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The best hatchbacks to buy in 2019

  • The best family hatchbacks revealed 
  • If you don't want an SUV or crossover, consider a hatchback
  • Parkers pick the best hatchbacks on sale in the UK 2019

If you're looking for a car that can do it all, a hatchback might be the best choice for you. Whether you want something economical, fast and sporty, family friendly, a large boot, or stylish and mile-loving, a hatchback can do all these things and more.

There are loads of hatchbacks on sale to buy today, and you might get more for your money than you expect with the finance deals available at the moment.

Here's our pick of the best hatchbacks to buy in the UK in 2019:

We've listed the best hatchbacks alphabetically, so scroll down to read about them all or click on the quick links to jump to your favourites: 

Audi A3
Ford Focus 
Honda Civic
Hyundai i30
Kia Ceed
Mazda 3
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
Peugeot 308
Renault Megane
SEAT Leon
Skoda Octavia
Vauxhall Astra

Volkswagen Golf

Audi A3

Audi A3 Sportback

The A3 may have been around for quite a while now, but it’s hard to deny its desirability thanks to classy styling, a top-notch interior and that badge. Inside, material quality is the A3’s strongest point with plush materials and classy touches that make it feel a cut above the competition. Add to that a user-friendly infotainment system and it would be a very satisfying car to while away the miles in. It’s also family-friendly, with a spacious interior and big boot, plus a vast engine, gearbox and trim level choice to suit all tastes. It’s very easy to drive and is refined at speed, with a composed ride and drive overall.

New price: £22,725 - £39,965
Lease this car from new: From £280 per month

Used price: £6,835 - £38,075
Typical used monthly cost: £169 - £939
Fuel economy: 34 - 83 mpg
Road tax cost: £0 - £450
Insurance group: 14 - 46

Read our full Audi A3 review

Ford Focus

Ford Focus hatchback

Crowned Small Family Car of the Year in the 2019 Parkers Awards, the latest Ford Focus hatchback is better than ever, boasting a class-leading drive, an overhauled interior and a suite of new driving aids. What’s more, the choice on offer is endless, with nine different trim levels and eight engine options. More is on the way, too, with performance-oriented ST and RS versions expected over the next few years. If you’re after something a little less sporty, however, we’d recommend one of the manual gearbox petrol versions, coupled with Titanium or Titanium X trim. 

New price: £18,305 - £29,655
Lease this car from new: From £207 per month

Used price: £12,355 - £23,365
Typical used monthly cost: £305 - £576
Fuel economy: 46 - 80 mpg
Road tax cost: £140
Insurance group: 8 - 23 

Read our full Ford Focus review

Honda Civic

Honda Civic hatchback

The Civic should be near the top of your list if space is a priority. Rear seat space is especially generous with an almost-flat floor for middle-seat passengers, while the boot is one of the biggest in the class with extra underfloor storage, too. It’s also very good fun to drive in any spec thanks to great body control, an excellent ride and responsive steering, with a range of turbocharged engines that are responsive and punchy. Avoid the CVT transmission because the manual is such good fun to use, while all models come with a generous list of standard equipment.

New price: £19,100 - £33,525
Lease this car from new: From £198 per month 
Used price: £9,375 - £29,105
Typical used monthly cost: £231 - £718
Fuel economy: 36 - 80 mpg
Road tax cost: £20 - £140
Insurance group: 15 - 40

Read our full Honda Civic review

Hyundai i30

Hyundai i30 hatchback

The Hyundai i30 is not the most exciting hatchback, but majors on value – in cash price terms – equipment and comfort. A variety of petrol and diesel models are available including two high-performance ‘N’ versions, which take on hot hatchbacks including the Volkswagen Golf GTI and Renault Megane RS. Hyundai’s manufacturer PCP finance isn’t always the best value, however, meaning that some models cost more per month than the equivalent VW Golf or Ford Focus. As a result, those considering the i30 on value grounds would be wise to shop around and compare like-for-like finance costs with rivals to establish whether the i30 suits their needs.

