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Parkers overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 4.6


Ford Focus Hatchback

4 out of 5 4.0

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: All you need to know about the 2018 Ford Focus Whether you’ve a young family and are looking for something inexpensive... 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

One hallmark of the Volkswagen Golf that’s been as true of the original back in 1974 as it is this seventh-generation model is that it’s a car for everyone. That might sound a little odd given that it’s more expensive to buy than most of its rivals, but given the range of equipment on offer, the breadth of the petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric... 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

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