Crossover SUVs might be big sellers at the moment, but the trusty 5-door hatchback never goes out of style. Hatchbacks are versatile, fun to drive and come with all the space and connectivity you could wish for. And this year’s most wanted models don’t disappoint… could you be driving one of these in 2019?
The Ford Focus is already a huge seller, but the all-new fourth generation version has had a redesign which makes it bigger, sportier and more capable than ever. A reconfigured interior offers premium-level comfort and the driving experience has been refined to include an array of assistance tools, including adaptive cruise control and lane centring. Thanks to the FordPass Connect app, you can access sat nav, remote locking and location finder. And if it turns out that you want a different body style, Ford can offer that, too. This supremely versatile hatchback hatches into a range of other shapes – with a crossover, an estate or a sleek saloon available in the line-up, plus a bigger choice of specs than your local optician.
It might cost a little more than your average hatchback, but there’s nothing average about the Golf. It’s been leading the way in design, technology and performance since the first model left the factory in 1974. The 2019 version, which will be unveiled later this year, is expected to be an evolution in design and technology, with a sharper, more streamlined exterior and new technology under the bonnet. There’s talk of a ground-breaking ‘mild hybrid’ powertrain and engines powered by compressed natural gas, giving instant performance while improving efficiency. Meanwhile, the interior promises to be a ‘total digital environment.’ Touchscreen steering? We can’t begin to imagine…
The 2016 Vauxhall Astra was named European Car of the Year, so its 2019 facelift promises to win it even more fans. It’s had a bit of Botox rather than a major surgical overhaul, but it promises to offer a fresher look and a lighter, more aerodynamic body to keep it in the running in this highly competitive segment. Vauxhall has promised a range of more environmentally friendly Euro 6.2 compliant engines, too, and with the addition of active matrix LED headlights, extra safety features and an update to their IntelliLink infotainment system, it’s got more than enough tech to stay ahead of the rest.
The third generation Ceed has dropped the weird apostrophe, and ushers in a more refined drive with new features and a smart leather-trimmed interior. A new compact 1.6-litre diesel engine and longer profile make for a more streamlined silhouette and a sharper performance, while inside the cabin there’s an impressive floating touchscreen and driver assistance features such as lane keep assist as standard. It’s all combined with the practicality you’ve come to expect from Kia, with plenty of legroom for five passengers, a 625-litre boot and, on the top spec trim, a few optional treats, like heated rear seats.
Looking for a capable, neat little hatchback that isn’t going to cost a fortune or the earth? Don’t discount the brand-new Peugeot 308, which has been redesigned with a range of Blue HDi engines that can claim 91mpg and surpass some hybrids with their low emissions. The interior of the 2019 model is stripped down and simple but well laid-out, with a smaller, sporty i-Cockpit steering wheel offering you more room to operate the user-friendly touchscreen controls, equipped with sat nav and smartphone mirroring. Add a new LED lighting signature and front grille, and it all makes the 308 a great little number.
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