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Which is the best Hatchback?

Which is the best Hatchback?

By 19-06-2018


When it comes to cars, the hatchback is the UK’s most popular. But which is the best? We line up four of the best hot-hatches; the Seat Ibiza, Ford Fiesta, Citroën C3 and  Audi A1 to find out.

Which is the best Hatchback?

Which is the best Hatchback?

We line up four of the best hot-hatches: the SEAT Ibiza, Ford Fiesta
Citroën C3 and Audi A1 to find out.

two words that are made to go

For more than thirty years, hot hatchbacks have been the answer to every adventurous driver’s quest for affordable but exciting, day-to-day transport.

Hatchbacks (hot or not) still rule our crowded roads, equally at home on the daily commute or a trip to the beach - with BBQ of course! Cars in this category are usually bursting with high tech engineering and gadgets, so choosing between them is a tough job.

Swansway Group has rounded up four of the UK’s most popular hatchbacks and pitted them against each other to see which one should be crowned king of affordable speed.

Jump in and enjoy the ride!

Which hatchback
has the most power?

While speed limits prevent us from racing the cars against each other, it’s still good to know what our hot hatches are capable of.

Let’s see what each one packs under the bonnet.

SEAT ibiza

When it comes to petrol power, the ​SEAT Ibiza has a choice of two 1.0 TSI engines offering either 95PS or 115PS. Capable of 0-62 mph in 10.9s, or 9.3s for the more powerful model, either is perfect for nipping in and out of traffic queues and parking spaces.

For a bit more power, 1.5 TSI EVO engine (150PS) reaches 62mph in 7.9s, while the 1.6 diesel (115PS) can do the same sprint in 7.5s.

Max speed (1.5 TSI EVO engine) : 134mph

ford fiesta

With the Fiesta, a wide choice of engines means that you can grab this Ford hatchback with as much as 140PS in the 1.0 EcoBoost trim, which is also available with 125PS, allowing for 0-62mph in 9.0s or 9.9s.

If diesel is your thing, you should be looking at the 120PS 1.5 Duratorq TDCi, also capable of 0-62mph in 9.0s. The huge range makes this the most popular hatchback on UK roads.

Max speed (1.0 EcoBoost 140) : 125mph

citroën c3

Citroën also offers its ​C3 with a range of petrol and turbo diesel engines, from 68PS to 110PS. The smaller petrol engine takes just over 14s to reach 62mph, certainly adequate for most commutes or shopping trips.

At the more powerful end of the C3 scale, the PureTech 110 S&S petrol and BlueHDi 100 are capable of 0-62mph in 9.3s and 10.6s, for those who need a more responsive drive.

Max speed (PureTech 110 S&S) : 117mph

audi A1

The premium offering vying for attention in our hotly contested listing is ​Audi’s A1​. The manufacturer has kept things simple with just three core engines to choose from.

This stylish car has the option of a 95PS 1.0 TFSI, a 116PS 1.6 TDI engine and, the quickest, a 125PS 1.4 TFSI (0-62mph in 8.8s). For more oomph, choose the S1 TFSI 2.0 Quattro which comes with a whopping 231PS and a sprint time of 5.8s!

Max speed (S1 TFSI 2.0 Quattro) : 155mph

Purely for its S1 version, the ​Audi A1 has all the right credentials when it comes to power!

Nearly 2 seconds faster than its nearest competitor, 231PS can’t be sniffed at. Even the smaller engined variants come in at a great time for 0-62mph.

Which hatchback
is the most stylish?

Kerb appeal has always been a major factor in the hot hatch class.

Everyone has their own taste, and each of these contenders are beautiful in their own way, so let’s see what they have to offer.

SEAT ibiza

The Ibiza has the sharpest, most angular look compared to the others, with a special Mediterranean flair.

Many will dig its aggressive front end with menacing LED headlights, giving the impression that the whole car is ready for action. A palette of elegant and vivid colours can make it either an elegant town car or a sporty runabout. Its looks haven’t gone unnoticed as the Ibiza was given the ​2017 RedDot Design Award​.

ford fiesta

The Fiesta is constantly evolving and important exterior details like the Aston Martin-inspired grille still draw attention. Some of the most prominent features from the current Fiesta range are the ‘panorama roof’ and Bang & Olufsen Play sound system.

