Seeing how 2016 is around the corner, I’m going to go ahead and deem it the year of the hatchback. With plenty of redesigns and new model introductions from manufacturers, it’s a great time to be shopping for people fond of the unique form factor, which strikes a fine balance between form and function. It’s sportier than the average sedan, and thanks to folding rear seats accommodates more rear cargo space and easier accessibility than a trunk. The only problem is with so much choice, how do you choose? OpenRoad has put together a few of the best hatchbacks on the market now, in order of price (with automatic option, where applicable).
Nobody says a hatchback has to be an entry-level vehicle. This hatch version of BMW’s venerable 3 Series adds a bit of flair to the classic German styling, and for $48,990 (328i) buyers get all-wheel drive, 241 horsepower and a respectable estimated 10.6 L/100 km of fuel economy in the city.
The MINI Cooper comes in a staggering eight different configurations, one being the rugged Paceman. The list of premium features is long for an MSRP of $31,200, like a sports suspension, roomy rear seating and a storage capacity of 1,079 litres with the back seats folded down.
Mazda recaptured the hearts of compact car lovers when it redesigned the Mazda3, embodying the aesthetic appeal of KODO design language and improved fuel efficiency and performance due to SKYACTIV technology. The GT is the highest trim level and includes the optional and more powerful 2.5-litre powerplant.
Although the automaker calls the tC a coupe, and indeed it does look like a coupe, pop the liftgate and you will realize it’s a hatchback in disguise. Taking styling direction from the old Celica, this sleek two-door pumps out an impressive 179 horsepower for a four-cylinder engine.
Another Scion is gracing this list because the iM was newly launched for the 2016 model year. At an attractive price point of $21,165, it is more affordable and thriftier when it comes to gas consumption than many competitors. The vehicle’s lightweight frame makes it agile in the handling department, as well.
Don’t be fooled by the Honda Fit’s small stature — this handsome hatchback can carry stuff with the best of them. In a car that is just over 4,000 millimetres long, a total 1,492 litres of space is yielded when the rear seats are folded. That’s about 23 per cent more than other available subcompacts.