2012 has been the year of the small, fuel-efficient, economical urban car.
But while a number of affordable hatchbacks have entered the market this year, with many more due to hit dealerships in 2013, people shouldn’t forget about what a good-quality premium hatchback can offer.
There are a number of high-quality hatchbacks available, priced under £20,000, that can last drivers for years. Perrys has sourced some of the best on the market today (and ones that are on their way) that can be classed as a phenomenal investment for families and executive buyers:
Vauxhall Astra Tech Line
The Astra’s Tech Line trim is an amazing option for people that want a technologically-accessible executive hatchback. The 1.6i VVT Tech Line 5dr especially has an impressive engine and a huge amount of professional equipment including Bluetooth, a DAB radio, sat-nav and more.
The Tech Line trim features everything on the Exclusiv trim and more. 17-inch alloys are a great cosmetic touch, as is the car’s seven-inch colour monitor. If people are looking for something under £20k with an incredible number of features, nothing comes close to the Tech Line.
A new Vauxhall Astra Hatchback 1.6i VVT Tech Line 5dr is available from £17,340.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta
When it comes to stylish, attractive hatchbacks the Giulietta is one of the finest-looking models in its class. It complements its style with substance too, and is available with a great number of solid engine options.
Running costs are also pretty respectable, with most versions of the Giulietta well-priced. The most impressive aspects of the Giuletta though are, without doubt, the car’s jaw-dropping looks which never fail to turn heads.
A new Alfa Romeo Giulietta is available from £17,760.
The Citroen DS4 is another high-quality hatchback that breaks the design mould. It’s a great-looking car that’s an amazing and cost-effective alternative to a standard small family hatchback. Most impressive is its range of petrol and diesel engines.
The DS4 exudes a certain character, and is one of the most reliable hatchbacks currently on the market. Its engines offer good fuel economy to help keep costs low, whilst all models are equipped with front, side, and curtain airbags as standard.
A new Citroen DS4 is available from £17,145.
The Ford Focus has had a particularly impressive year. But for real long-term value for money, the Ford Focus 1.6T 150 Ecoboost Titanium is a fantastic blend of economy and all-round performance. This trim also comes with a great number of options, including keyless start, automatic lights, cruise control and more.
Its interior is also a step-up from standard models, with an upgraded centre console layout that’s as smart-looking as it is accessible. The Ecoboost engine available at this level offers a fantastic, sporty drive and low running costs.
A new Ford Focus 1.6T 150 Ecoboost Titanium is available from £19,950.
The highest trim Nissan Note is available for just shy of £15k, offering great fuel economy and the critically-lauded Nissan Connect system. Nissan Connect on the Nissan Note 1.5 dCi N-tec+ combines navigation features, communications and entertainment into one neat, accessible package.
The Note’s three engines all perform well, with the car really shining in urban environments thanks to its nimble drive. It’s well refined and quiet on the road, and is also affordable to maintain. It’s also incredibly practical, with a number of extra storage spaces evident throughout the car.
A new Nissan Note 1.5 dCi N-tec+ costs £14,750.
The Peugeot 308 blends incredible style with a phenomenal range of diesel engines. The car is also available with some great standard safety options, making it an all-round winner for families looking for an affordable premium hatchback.
The higher level 1.6 e-HDi 112 Allure 5d trim is one of the best 308 options available with its impressive engine and smooth driving performance. One of the most attractive features of the 308 is its low running costs – complemented by the Allure trim’s luxury kit the 308 is an excellent investment.
A new Peugeot 308 1.6 e-HDi 112 Allure 5dr is available from £19,665.
The Kia Cee’d is one of the more recent additions to the hatchback segment, but has already won a number of fans for its great value, complemented by its amazing seven-year warranty package. The Kia Cee’d offers a dynamic drive, with its diesel engines being particularly impressive.
The Kia Cee’d is also noticeable because of the huge amount of cabin space it offers – far more space than the majority of its rivals. The Cee’d is affordable to own and maintain, while the car’s basic trim is available with a great level of standard equipment.
A new Kia Cee’d is available from £14,395.
The Seat Toledo hatchback is chunkier than most, but the payoff for its larger frame is a roomy cabin and massive boot. The basic-level Toldeo trim is cheaper than most of its rivals, but offers similar levels of equipment.
The top-level 1.6 TDI CR SE Ecomotive 5dr’s diesel engine though is able to achieve an incredible 70.6mpg, and is the only trim level to feature rear electric windows, alloys, climate and cruise control.
A new Seat Toldeo 1.6 TDI CR SE Ecomotive 5dr is available from £17,840.
Due for release early next year the Fiat 500L is a spacious family car that keeps the distinctive styling of the original Fiat 500, injecting it with more muscle and new features. Two trim levels will be available – Pop Star and Easy – which are priced the same but have different standard specs.
The Fiat 500L will be available with TwinAir technology alongside a range of other frugal engines. It will also be available in six-speed manual transmission or with an MTA semi-automatic gearbox. Standard equipment on all models includes Bluetooth, cruise control and more.
A new Fiat 500 L will be available from £14,990.
The new Renault Clio is due to hit dealerships early next year, with the model promising more personalisation options than ever before. The new Clio comes with R-Link technology, which includes a premium seven-inch voice-activated touchscreen.
More than 50 downloadable apps will be available on R-Link. The new Clio looks better than ever before, while owners will be able to customise the interior with coloured dashboard, door panels, coordinated carpet mats and more.
The new Renault Clio will be available from £10,595.