Small family cars like the Volkswagen Golf and Ford Focus are the a very popular type of car in the UK - and here we've put together a top 10 list of our favourite models in that family hatchback class.
While some superminis, crossovers and even large executive cars could potentially be described as hatchbacks (they have a single-piece tailgate: a hatch back), most will think of the small family car class - known as the C-Segment - as the definitive family hatchback. That's why this list only includes them.
These cars really have to be all-rounders, as they are used for so many different tasks. They have to be able to carry a whole family, but also be comfortable and economical enough to tackle an everyday commute. Plus, they're often used for motorway driving and trips abroad so they need to be good on longer journeys as well as in town.
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.