including its spacious interior, keen pricing and the fact that you get plenty of great kit and accessories as standard. That said, a fiddly infotainment system and so-so handling keep it from being counted among the class leaders. Team the most powerful 1.0-litre petrol engine with SRi specification for the best package.
The Vauxhall Astra manages combines a stylish body with a roomy interior and an impressive 370-litre boot. Its slick cabin comes with an excellent selection of equipment. You can choose from six different engines including an impressively quiet 1.6-litre ‘Whisper’ diesel unit and a three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol shared with the smaller Corsa. The latter can deliver excellent fuel economy of 67.3mpg.
The outgoing Polo is still one of the best-selling cars in the UK and VW has had to work hard to improve it. The Polo’s build quality, space, image and drive all add up to one of the best all-round hatchbacks on sale. Its replacement is even more like the bigger Golf, so will sell by the bucketload.
The Mercedes C-Class is a classy executive saloon with the focus firmly on comfort rather than performance or agility. It’s not as good to drive as the rival BMW 3 Series and its interior isn’t quite on the same level as the Audi A4, but get the spec just right and the Mercedes C-Class is a competent companion.
The Mini is usually on these lists because it’s so popular and this year is no different. Funky looks, a much-improved interior and being one of the best-driving cars around have all helped cement the latest Mini as a serious contender for some of the best hatchbacks on the market.
The Mercedes A-Class shows that premium hatchback cars most definitely have a place on UK streets as it’s one of the best-selling cars out there right now. Its success is helped by fleet and business buyers, and there’ll be a new model coming soon which will be even better.