For the driver who wants to haul a bit more than what a sedan is capable of, but still wants to go fast and accommodate passengers comfortably like a sedan, the hatchback is the way to go. It’s become a norm for manufacturers to build their own hatchbacks, and each is competitive in their own right. For this list we picked four hatchbacks that are each in the $21,000 to $28,000 range, all have turbocharged four-cylinder engines, and each is front wheel drive. All were priced as brand new (2017) manual transmission cars.
The quintessential hatchback, the Golf GTI is an obvious choice for a hatchback. It’s got a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine producing 220 horsepower, seats five people, has four doors, is properly quick and light, has direct injection and six gears in its manual transmission. The GTI gets an average 28 mpg and costs just over $28,000. The most expensive on our list, it’s a tried and true testament as to what can be possible for a hatchback that’s rapping on the door of decent performance.
Comparable to the GTI, the Ford Focus has muscled its way into contention among some of the best hatchbacks. Also powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, Ford’s EcoBoost powered Focus produces 250 horsepower, also with a six speed gearbox and gets around 25 mpg, just shy of the Golf. However it does make more power. The Ford has big tires and weighs in at 3223 pounds, the heaviest of our list but still light for the amount of horsepower it holds. It’s also got direct injection, and its MSRP is less than the GTI at $25,650.
A car that is well established as a solid hatchback is the Mazda3. It’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine only makes 184 horsepower, but the Mazda more than makes up for it with an impressive suspension setup. Typically the Mazdas are a bit on the pricey side, however, a brand new 6-speed gearbox equipped Mazda3 will only net around $23,270, which is good value for a car that performs decently.
The Kia was a surprise, with its turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine producing a staggering 201 horsepower. It’s also equipped with a six-speed gearbox, but it only has two doors as opposed to the other cars’ four, and still seats five people. It’s got the same size tires as the Golf, but weighs less than 3,000 pounds. It also provides comparable space next to its competition. It’s the cheapest car on this list, at $21,540.
So this wraps up our list of the best hatchbacks to buy. If you are in the market shopping for a hatchback, you can’t go wrong with choosing any one from this list.
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