If you're planning on buying a new hatchback this year, you've picked a good time to do so! 2021 sees the launch of some amazing upgrades on existing hatchback cars, including the reintroduction of a perennial favourite that temporarily disappeared from the showrooms last year. Hatchbacks are a popular choice: combining the space and driving experience of a larger car with a smaller body and, potentially, savings in both purchase and running costs. When it comes to the best hatchback Australia motorists can buy this year, we've picked four options that offer exceptional quality and value. Read on to discover our top four hatchback small cars 2021.
Toyota GR Yaris Rallye
Toyota's formidable reputation for reliability and performance means it continues to top the bestseller charts. Due out some time in March, the GR Yaris Rallye is an upgrade of the existing GR. The inclusion of sportier tyres (Michelin Pilots), alongside Torsen ltd-slip-diff and 18-inch BBS alloys result in better handling and a superior track experience.
The Rallye benefits from:
- 1.6l turbo 3-cylinder petrol engine (200kW power and 370Nm of torque)
- 6-speed gear box
- 4-wheel drive
- circuit tuned suspension
- keyless entry
- interior features include Apple CarPlay, JBL sound system, screen display.
- range of safety features, including autonomous emergency braking and blind-spot monitoring.
Although pricier than the 2020 version (the cost of the first 200 GRs off the forecourt is $56,200, with subsequent models retailing at $56,200), the additional performance features means the Yaris is a great option for drivers who like to drive.
If performance is what you're looking for, the Hyundai i20N could be the solution. Launched as a direct competitor to the likes of the Fiesta (see below), the i20N benefits from a turbo-charged engine that delivers an impressive 275Nm of torque and 150kW. Whilst not quite up there with the Yaris, (which claims 0-100kph in 5.2 seconds, the Hyundai manages a more stately 6.7 seconds), it's also significantly cheaper.
The i20N certainly looks the part of a hot hatch! The rally car look translates into an aerodynamic body, accessorised by a single exhaust, roof rack, and some rather funky darkened, diamond-shaped, rear lights. The final price for the i20N has yet to be released, but commentators suspect it will be somewhere between $30,000 to $35,000.
Other features to look out for include:
- Sports seat and N steering wheel.
- Multi-media touchscreen that provides a significant amount of data around driving performance.
- Five driver modes.
A fun, adventurous little car, the i20N has a great rally feel and a surprising amount of bang for your buck.
Ford Fiesta ST
Ford's loyal followers were disappointed to see the Fiesta disappear from showrooms last year, so its return, better than before, is to be welcomed. The fresh Fiesta ST has undergone some style modifications, as well as some added sporty features that make a noticeable difference to performance.
The 1.5l, turbo-charged engine offers an impressive 290Nm of torque and 147kW of power. This results in 0-100km in 6.5 seconds, which is a very respectable figure. Like the i20N and the Yaris, the Fiesta comes with a six-speed manual gear box.
Key features to look out for include:
- Choice of three driving modes: normal; sport; or track.
- 18-inch alloys with Michelin Sport 4 tyres (giving exceptional road handling performance).
- Excellent selection of safety features, including blind-spot warning and autonomous emergency braking.
Price is around $31,990, which represents excellent value compared with the i20N, which has broadly similar performance. The Yaris does have that extra oomph, but given that it costs around $15,000 more, it's debatable whether it offers good value.
For the past few years, Skoda have been quietly chipping away at the Australian market. Whilst the brand rarely features in "Top 5s", its international reputation for understated dependability and performance means a Skoda is always worth a second look. Skoda are all about cheap, but good, motoring, and with prices starting at around $27,690, the Scala certainly scores highly as a budget hatchback. Not only that, its performance is pretty impressive: the 1l version manages up to 200 Nm of torque, whilst the larger 1.5l comes in at up to 250 Nm.
Features to look out for include:
- Reshaped front end featuring a lowered grille and LED headlights gives an engaging performance feel to the traditional Skoda shape.
- 16" Alaris Alloy Wheels
- Virtual cockpit with five modalities.
- Normal, sport and eco-driving options.
- Seven speed direct-speed gearbox.
- Electrically operated boot and tow bar.
- Rear traffic alert and blind-spot detection.
With lots of optional extras available, the Scala is a serious contender for best hatchback 2021, particularly when you take the cost into consideration!
2021 promises to be a good year for buying a hatchback! With so many fresh, exciting options on the market, there's no excuse not to make this year the year you enjoy the sporty, exhilarating driving experience a hatchback can bring.