Hatchbacks woo British drivers

According to ContractHireAndLeasing.com, 24 per cent of all searches were for hatchbacks – more than any other style of car.

A spokesperson for the website, Richard Lawton, says: “Our love of hatchback appears to be alive and well. We believe that it is the hatchback’s flexible nature that makes it so appealing both for businesses and for family use”.

The results are not a surprise considering the latest sales figures, which put the Ford Fiesta and larger Ford Focus at the top of the sales charts, followed by the likes of the Vauxhall Astra and Vauxhall Corsa.

The hatchback has always been a popular choice with UK buyers and most manufacturers offer at least one model in three- or five-door hatchback form.

Hatchbacks are noted for their ability to fold down rear seats to extend the boot space, making them versatile cars for family buyers.

The UK is also one of Europe’s biggest markets for hot hatches, performance-oriented hatchbacks designed to offer more power and handling than a standard model.

Notable hot hatch names include the Ford Focus RS, Renaultsport Megane and Seat Leon Cupra R.

In the research, hatchbacks took nearly a quarter of the vote followed by saloons with 21 per cent. However, saloon sales have fallen in recent years and estates now sit just one per cent behind the body style in the most recent research.

Convertibles, popular in the UK despite wet summers and cold winters, were the fourth most searched for body style with 16 per cent, followed by coupes with 11 per cent.

Other body styles, including SUVs – the most common 4×4 cars – and MPVs made up just eight per cent of searches to the leasing site.