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Parkers overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 4.6


As an all-rounder few cars match the enduring appeal of the Ford Focus hatchback. There's a version for pretty much everyone – from the humble 1.0-litre Ecoboost to the brilliant 2.3-litre RS – and they're all good to drive. READ: Full review of the 2018 Ford Focus Whether you’ve a young family and are looking for something inexpensive and safe to... read more


  • Excellent ride and handling
  • Broad range of powerplants
  • Staggering speed of RS
  • Generously equipped


  • Poor steering feedback
  • Counter-intuitive PowerShift gearbox
  • Seats lack lateral support
  • Rivals are more spacious

Vauxhall Astra Hatchback

4 out of 5 4.0

With a sharper-edged design and lightweight underpinnings, the seventh-generation Vauxhall Astra hatchback range has a tough job on its hands with such an array of accomplished rivals in the compact family car market. Chief among the British-built model’s challengers are the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf, but with others such as the SEAT Leon and... read more


  • Low running costs
  • High levels of on-board tech
  • Engaging to drive
  • Sprightly engine range


  • Rivals are more spacious
  • Ordinary image
  • No all-out performance version
  • Styling a little questionable

Volkswagen Golf Hatchback

4.8 out of 5 4.8

The Volkswagen Golf hatchback is one of the best-known name badges of any car on sale. It's been available in the UK since 1974 and we're currently on the seventh generation, with a major facelift carried out in 2017 to keep the design and technology right up-to-date. It’s more expensive to buy than most of its rivals, but given the range of... read more


  • Spacious yet compact
  • Efficient range of engines
  • GTI and R provide thrills
  • Even better post-2017 facelift


  • Expensive to buy
  • Options are pricey
  • Evolutionary styling
  • GTD isn’t a diesel GTI