The Mini is an excellent hatch, but does it have to be so grown up?
It defines this sector and should be its default buy. You simply can’t go wrong.
New eighth-gen Golf remains the lingua-franca of the hatch world. A finely polished machine
Overlook the fact it’s so good that it’s almost joyless: the latest Golf GTI is very desirable indeed.
After a classy cabrio but don't have Audi-like cash? Try this. GTI expensive but worth it; R perhaps not
The e-Golf is an EV that works for most of us, most of the time. A truly convincing electric car.
Kia improves things yet again. Refinement, styling and interior quality are nearly as good as anything out there. Nearly…
Not as far behind the Ford Focus as you might think. Vauxhall's facelifted hatch is a very competent thing... but an all-new one lurks around the corner.
Solid, gimmick-free all-rounder that’s slightly less good at everything than a Golf, but cheaper for it.
The Kia Cee'd is the car that lobs the paving slab of reality into the windscreen of preconception. It might be a straight clone of a Toyota/Ford/VW hatch, but it’s a damn good one.
Well thought out, versatile and thoroughly decent family estate. The weeniest bit boring
Peugeot's hot hatch renaissance continues. The 308 GTI has a joyously wild streak
A job well done. The Golf is better, but not by much.
Citroen's Fiat Panda - character over driving thrills, but none the worse for that.
While still a comfy, useful hatchback, the C4 Cactus's move mainstream has taken away its class hero status
This is among the best compact estates on sale (partly because it isn’t really compact at all).
It's taken Volkswagen a surprising amount of time to get here, but finally we have a Golf Estate that's up with the best.
A refreshing niche that ain’t a crossover, but not as sporty as billed
The B-Class is now a genuine contender – if an expensive one – in the family hatch sector.