The compact hatchback class is one of the most attractive, yet fiercely disputed on the European market. This is why almost every single manufacturer, mainstream or premium, has at least one of this models on its products list. For this reason, we decided (with a little help from our readers) to make a list of the most attractive options that you can currently find on the market. It should be noted that this list is diversified precisely because of the multiple variants, but includes the most interesting options depending on a number of factors such as price, reliability, fuel efficiency, size, design, etc. As said, we have picked eight models that will be presented below.
Best hatchbacks under £20,000
Although available in many variants, the 2012 Audi A3 version which we refer is the standard one, called Attraction, that has a TFSI engine that develops 122 HP, coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox. Released at the beginning of 2012, the latest Audi A3 benefits from the new MQB platform which ensures a lightweight of only 2590.4 lbs. In terms of appearance, A3 has undergone a subtle stylistic evolution, involving a new front part, a rear subtly modified and new technical solutions. Their effectiveness has been proven model getting five star EuroNCAP safety tests.
2012 Audi A3 interior is dominated by stylish but simple lines as German standard dictates. Audi offers a Bang & Olufsen audio system, onboard WiFi hotspot for internet and other nice features.
Starting price: £19,205.00 (OTR)
Volkswagen Golf Mk7
In august of 2012, Volkswagen launched its latest model of the Golf category : Golf 7. The most important detail: the new Volkswagen Golf 7 will have a base price lower than Golf 6.
The German model is 5.6 inches longer than Golf 6 (167.5 inches in length), and the wheelbase has also increased by about 6 inches, up to 103.9 inches. Because it is wider and shorter than Golf 6, the new Volkswagen Golf gets a more aggressive and athletic look.
According to the first impressions of the German journalists, the main argument of the interior of Golf 7 in comparison with the competition is the powerful feeling of quality inspired by the Volkswagen. “Auto-News” German journalists said that the elegant interior of the new golf 7 “equals the one of a Mercedes E-Klasse”.
The 1.4-liter TSI engine and 140 horsepower with Cylinder on Demand will join the line of attack of the German model, which is able to offer a combined fuel economy of 58.8 mpg (imperial). The diesel based version will be a 105 HP TDI that’s consuming only 74.3 mpg (imperial) under mixed environment. The driving will have five different running programs (Eco, Sport, Normal, Comfort and Individual).
Starting price: £16,285.00
Mercedes A-Class offers to its customers the Collision Prevention Assist system, automatic climate control, Audio 20 CD system, MP3 and USB slots, a 14.7 inch diagonal display, Bluetooth connectivity, electric windows for front and rear, headlights with automatic ignition , 7 airbags and steering wheel control. Customers who choose the new A-Class will have three equipment lines (Urban, Style and Sport AMG), and three different design packages (Night, Exclusive and Exclusive AMG) to customize the car to their own desires.
Mercedes-Benz has came at launch with a list of two diesel and three petrol engines. Diesel will be available in A180 CDI (109 hp) and A200 CDI (136 hp) versions, while the petrol engines will be available in the A180 BlueEFFICIENCY (122 hp), A200 BlueEFFICIENCY (156 hp) or A250 version, which will be available in both BlueEfficiency version and the Sport version (both developing 211 hp).
Starting price: £18,970.00 (OTR)
Fiat has announced that the current generation of the 500 model has already reached one million produced units. The model was launched in 2007 and since then has proven successful.
Even if this year, at Detroit Auto Show, Fiat revealed its new Fiat 500, we will talk about the 2008’s version as this is now available on the European market.
As its design suggests a “nice little” car, we’ll be focusing on what’s under the bonnet. And there we find T-Jet, a gasoline turbocharged engine. The tiny 500 is the proud owner of 135 HP at 5500 rpm and a torque of 180 Nm at 2200 rpm. The last one can reach up to 206 Nm thanks to its sports command, located on board. To improve the model at high speeds and ensure excellent stability Abarth , equipped 500 with stiffer suspension, a package for handling and wider tires.
Starting price: £9,960.00 (OTR)
The latest Ford Fiesta has just appeared in a facelift version. The optical blocks are more elongated, but with a more discreet look. The facelift brings for the exterior a reshaped bonnet and a new design of the rims. For the interior, the manufacturer repositioned the controls of the electric windows and mirrors on the driver’s door for an easier access. Furthermore, the wheel design and the automatic climate area were also modified and the materials are superior in terms of quality. One of the new technologies introduced is the famous SYNC system that lets you control your music, make and take calls from your mobile phone using voice commands. In addition to reading aloud the text messages, this technology can play songs from a USB device, a MP3 or a mobile phone with Bluetooth.
The main novelty from under the bonnet is the 1-liter petrol engine, with 3 cylinders, that’s developing 80 HP. It provides the power of a conventional 1.6-liter engine, but uses 21% less fuel.
Starting price: £9,795.00
The fourth generation of Nissan Micra hit the market in 2011. The basic version has a price starting at 11,000 euros. Among the strengths of Nissan Micra we can name the smallest turning radius in its class and a parking space measurement system. As for its engine, Micra has a three-cylinder petrol unit that promises the lowest fuel consumption in its class and lower CO2 emissions for a segment B gasoline consumer.It develops 80 HP at 6,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 110 Nm at 4,000 rpm. Average fuel consumption is 5 liters of petrol per hundred kilometers, while CO2 emissions fall below 115 grams per kilometer. Micra’s urban consumption is 6.1 liters per cent, while in the extra-urban consumption is 4.3 liters per cent.
Micra has received a new design, reminiscent of the previous generations without being retro. In the case of the fourth generation the aerodynamics played an important role in defining the general form.
Starting price: £9,750.00
At the beginning of this year, Opel has started the Adam’s model production, after revealing the concept in July 2012. Adam is designed as a city car, its exterior sizes are 145.7 inches long and 67.7 inches wide (without mirrors). Adam can carry four people in a generous space, says the official press release given by Opel. Adam is addressing to the customer who wants a car with style and multiple customization options. VX Adam will initially be available with three efficient gasoline engines (1.2 liter of 70 hp, 1.4-liter of 87 hp and 1.4-liter of 100 hp) combined with a manual five-speed transmission.
In terms of design, Opel says that Adam has a retro look but with a modern and bold aspect. The model name is located on the rear pillar, an element that contributes to the differentiation of Adam of the other models.
Starting price: £11,255.00
The first thing that should be mentioned is that Sandero is officially the cheapest car in United Kingdom and probably one of the cheapest in Europe in its segment. Cheapest according to its price, of course. Dacia Sandero received the Best supermini award (Car of the Year 2013) from the What Car? automobile magazine.
As an engine option, Dacia Sandero offers to its clients three versions: the 1.2-liter engine of 75 HP, the 0.9 TCe turbocharged of 90 HP and the 1.5 dCi diesel engine of 90 HP. In terms of safety, Sandero has a system of EBA and the already classics EBD and ABS. The model can be equipped with up to four airbags and the belt attachment has four points. Dacia Sandero measures 158.3 inches length, 69 inches width and has a wheelbase of 102 inches.
Starting price: £5,995 (OTR)
As we said, the list we made contains a mix of the most interesting options that we thought about: from the cheapest to the most expensive hatchbacks, from those with retro designs to those with classic designs, from those with low consumption to the most powerful ones. And this is for you to can expand horizons and weigh all options.