New price: £17,125 - £29,495
Lease this car from new: From £207 per month
Used price: £8,850 - £23,955
Typical used monthly cost: £218 - £591
Fuel economy: 36 - 68 mpg
Road tax cost: £0 - £140
Insurance group: 8 - 28

Read our full Hyundai i30 review

Kia Ceed

Kia Ceed hatchback

The Ceed might not be the boldest or most glamorous of Kia’s models but it’s handsome and full of attractive details, such as the four-point, Porsche-style LED daytime-running lights. More surprisingly is how well the latest Ceed handles – this is a hatchback that not only can hold a candle to the Mk4 Ford Focus, but in some regards trumps it. The interior’s jam-packed with kit and feels robust, but doesn’t feel special; that’s tempered with the pervading sense of longevity – this is not a car that will let you down. Frugal diesels and zippy petrols are your only engine choices, with slick manual and effortless twin-clutch automatic gearboxes. This a fun-to-drive hatchback that also happens to be supremely reliable. What’s not to like?  

New price: £18,295 - £26,850
Lease this car from new: From £163 per month

Used price: £13,190 - £20,200
Typical used monthly cost: £325 - £498
Fuel economy: 48 - 74 mpg
Road tax cost: £140
Insurance group: 12 - 21 

Read our full Kia Ceed review

Mazda 3

Mazda 3 hatchback

The Mazda 3 is a well-equipped, strong value hatchback that offers enjoyable roadholding and reasonable comfort levels. The 2.2-litre diesel engines are refined and punchy, offering the prospect of impressive economy, though the petrol engines – which do without power-boosting turbochargers, unlike most rivals – can feel underpowered, as they need to be worked hard to get the most from them. A sleek fastback version is also available with strong value PCP finance offers available on both. The 3 is set to be replaced by in 2019, with new versions of both the hatchback and fastback saloon coming.

New price: £20,425 - £27,525
Lease this car from new: From £275 per month

Read our full Mazda 3 review 

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Mercedes A-Class hatchback

It’s taken Mercedes-Benz a few attempts to get the A-Class right, but it’s hard to argue they’ve nailed the premium hatchback brief this time around. Sharp, but relatively uncontroversial exterior styling gives way to a stunning interior packed with tech – some of it from the flagship S-Class – that makes everything else feel decidedly old-school. The Hey Mercedes virtual assistant also features, giving users some of the most advanced in-car voice recognition tech on the market. Engine choices consist of the usual petrol and diesel fare, plus there’s a performance Mercedes-AMG A35 (and upcoming A45) version for those after rapid point-to-point pace.

New price: £23,075 - £38,960
Lease this car from new: From £239 per month

Used price: £16,630 - £29,025
Typical used monthly cost: £410 - £716
Fuel economy: 38 - 68 mpg
Road tax cost: £140
Insurance group: 17 - 37

Read our full Mercedes-Benz A-Class review

Peugeot 308

Peugeot 308 hatchback

The Peugeot 308 is easy to overlook in this crowded market, but this all-rounded hatch makes a decent case for itself once given a chance. With plenty of trim levels available, all come with a generous amount of kit as standard, including sat-nav, alloy wheels and parking sensors. The engines are generally strong performers while running costs remain competitive. It’s set up to be a little more sporting over certain rivals, but always remains comfortable. Rear passenger space is adequate, but there’s plenty of space elsewhere, including a large boot. The media system lags behind rivals in usability and the quirky i-Cockpit driving position will be a love-hate affair, so be sure to try before you buy.  

New price: £20,000 - £29,920
Lease this car from new: From £224 per month
Used price: £4,175 - £19,925
Typical used monthly cost: £103 - £491
Fuel economy: 43 - 88 mpg
Road tax cost: £0 - £140
Insurance group: 9 - 36 

Read our full Peugeot 308 review

Renault Megane

Renault Megane hatchback

The Renault Megane is arguably one of the most attractive hatchbacks out there, with some sharp design details that afford is some striking kerb appeal and a premium look (even if it’s not really that expensive to buy). There’s a selection of efficient TCe petrol and dCi diesels to pick from in three well-specified trim levels, while the interior features a portrait-oriented touchscreen like you’d find in a Volvo, and some excellent seats. It’s not the most spacious in the rear, but the boot is large and the Megane is easy to drive, and quite fun too. 

