Hatchbacks come in all shapes and sizes but which one is right for you? The answer is to think about how exactly what you need and want from your compact family hatch, and to choose accordingly.
If you’re spending your own cash, chances are you want something that will hold onto its value and won’t go wrong – the last thing you want is to part exchange your car years down the line and realise it is worthless. Equally, nothing will take the gloss off your new pride and joy faster than a series of unscheduled visits to the dealer to have niggles fixed.
In an ideal world you’ll also want a recently updated or renewed model, rather than a car that is soon to be axed - otherwise your new car will begin to look second-hand sooner than it should.
Long warranties and pre-paid servicing deals are attractive add-ons as they take the stress out of car ownership, while advanced safety systems promise to protect your family in the event of an accident.
Efficient engines mean low emissions and, under the current rules, the cleaner the car is, the lower the cost of annual road tax - so economical models are cheaper to tax and provide smaller fuel bills.
Company car buyers need to pay real attention here, because the amount of benefit-in-kind tax you pay on your company car depends on just two factors; its price and emissions. So company drivers will want something that comes with lots of standard kit and the lowest emissions possible, otherwise they risk being slapped with a hefty annual tax bill.
Hybrid models and features like stop-start help here, but just because a car makes sense on paper doesn’t mean it will be right for you. The car of your dreams needs to be big enough to suit your needs and look the part, too, so there’s a lot to consider.
The good news is that Auto Express has done the hard work, so you don’t have to. 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.