Every year, top automotive brands offer a range of hatchbacks, making them a top choice for drivers across the UK. Most have cheap MSRPs and high gas mileage, giving you a great reason to check out the excellent 2018 lineup.

The Volkswagen Golf: Small, but Feisty

The Volkswagen Golf is a long-lasting member of the hatchback community, but the 2018 S trim boasts big advantages in a compact shell that makes it one of the smallest hatchbacks available on the market. A smaller frame than almost all the competitors makes it more nimble and maneuverable than larger vehicles, which can’t be overstated in picking a family vehicle.

The small body shouldn’t indicate that there aren’t big things under the hood. The 170 horsepower four-cylinder engine is turbocharged and brings this affordable hatchback from 0 to 60 in 7.3 seconds. This has long been considered the prototypical sporty hatchback, and 2018 is no exception. The Golf remains a stellar member of its class with both a standard five-speed manual transmission and an optional six-speed automatic available for purchase.

Of course, one of the most important things to note when it comes to picking your hatchback is the fuel economy. In the past, the Golf has been a decent contender in this area, and it remains average. This Volkswagen can manage 25 miles per gallon in the city and 35 on the highway, which doesn’t make it the greenest offering.

The potential of a smooth interior to transport a driver to better places cannot be understated, and while the Golf doesn’t boast anything that makes it stand out, the interior is trim and simple. It’s a classic design that retains comfort over complexity. It’s the perfect example of the Volkswagen Golf’s performance in most areas, and it makes the Golf appealing to many families across the UK, especially at a manageable price of £18,830.

The Vauxhall Astra: A Classic British Hatchback

Although the Golf has lots of international appeal, the Vauxhall Astra is a vehicle that makes itself at home in the United Kingdom. Polling has indicated that one in four drivers in the United Kingdom have driven an Astra in the years since the line became commonplace in the UK. The 2018 Design trim doesn’t bring anything particularly revolutionary to the design, but it remains an important contender in the ranking of family hatchbacks.

There’s a lot going on under the hood here, starting with a 1.4-litre engine that follows into a three-cylinder array and then segues into two more turbocharged 1.4 blocks. Finally, this long series of engine blocks ends in a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine that maxes out at 198 horsepower. The Astra is a fine example of a Vauxhall hatchback with all the season’s newest technology working together to boast substantial engine strength.

When it comes to fuel economy, there are few hatchbacks that can equal the Astra’s outstanding mileage rating. Vauxhall’s 2018 showing stands at the front of the pack with tested highway mpg of 55.1, far ahead of most hatchbacks. This means that the relatively low cost of the 2018 Astra remains low — the petrol won’t sneak up and break your budget.

The Astra’s interior is in keeping with its low budget and high value, neither particularly fancy nor cramped. A fair amount of leg room in the front seat and smooth black and silver detailing add up to a satisfactory ride for all but the tallest passengers. Altogether, Vauxhall manages to bring a top contender to the market without overspecializing, and they do it at an affordable price of £19,415.

The Honda Civic: Classic and Made to Last

When your average driver imagines a hatchback, the Honda Civic is what they’re usually picturing. Boasting a long history of top showings, the Civic is a trustworthy car that can be expected to meet the industry’s standards, and 2018 is no exception.

Available in a variety of styles and with a variety of different engines, the Civic is highly customizable. The most basic engine comes in the LX model, but the difference between the LX’s 174 horsepower engine and the 180 horsepower Sport engine comes mostly from the transmission; the LX uses a manual, while the Sport comes with an automatic.

Honda has a healthy history of designing economically viable engines, and in 2018, their accumulated experience comes together for a city mileage of 32 mpg and a highway mileage of 42 mpg.

The Civic’s interior uses more defined lines than most hatchbacks, a style that manages to retain its sophistication while standing out as bolder than most of the market. Honda retains a tastefully low price for the LX trim at £13,430.

The Renault Megane: A New Contender

Although Volkswagen, Vauxhall, and Honda hold comfortable spots of contention within the hatchback industry, Renault is a newer competitor that offers exceptional quality.

Renault’s 2018 models don’t boast particularly impressive horsepower, featuring a 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine that nonetheless manages to move the sleek hatchback with agility and speed. The engine is paired with a seven-speed clutch transmission, an older style that brings a classic flavor to the newer family car.

The engine’s low power manages to improve the hatchback in one important way; the engine is far more economically viable than any of the others included in this article, boasting an incredibly impressive estimated mileage of 78 miles per gallon. Paired with the fact that the Megane is slightly more expensive than the other offerings, however, the overall economy involved is skewed.

The interior of the Renault hatchback’s standard Intens trim is nothing complex. Fitted with grey leather, it mostly boils down to simple lines and a lot of leg room. That said, an upgrade to the Intens-spec Megane adds an advanced navigation system and an improved dashboard for the savvy consumer. Renault isn’t an icon of the industry, but if they continue with offerings like this 2018 hatchback at a tasteful price of £16,032, they soon will be.

MINI 3-Door Hatch: An Iconic Hatchback

The MINI 3-Door Hatch is one of the most iconic vehicles on the road. It comes well equipped for £15,905, making this one of the best value vehicles you can find. The 2018 version maintains the unmistakable design of the MINI hatchback while also incorporating impressive new features like a touchscreen console and wireless phone charging.

Drivers will be impressed by this vehicle from their first turn. A low centre-of-gravity and snappy handling give the vehicle an exhilarating go-kart feel. The seven-speed transmission makes shifting gears exceptionally dynamic, as the driver can choose between manual and automatic shift mode. Drivers will see next-level engineering in action when they use the Steptronic sport automatic transmission. This feature shifts to the next gear while the previous one is still active to improve acceleration.

The new MINI 3-Door Hatch comes in three drive modes: Sport, Mid, and Green. Eco-conscious drivers will appreciate how you can switch to the efficient Green mode, which optimizes fuel delivery by disengaging the engine when your foot is off the throttle.