Best hatchbacks 2015

SEAT Leon
14 Jul, 2015 10:15am Sam Naylor

The SEAT Leon, Skoda Octavia and BMW 1 Series are three of our favourite hatchbacks - here's the full list

Small family hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus are one of the most popular types of car in the UK, so we've put together a list of the best ones on sale now.

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. That's why this list is focused on them - although we've also incuded the MINI 5-door, which is great fun to drive and could make sense for some looking for a family hatch.

How to buy a new car

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.

Best hot hatchbacks

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.

Best hatchbacks

Click through the links to find out more about the best hatchbacks on the market right now.

Disqus - noscript

Gosh! Its as if Autoexpress could read my thoughts. Every single car in this list richly deserves its place.
The seminal Golf; the ubiquitous Focus; the razor-sharp A-Class and the 1-Series for premium car buyers otherwise called badge snobs.
A3 - the leaser's hero; Mazda 3 - the drivers' favourite; I30 - the vastly improved; the stylish Ceed and V40 for the safety boffins.
Last but not least the vastly restyled Leon which is now arguably the best looking of the VW C-segment cars and the cheapest.

After the Panda's mysterious omission from the city-car top 10 I suppose it's no surprise not to see the Giulietta included here... Both of them much appreciated by everybody except Auto Express. I'd rather stick needles in my eyes than drive many of the cars on these lists.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta sure is a good looking car. Italian style at its best. If you ask me and arguably the most stand-out car in its class.

I'm not a huge fan of Fiat Panda but its an important city car. Not the best looking. But very talented and with a good choice of engines. The only Panda I could consider buying is the 4WD.

I don't know the criteria by which Autoexpress compiles their Top 10 lists but I was surprised to see Skoda Citigo at the top of the list that mostly comprised highly talented B-segment cars.

I could understand Autoexpress placing the little Skoda at the top of the City / A-segment cars. But putting Citigo on top of Ford Fiesta, Audi A1, VW Polo, Peugeot 208, Renault Clio and Honda Jazz seems like an act of desperation.

I can't believe that the Cee'd and i30 are placed above the Focus. If driving enjoyment counts for so little, why is the 1 series in second place? A very strange top ten.

And why not the new C4, it is a much nicer place to be than most on that list and the drive is good, ok not sporty, but still!

Agree with this point, I have the new Civic and it's an excellent car, cannot believe its bettered by all those listed.

If any of you bothered to read the article properly, it does not say anywhere that the list on the left is in Top Ten order, it just says 'We've rounded up the 10 best hatchbacks on the market, and you can find out which one's right for you by clicking the links on the left.'
They are the 10 best hatchbacks on the market, that's why Alfa and Fiat don't appear anywhere, as they are just not good enough - It's ok to have a nice looking body, but it's pointless if the rest of the package is a let-down.

If you bothered to read other magazines you'd see that they rate the Panda and Giulietta as class leaders. For example Autocar rate the Panda as the best car in its class and it has also been the best selling car in its class for years in all of Europe. They rated the Giulietta as better than the Focus and equal to the Golf in a group test, saying they were the 3 class leaders. So you must admit it's strange they don't even get a mention from this magazine.

Actually, yes it is better. Giulietta is all style, no substance. Rebadged Fiat.

You completely lost me when I read the Kia name at number 4.
There are much MUCH better cars that you forgot to mention.
No need to continue reading such a review, thanks for saving me the trouble ;)

Errm, which Fiat exactly did they rebadge??? BTW when Autocar tested Golf, Focus, Giulietta they said they didn't even bother including the Astra because they already knew it was way out of its depth against those 3.

So we have 3 variants of the Golf Platform (Golf, Audi, Seat) 3 variants of Ford Focus Platform (Focus, Volvo & Mazda) 2 near identical Hyundai/Kia, a Merc ad a BMW.

Not exactly a truly representative test without Astra, Megane, 308 etc, etc

Agree - mine has been superb; albeit in 2.0 CDTI Sports Tourer format. 500/1550 litres of space 50mpg TANK average (on 95 mile commute), mega seats (SRI spec ones excellent) and ZERO probs over 35k miles. Ellsmere Port built too.

Just wait Till the New Octy VRS Hits the Streets then it will be Four Cars with the Same Platform on the hot hatch List, im Getting One in mettalic Black Magic gonna be AWESOME .

What a pointless contest.. How about using 5 door versions of all cars and the same engine sizes as the Golf won two categories for performance and practicality which low and behold is because it has the biggest engine and is a five door version!!!!

let the people speak... with their wallets. sales mean a lot.

They are a gorgeous car, regardless of how people pigeon hole it.

And yet by force of habit AE put the number one by a Vw. Shock.

Because AE love German brands and dislike Citroën. But I am with you. There is room for comfy not sporty cars.

1 series? Bought by dickheads.

YOU OBVIOUSLY ADORE THEM AND HAVE 2, ONE FOR EACH OVERSIZED LIP ON THAT TROLLING GOB OF YOURS!

Umm, it's not in rank order, it's just a list of the ten best....mind you, anything, even a dacia sandero, is better than a ford council-house chavs car.

Wow. You sound really tough.

Auto Express 1,385
For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!