The number of new and obscure car market segments seems to grow by the week, but that doesn't mean cars like the humble family hatchback are in decline. Far from it.
Small family hatchbacks are one of the most popular types of car on sale in the UK, with models like the Vauxhall Astra, Ford Focus and Audi A3 regularly featuring as some of the top 10 best-selling cars in the country.
The term 'hatchback' can be applied to so many different cars: superminis, crossovers and even some large executive cars feature a single-piece tailgate. However most will think of the small family car class - known as the C-Segment - as the definitive family hatchback.
These cars are proper all-rounders and tend to be good at everything to one degree or another. They offer plenty of space for passengers, good refinement on the motorway, strong economy figures and are often good fun to drive as well.
Price, mpg and overall running costs are likely top of the priorities list for most hatchback buyers. The good news is that most cars in this class are excellent in those areas, with a wide range of efficient petrol and diesel engines available. We'd always go for petrol if you're planning on only doing short journeys, as diesels tend to have problems if not driven regularly on longer motorway trips and usually cost more.
With these cars likely to be used as a daily driver, there needs to be plenty of equpment on board as well - like heated seats for those winter mornings, a DAB radio for the commute and Bluetooth for those important phone calls during the day. These days, even basic hatchbacks are full of equipment as standard but it's also important to look at the options list when buying to get the most out of your new car.
Being a good all-rounder doesn't have to make a car boring, though. There are many stylish, fun models in this class that'll put a smile on your face. There are comprehensive warranty and servicing deals available, too, ensuring reliability and further reductions in running costs. Basically, there's bound to be something to suit the tastes of every buyer and if you stick to our top 10 best hatchbacks you won't go far wrong.
Click through the links to find out more about the best hatchbacks on the market right now.