New price: £17,715 - £33,510
Lease this car from new: From £215 per month
Used price: £7,680 - £30,455
Typical used monthly cost: £189 - £751
Fuel economy: 34 - 76 mpg
Road tax cost: £0 - £140
Insurance group: 14 - 37

Read our full Renault Megane review

SEAT Leon

SEAT Leon hatchback

The third generation SEAT Leon may have been around for a while now, but it’s still one of the most well-rounded hatchbacks on the market. Boasting a sharp, sporty drive (and the styling to go with it), the Leon provides a cheaper – and arguably more fun – alternative to the benchmark Volkswagen Golf, despite sharing many of the same components. Standard equipment is generous, plus there’s a broad range of engines boasting excellent fuel economy and strong performance. What’s more, the car’s age means discounts aren’t hard to find, meaning you could save thousands off the advertised list price. 

New price: £18,260 - £30,980
Lease this car from new: From £160 per month
Used price: £4,040 - £22,420
Typical used monthly cost: £100 - £553
Fuel economy: 40 - 78 mpg
Road tax cost: £0 - £195
Insurance group: 12 - 33

Read our full SEAT Leon review

Skoda Octavia

Skoda Octavia

Based on the VW Golf’s underpinnings but with a longer wheelbase (the space between the front and rear axle) the Skoda Octavia offers everything you get in the German car, but with even more rear passenger legroom and bootspace. Factor into that more competitive pricing and a strong standard spec, the Octavia is the thinking driver’s Golf, provided you don’t get too hung up on not having a VW badge. The engine line-up is broadly similar to the VW too with petrol and diesel options and performance variants of both (under the vRS badge), but no electric or PHEV models in this generation. Think Golf handling with a greater emphasis on comfort and that’ll give you an idea of what to expect.

New price: £18,310 - £29,640
Lease this car from new: From £238 per month
Used price: £5,135 - £22,270
Typical used monthly cost: £127 - £549
Fuel economy: 41 - 80 mpg
Road tax cost: £0 - £155
Insurance group: 12 - 29

Read our full Skoda Octavia review

Vauxhall Astra

Vauxhall Astra hatchback

The seventh-generation Astra has a lot of rivals on its hands, but you'll be surprised - it's good to drive and easy to live with. If you're looking for the best hatchback to invest in, you certainly should consider the Vauxhall. It's lighter than the previous version, making it nimble around town. There's more space inside than before, and features the OnStar technology that can help you find the nearest coffee shop, among other things. It might not be the most exciting hatchback on the market, but it's well priced, good to drive, and well equipped too. 

New price: £18,900 - £28,840
Lease this car from new: From £244 per month
Used price: £6,245 - £15,065
Typical used monthly cost: £154 - £372
Fuel economy: 42 - 85 mpg
Road tax cost: £0 - £155
Insurance group: 6 - 24 

Read our full Vauxhall Astra review

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf hatchback

Arguably the ultimate people’s car, the VW Golf has long been the benchmark hatchback thanks to its inoffensive looks, classless positioning and clever packaging – the former offering enormous mass appeal, the latter unlocking loads practical space for passengers and luggage. It’s no Ford Focus in the driving fun stakes, although the German car has upped its game considerably in more recent models, choosing instead to emphasise on stable handling and ease of use. Where rivals struggle to keep up is in terms of engine options – the Golf boasts diesel, petrol and all-electric options, and previously a plug-in hybrid. That’s before you consider the additional performance from the GTI and R, and even the fast-diesel GTD.

New price: £18,765 - £33,285
Lease this car from new: From £221 per month
Used price: £5,120 - £29,105
Typical used monthly cost: £126 - £718
Fuel economy: 35 - 83 mpg
Road tax cost: £0 - £250
Insurance group: 7 - 39

Read our full VW Golf review

*Prices correct at the time of publication and are all subject to change.