The Fiesta Vignale offers a touch of luxury while the ST-Line provides more sporty looks, with the Fiesta Titanium being the most balanced style offering.

citroën c3

Citroën has always been known for quirky design, and the C3 is no exception.

A hatchback like no other, it’s both boxy and curved in all the right places. The whole car oozes modern French chic with the Airbump® panels adding a little ‘je ne sais quoi’! Other features include floating roofline design and nine body colours with three roof tones. All in all, the C3 is a complete show-stopper and the most fashionable urban car around.

audi A1

Whether it’s a 3-door hatch or a 5-door Sportback, the A1 is a truly sublime little car. Like other hatchbacks, you can get your A1 with a contrasting roof to create a refined two-tone look.

Inside, air-conditioning, DAB radio and a retractable MMI screen feature as standard with the option to choose interior fabric as well as the colour of air vents to really make each A1 unique.

It’s a close one, but we’re leaning towards the​ Citroën C3 in the style stakes.

Its unmistakable looks with unique Airbump® panels create a striking presence. With so many colour options, you’re bound to find a combination that’ll make everyone take notice.

Which hatchback
has the best handling?

Driving a hot hatch should be fun.

Easy handling and responsive steering is to be expected. How do our cars line up?

SEAT ibiza

The Ibiza feels light to drive due to its strong steering assistance, which is great for sharp low speed manoeuvres.

At higher speeds the drive is more engaging but still offers handling with just the right balance of precision and lightness.

ford fiesta

When it comes to handling, the Fiesta is probably the most balanced car on the list. It offers a refined mix of precision and balance in the corners and manoeuvrability at lower speeds.

So, expect a lot of fun driving the Fiesta without having to pay a sports car price.

citroën c3

Although the C3 isn’t known for its performance, the steering assistance is particularly strong, and the C3 feels better at lower speeds.

However, if you decide to test the engine a little more, it still offers a light feel, although not as responsive.

audi A1

In the A1, there’s a sense of Audi’s famous quattro (the S1 is equipped with this legendary drivetrain).

Even in front wheel drive configuration, the A1 offers sharp and stable handling assuring us that the Audi DNA runs right through the A1 as well.

The cornering ability has swayed us here, making the Ford Fiesta ​our pick in this category.

Its engaging driving coupled with excellent manoeuvrability makes the Fiesta fun to drive while it sticks firmly to the road.

Which hatchback is
the most cost effective to run?

Top of the list when buying a car is often the price

How do our host of hot hatches compare when it comes to initial outlay and running costs?

SEAT ibiza

Prices for the SEAT Ibiza begin at £13,665. The quickest, the 1.6 TDI, starts at £18,730, with a first year road tax of £145, followed by £140 annually. Depending on the trim, the Ibiza can fall into the 19 insurance group for the FR 1.5 TSI Evo, with less powerful options falling under the 8-11 range.

Best combined mpg* (1.6 TDi) : 74.3

ford fiesta

From £13,595, the Ford Fiesta comes in the middle price-wise. The base 140PS Fiesta EcoBoost is £17,945 in the ST-Line trim, or £20,345 for the Vignale variant. With emissions at 102g/km, the road tax is £145 at first registration (£140 each year after) and it falls into the 15 insurance group regardless of the trim.

Best combined mpg* (1.5 Duratorq TDCi) : 88.3

citroën c3

You can drive away in a Citroën C3 from £11,560. The PureTech 110 S&S starts at £16,950 and will cost £145 in road tax for the first year (£140 a year thereafter). It falls under the 16 insurance group in all trims. BlueHDi 100 starts from £17,000, and warrants the same road tax although it’s more expensive to insure, being in group 20.

Best combined mpg* (BlueHDi 100 15” wheels) : 80.7

audi A1

With the starting price of £15,565 for the most basic model, the Audi A1 is the costliest of the four, but you might find it more well equipped than other base models. You’ll find most A1 models in the 14-21 insurance groups. The three-door S1, however, will set you back £27,125 and falls into insurance group 37. For the S1 you can expect to pay £515 road tax on registration, which will then drop to £140 annually.

Best combined mpg* (1.6 TDi) : 74.3

The ​Ford Fiesta gets our vote.

Keenly priced with sensible insurance costs and excellent fuel economy, it really does tick all the boxes when it comes to getting value for money.